Calvinism in Soul-Winning

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 4boys4joys, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. 4boys4joys

    4boys4joys
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    I have had this question since Day 1 on the board and I think I will just ask it now.

    How does Calvinism fit with soul winning? How does a Calvinist present the gospel to the lost ?
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    I think this is a good question, and I hope it continues mainly by positive precept and not polemics. What I mean by that is, I hope that the Calvinists who respond will be able to from a positive standpoint, rather than trying to refute the false idea that "Calvinism kills evangelism" which often comes up.

    Great question, and God willing I will add something today to the answer of it.
     
  3. npetreley

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    Without adding anything to it. ;)
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    I'm not a Calvinist, but the Calvinists I know present it the same way as anyone else. They talk about sin, the effects of sin, the neccesity of Christ's death and resurrection and the personal repsonsibilty to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Calvinism maintains that God chooses people but not that He lets me in on who it is that will be saved.

    Dr. James Kennedy tells a story about when he was younger and preaching at another church. He and the host pastor went to visit an unsaved man. Dr. Kennedy talked to the man but his presentation of the Gospel was very unclear. He said that he just decided that the man was not ordained to eternal life. The host pastor took over the presentation and promptly led the man to Christ. It was that situation that led Dr. Kennedy to develop the EE approach.

    Calvinism doesn't kill evangelism. Evangelism is killed by anyone _ Calvinist and non-Calvinists - who go through their entire day and never pass out a tract, never tell their neighbor about Jesus, etc...
     
  5. David Lamb

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    Probably in a way that is similar to that used by others. Seeking to show sinners that they are sinners, deserving only God's wrath and indignation, and pointing them to the fact that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

    The Calvinist would probably not say to unbelievers at large, "Smile - God loves you!" but "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."

    Although I know there is much more that I ought to do regarding evangelism, that lack is due to my own sinfulness/laziness/fear of man. I certainly don't feel that the Doctrines of Grace are in any way a hindrance to evangelism.
     
    #5 David Lamb, Sep 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2007
  6. 4boys4joys

    4boys4joys
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    Thank you for the responses so far. Feel free to answer here without having to defend your view either way. I am truly interested in this subject because I encountered this issue while soul-winning.

    I understand clearly that there are several concepts in the Bible that a man cannot understand without a spiritual mind. So due to the carnal understanding they are limited to, they may take offense to some concepts that some Christians can understand simply because of the Holy Spirit showing them.

    I have had some ask me about pre-destination before and I have shared verses with them based on what I believe in scripture on the subject. If a Calvinist is asked what do you say in regards to specific questions on the topic. Just out of curiosity not that you need to defend. The Cals have done that well in other threads.

    I guess I am trying to say this. Is there a difference between the conviction that scripture brings and the offense some may take in other parts of scripture that cannot be understood spiritually ?

    If you knew how I was saved a Cal would say because you where pre-determined. Yet I need to know alot more on the subject before I would even pray about something like that. I would like to see a scriptural outline that is simple that describes pre- determination in simple terms as simple as salvation. Maybe that would help as well.

    I have seen this with more than just destination. Also with Hell, the rapture, baptism etc.. I guess I hi-jacked my own thread ? :laugh:
     
  7. larryjf

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    Basic Calvinist Gospel: Repent and believe in Christ and you will be saved.

    Excellent book that expounds the idea of evangelism and the soveriengty of God...
    Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God; by:J.I. Packer
     
  8. larryjf

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    If asked about predestination i would try to explain it to the individual. But the key to predestination is that we don't know who is predestined, so it can't really shape who we present the Gospel to. So while i would try to explain it as best i could, i would make sure they knew that this doctrine (along with others) is part of the secret will of God that we can't know fully.


    I would say that the unregenerate can understand nothing at all of the spiritual. It is only if God is going to work in them that our evangelism will bear any fruit.

    That God predestines or elects is found in many places in Scripture...
    Ps 65:4; Mat 24:24; Jn 6:37; Jn 15:16; Act 13:48; Rom 8:28-30; rom 9:10-24; Rom 11:5-7; Eph 1:3-6; Eph 1:11-12; 1 The 1:4; 1 The 5:9; 2 The 2:13-14.
     
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    Perhaps I can answer by answering what "calvinism" did for my evangelizing.

    It lit a FIRE in it. Why? Mainly because I ceased trying to wrestle the will of man. I began to share the Gospel with others from the conviction that God would save people, not that he might.

    I ceased from feeling guilty. Oftentimes when I preached the Gospel and someone didn't accept the Lord, I felt guilty that perhaps there was something in my presentation, knowledge, et. that led to this. I used to evangelize from a belief that I could reason man into receiving Christ. When I came to more fully understand the inabiility of man, God's work of infrustratable grace through Gospel preaching, of the full satisfaction of the death of Christ for a people, my focus became more a focus on the glory of God and being as faithful to the message of Gospel as His grace would enable me.

    I felt I became one who longer "beats the air" but as one whom God would use to set forth Christ to all men. Guilt vanished away, and was replaced by confidence, resolve, and an unshakeable commitment to preach the Gospel knowing that God will work His work until all the elect come in, not willing that any perish, but all come to repentance and faith.

