Misunderstood and Misused Passages About Evangelism

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To gain a fuller understanding of meaning and applications for biblical texts, consider listening to the sermon links included below. These are sermons that Pastor Caldwell has exegeted from the passages spoken about in the podcast today. Also included is a link for an entire conference held annually at Founder’s Baptist Church. The topic for that conference was Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God.

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Misunderstood and Misused Passages About Evangelism.

Misunderstood and Misused Passages About Evangelism.

Should Matthew 7:7 be used in evangelism as a call for sinners to come to Christ? Does Matthew 7:7 teach that Christ is a gentleman and that He doesn’t force His way into our lives? Is this what this passage means and teaches about Christ?

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot discuss Matthew 7:7. This New Testament passage falls in the last chapter of three chapters (5, 6, & 7) that comprise Jesus teaching called the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus has addressed several topics in these chapters. How can we know what Jesus is teaching here? Does Matthew 7:7 teach how sinners come to Christ and how the door of salvation opens to them? Those in the realty business often say Location, Location, Location is everything.

When it comes to the Bible, it is Context, Context, Context. Context is everything. Therefore, when we aren't sure of a biblical text or passage's meaning, we should start by looking at its context. When we have determined the correct meaning of the text, we can then pursue making applications.

Dr. Caldwell responds that this passage, and the comments/statements made about Christ, might be said in response to what Calvinism teaches about salvation. There’s this idea that salvation involves bringing people against their will to receive Jesus, kicking and screaming. But that isn’t biblical. It is not what Calvinism teaches, nor what we believe.

Opposite this, we believe that salvation is a gracious work of God in the soul, regenerating us first, and faith follows. God graciously grants light to an individual’s soul to the degree that they come willing, of their own accord. God does not believe for us, neither does He force us to come. The doctrines of grace teach that it is a gracious work in our soul, and we come willingly.

He then says Matthew 7:7 has nothing to do with evangelism. The teaching we find in this passage, about asking, seeking, and knocking, is about persistence in prayer. The surrounding context helps us to see this, so Dr. Caldwell turns there and reads verses 7 through 11. He shares with us that these verses are about our being eager and persistent in prayer. We are to go on in our asking and seeking, knowing that God gives good things to His children.

Dr. Caldwell says that another text often used in evangelism is Revelation 3:20. He tells us that this verse in its given context is within a letter addressed to a church. It is given right after a call to repentance in verses 18 and 19. What Christ is calling for those in the church to do is to respond to His reproofs. Dr. Caldwell has heard it said, 'well, the church at Laodicea was apostate, so this is evangelism.' He goes on to say that this is questionable and further explains why he sees it as such.

Sometimes we get it wrong. We can and do misunderstand or misapply the Word of God. There are times when we do both. But, we have a responsibility to show ourselves as approved workmen, rightly handling God's Word. So, we want to make it our aim to study and understand it well. In doing this, it will also help in making proper applications. We want to remember that a Bible text may have multiple applications but only one meaning, and that meaning never changes.

It means the same today as it did when the author wrote. In seeking to understand the original meaning of a text, we must start with the context. First, we look at the surrounding verses of the text, then move to the chapter, and if necessary, the entire book/letter. Only by considering how a text fits within its context can we determine what it means and then move on to application(s).

To gain a fuller understanding of meaning and applications for biblical texts, consider listening to the sermon links included below. These are sermons that Pastor Caldwell has exegeted from the passages spoken about in the podcast today. Also included is a link for an entire conference held annually at Founder’s Baptist Church. The topic for that conference was Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

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Season 16 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas

DP / EDITING / COLOR
JUAN CARLOS CLAVERIA

Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by
LynneMusic

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

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