Sunday, February 28, 2021

Can Only A Christian Lead A Lost Person To Christ?

John 20:29-31, “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Someone asked me this week if only a Christian can lead an unsaved person to the Lord. It is my humble opinion, based upon my understanding of the Holy Scriptures, that a lost person CAN be saved on their own, from reading the Bible or reading a well written Gospel tract.

The idea that someone cannot be saved on their own comes from the following passage:
Acts 8:26-31 “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”
Even today in 2020 the average person, believers included, couldn't understand this passage from Isaiah, that the eunuch was trying to understand. Thank God for! Also, we read in 1st Corinthians 2:14-16, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. And we read in Romans 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” I believe “faith to faith” refers to God giving a person more understanding, as they by faith take each step in obedience to God. It is clear from reading John 20:31 that the Gospel of John was written to convince the lost person that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God, so that they will believe and be saved. 

What more evidence do we need that someone lost CAN be saved without a soulwinner? Since we are born again of the “seed” of God's Word, nothing more is needed than the seed. However, a Christian can plant that seed, and water that seed, as we read in 1st Corinthians 3:5-9, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

Humbly said, I think this one passage alone from John 20:31 evidences that, yes, a lost person can be saved without a Christian to guide them, just from reading the Gospel of John. That is why it was written. Just because the eunuch couldn't understand the book of Isaiah, doesn't mean that a person in 2020 cannot understand the Gospel of John. Clearly they can, which is why this particular book of the Bible was written in the first place—to convince lost sinners to come to Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. As a Christian I had great difficulty for most of my Christian life understanding umpteen passages of Scripture. That is why we are commanded to “study” in 2nd Timothy 2:15.

What saith the Scripture? 2nd Timothy 3:15, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. John 5:39, Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. I don't find any place in the Scripture where it says to go find a saved person if someone wants to understand salvation. Jesus said to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES! Read it for yourself friend. Our Savior Himself said to go SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES! For in them ye think ye have eternal life. That is, we learn about God's wonderful promise of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Titus 1:2,  “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;” You see, the Gospel is manifest (made known to lost men) through preaching. If we didn't have preachers and Christians who are soulwinners, hardly anyone would be saved. 2nd Corinthians 5:20-21 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” I love that. Paul said we as believers are ambassadors to the lost world, as if God Himself were pleading with them to be saved. God desires for all men to repent (i.e., get saved), which great truth we read in 2nd Peter 3:9. That is why I have my website ministry, which I started by God's leading in 2002, to preach the Gospel to get men saved. I am one of God's ambassadors, sharing the truth with lost sinners so they can also receive eternal life by faith.

John 20:31, "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." Here we have a direct answer from the Scripture to your question. The Gospel of John was written TO THE LOST PERSON, to convince them. If the Ethiopian eunuch had been reading the Gospel of John (which hadn't been penned yet), he could have been saved. The Gospel of John is very easy to understand compared to the Old Testament.

1st Timothy 2:5 says "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.​"​ Christ Himself is the only Mediator between God the Father and sinful men. As believers we have been given the ministry of reconciliation, reconciling lost sinners to God with the Gospel, through faith in Christ (Romans 5:1). Since we do have the complete Bible today, it is my humble opinion that people CAN be saved on their own, by simply searching the Scriptures to learn about the Good News of Jesus crucified on the cross, buried and bodily risen the third day (John 19-20; 1st Corinthians 15:1-4). 

The Apostle Paul reminded young Timothy that the Scriptures would make him wise unto salvation (1st Timothy 3:15-17). Timothy only had the Old Testament to read. Jesus said to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES to think we have eternal life (John 5:39). I do not find even one Scripture passage, where the reader is directed to go ask a Christian how to have eternal life. The Bible tells us directly in the Gospel of John, and many other passages. By simply searching the Scriptures, a person will learn about Jesus, and CAN be saved by believing on Christ. If a person cannot be saved without a Christian to guide them, then there would be TWO mediators. John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” It is Christ Who draws all men to Himself, through the blessed Holy Spirit, Who is called the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9). We are called to be ambassadors for Christ, but Jesus alone is the one and only Mediator. So, no, a person does not need a Christian to be saved.

Not too long ago I wrote an interesting article about visions in the last days, spoken of by Joel. God sent Cornelius a vision in Acts 10. The purpose of that vision was soulwinning. God was helping Cornelius get to the Apostle Peter, so he could hear the Gospel and be saved, and he did get saved (Acts 10:43-44). But, in my humble opinion, this story does not mean no one can understand the Gospel without help. The Bible says we learn from FAITH TO FAITH (Romans 1:17). I believe that means when we accept by faith the truth God has given us, then God sends more, and takes us to the next step. If a man rejects what light God has given him, then God is not bound to give more. Man's obligation is to receive the truth; God's obligation is to provide the truth. I believe this is what Titus 2:11 means, 
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” I do not think that refers to the Gospel; but rather, God provides some enlightenment to a person, to see if they will accept it. 

Cornelius prayed, fasted, gave alms, and feared God; but he wasn't saved yet. So God sent him more light, which led to his conversion. God would NEVER send anyone to Hell, who wanted to be saved (2nd Peter 3:9). Many people have gone to Hell, who put off being saved until a later time. God is a just God (1st John 1:9). No one ever went to Hell who didn't choose to go there, by knowingly rejecting God's free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Humbly, I think this one passage of Scripture from John 20:31 is sufficient enough to theologically prove that a lost person CAN be saved just from reading the Bible. John 20:31, 
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” The person who wrote to me this week to ask a question, whether a person who is lost can be saved without a Christian or not, was concerned about their own salvation. They had heard a preacher teach that no one can be saved without a Christian, but he had been saved by reading the Bible directly. 

Again, Jesus said in John 5:37-40, “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” God's plan of salvation is learned through knowledge of the Scriptures (2nd Timothy 3:15). Whether a person obtains that knowledge directly from searching the Scriptures, or from a soulwinner who preaches the Gospel to them, it is still the same truth. We know from 1st Corinthians 2:14 that the natural (unsaved) man cannot understand spiritual things, but I do not think it means that a lost person cannot even grasp the plan of salvation. If that were true—that a lost person cannot understand anything in the Bible—then why did John write the Gospel of John to convince the lost person (John 20:31) why they should believe on Christ? Clearly a lost person can understand the Gospel of John, because it was written to the lost person.

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