    I also lost a good measure of the fear of man because their mockery or hostility does not make the word of GOd of none effect. I felt that if God willed, I could preach to a rebellious people for 100 years, not see a single convert, and that my labor would not be in vain.

    The doctrines of God's unfrustratable grace have lit a great zeal and streadfastness in my heart to preach the Gospel to every creature.
     
    #9 ReformedBaptist, Sep 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2007
  10. npetreley

    npetreley
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    Amen to all of that.
     
  11. webdog

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    The only difference I have seen is in the delivery of the Gospel. I tend to see more non cal's try to explain it using analogies, stories, personal testimonies, etc. as opposed to some calvinists just laying it out there. I'm saying SOME so don't accuse me of saying ALL. I think the mind set is different, in that the non cal believes the person has a real choice in the matter, while the cal believes if the person is "elect" they will respond regardless. This is where the main difference lies, IMO. I also tend to lay it out there, and I'm not a cal, so each person is different.
     
  12. David Lamb

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    That finds a resounding echo in my own heart and experience. Great post!
     
  13. 4boys4joys

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    I believe this with about believing in the elect as a Calvinist may describe.
    I was saved because one day I decided that I needed to read the Bible and I did so for a week. After that week I realized my need for Christ and I was saved. No one came to my door or promted me I just did it.

    Looking back I ask myself if I had not made this choice on my own would I have become saved. Would my testimony be a model of Calvinism? I just see it as a testament of God's grace.
     
  14. 4boys4joys

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    I will read the verses and prayerfully consider them all. Thank you for your answer and the time you took to post it.
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

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    Praise the Lord for His work of grace in you. I trust you understand of us "calvinists" that we hardly care for the name, it being just a nickname. Like you, we see our salvation as a testament to God's grace.

    To God be the glory alone!
     
  16. 4boys4joys

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    Point taken in all respect for your beliefs. Is there another name used to clarify the difference. I would in no way say that your salvation was not because of God's grace even if we differ on other issues. Thank you for your posts.
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    I don't know of another term to use that makes it clear and distinct on what I believe concerned the doctrines. If I say "Doctrines of Grace" sometimes opponents think I am being crafty and deceitful because I am not using the common term "calvinist" If I say I am a calvinist, opponents sometimes accuse me of following a man, as if I derived my beliefs from John Calvin.

    We do have to spend time defining our terms and what we mean by them.
     
  18. russell55

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    Well, I'm a Calvinist (and I don't mind the label, not because it refers to a historical figure named John Calvin, but because it's the commonest label for people who affirm what others call the "Doctrines of Grace."), and "because you were pre-determined" is not the answer I'd give you to the question "how was I saved?"

    My answer to the question of "How was I saved?" would be "by trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins", or something like that. The answer to the how question of salvation is through faith or by believing.

    The answer to the why questions of salvation go deeper than that. We are saved by believing (there's the how again!), and we believe because of God's work within us, work that he does in us based on his choice of us for salvation (that's the why answer, or at least part of it!).

    This is about a simple as you can get, I think. (This italisised words are from 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14):

    ...God chose you from the beginning for salvation

    This answers the why question of our salvation. Behind the scenes, first and foremost, there is God, choosing us for salvation.

    ... through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. He called you to this salvation through our gospel...

    This answers the how question of our salvation. This is how it comes about. These are the means by which it is accomplished: The Spirit sets us apart, and we believe the truth—the truth that God calls us to by the presentation of the gospel.
     
  19. ReformedBaptist

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    Excellent explaination. I am going to use it and not site you as a source. lol just kiddin. :laugh:
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    My soul-winning training was the use of the Roman Road and the Sinner's prayer.

    Although I no longer use the sinner's prayer, I still use the Roman Road with some modifications.

    I spend more time around Romans 3:23 (all have sinned, etc.). Before one can be saved, he must be thoroughly convinced he is a lost sinner. He must be shown how awfu sin is, how God hates it, and the terrible penalties of it. He must be told that outside of Christ's sacrifice for sin, he has no hope.

    Then, we can give him that hope. That it cannot be bought or earned. He must throw himself on God's mercy, repent of his sin and trust Christ's finished work for his salvation.

    As you would expect of a Calvinist, I never tell someone "Christ died for you." But I do tell them, "Christ died for sinners just like you."

    Also, rather than asking them to pray for salvation, I ask them, "Do you believe this? Do you understand that you are a sinner? Will you repent and trust Christ alone?" If the answers are yes, then I will ask them to confess Jesus as Lord publicly by being baptized. I explain the purpose of baptism.

    The hardest thing to do is to NOT tell them that they are now saved. Only they can tell you that. Avoid congratulating them. We must wait for evidence of their conversion. Pray with them if you wish, giving thanks for God's salvation, and shut up. Try to answer any questions they have, but basically your job for the moment is finished.

    Now---what if the answer is No? The person refuses to repent, trust, confess. Then stop. Do not try to talk them into it. The Holy Spirit must convince them, not you. Suggest that if they want to talk further about spiritual things, you're available.

    This is a little different from the original Roman Road "sales pitch" mainly in the emphasis on sin. But I believe it is consistent with Scripture and my own soteriology.
     
    #20 Tom Butler, Sep 4, 2007
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