1. We are to be friendly to all as we try to convert souls. At the same time, we must be true to our calling. Objective: Teach Gods truth so lost can be saved (cf. 1 Cor. 9:16).
2. We are at war against Satan (sin/error): Eph. 6:11-12 (personally); 2 Cor. 11:12-15 (against others). cf. Prov. 28:4
3. Every Christian who tries to teach the lost will face a choice:
a. Spare the lost persons feelings (by softening the blow of truth) or expose their sin with truth so they may choose salvation. (Temptation can be great!)
b. The issue is one of truth & error, of salvation & damnation - Not an issue of "methods/tact/diplomacy" (John, Stephen).
4. This lesson designed to teach us how to act & what to expect when we teach the gospel to the lost.
5. Premise: Truth, when spoken forthrightly in love, will not turn the good- hearted away, it will save them - Lk. 8:15.
I. HOW JESUS CONFRONTED ERROR & SIN.
A. He Had Righteous Indignation Toward Sin - Jno. 2:13-17.
1. Jesus took these evil actions as insults against God & He vigorously opposed it. (cf. He took the initiative here.)
2. Application: As we try to teach others, seeing sin & its effects should cause righteous anger which promotes aggressive efforts to overthrow it.
a. When we talk to someone about Gods word - Do we overlook their error or address it from the scriptures?
b. Only to the degree that sin upsets us!
B. Other Occasions:
1. Matt. 15:1-9 (Use truth to expose error & urge repentance). 15:12-14 - Those offended by truth - Let alone!
2. Jno. 4:16-18 - Jesus brought woman face-to-face with her sin. (We will have to do that when we teach others.)
3. Jno. 8:6, 10-11 - Without condoning sin, He urged obedience.
II. LESSONS FROM OTHERS WHO CONFRONTED ERROR AS THEY TAUGHT THE LOST.
A. The Apostles - (Acts 2:14-40) 5:27-32, 40-42. [Even when threatened, we must boldly teach what needs to be heard.]
B. Stephen - Acts 6:8-10. [We must speak as the "oracles of God" in order to defeat error (1 Pet. 4:11).]
C. Peter - Acts 8:17-24. [To spare the sinners feelings is to leave them lost in sin!]
D. Paul - Acts 13:6-12. [When we sternly oppose evil/error, the evil-hearted will withstand us, but the good-hearted will believe.]
1. Why do you suppose Pauls very life was threatened everywhere he went? Was it due to how he preached or what he preached?
2. Gal. 2:11-14 - Be willing to withstand because condemned.
III. WHAT WE MUST DO WHEN WE TEACH THE LOST.
A. Love The Sinner - Rom. 9:1-3; 10:1.
B. Abhor Error & Sin - Rom. 12:9; 2 Tim. 2:16-18.
-Examine attitude toward error & avoid it, dont coddle it!
C. Trust The Power Of Truth.
1. Truth, when spoken forthrightly in love, will not turn the good-hearted away, it will save them - Lk. 8:15 (Jas. 1:21)
2. cf. Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 2:1-5 - When you teach someone, trust the power of scripture. Use them to convert the soul.
D. Avoid Respect Of Persons - Jas. 2:1 (Acts 10:34-35).
1. This leads to accommodation & compromise of the truth.
2. The "feelings" of the lost person becomes more important than saving their soul with truth!
E. Be Set For The Defense Of The Gospel - Phil. 1:16; Jude 3; 1 Pet. 3:15.
1. Will be times when you cannot "put off" teaching truth - You will have to do it RIGHT THEN to be effective.
2. Prepare yourself with right heart & knowledge of truth.
1. When you teach the truth evil men will charge you with evil, but good- hearted men will love you for the truths sake.
2. Prepare yourself & teach the truth to save souls, not to spare feelings.