Point of Contact
There is a point in time when the lost and the saved meet. At this point of contact, there is opportunity to speak Jesus Christ to the lost. The opportunity may never come again…
To make effective use of the point of contact”
1. Take God’s Word seriously – for our good, the good of our families, and the good of society.
2. Determine truth from falsehood by the scripture alone
3. Hold fast to the truth.
4. Avoid worldly entanglements.
Remember the Bible is the Word of God.
The Bible is carried to the world through the churches, and the people who make up the churches.
The church has the duty of teaching the congregation the Word of God according to the Bible.
The congregation of true followers of Jesus Christ has the duty of teaching the world.
It is the duty of every believer to apply Bible teachings to personal actions.
It is the duty of every believer to take obedience to God very seriously.
The contact of the believer with the world is limited because the people of the world are going in one direction, and the people of God are going in another direction. A believer cannot turn from the narrow way in order to ‘reach the lost’. However, there is a point in time, a point of contact when the lost are face to face with the redeemed. At that point of contact there isn’t time to consider what the believer should tell the lost. The believer must already know where he or she stands regarding what the scripture says. The believer must be able to articulate truth in a clear but brief manner. The following, while not Bible passages, are taken from the Bible and condensed into tenants of the faith. They are to give believers guidelines for Bible study, proper ways to watch for error from Bible teachers so-called, and to use to convert the lost and set the feet of new believers on the path to Bible knowledge instead of ‘seat of the pants’ theology.
Obviously, the first thing to know are the fundamentals of the faith.
1. The Bible is inerrant
2. The pre-existence and deity of Christ
3. Jesus was born of Virgin
4. Jesus was crucified, died, was buried.
5. Jesus was bodily resurrected from the dead
These things are concrete things taught in the Bible on which all Christians who understand the power and authority of God should be able to agree. Today unfortunately, there are many who disagree with point number one, and from there they question all points. They are not really considering the power and glory of God. In their minds they think, ‘If God is not able to get His book written correctly, then He probably doesn’t really have the authority to make the rules. If these aren’t God’s exact rules, then I have leeway to interpret them in the way that suits me. It boils down to every one doing what is right in his or her own eyes.
There are other tenants, or statements of faith that apply to all the ages as well. This was taken from Wickapedia.com and regards the tenants set down during the Protestant Reformation.
‘The Five solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English. The five solas articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. All five implicitly rejected or countered the teachings of the then-dominant Catholic Church, which had in the reformers' mind usurped divine attributes or qualities for the Church and its hierarchy, especially its head, the pope. Christ alone is head of the church.
1 Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
2 Sola fide ("by faith alone")
3 Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
4 Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")
5 Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_solas )’
Those five solas alone, if taught with passion and love, are excellent tools to explain the Gospel to someone wanting to hear the truth.
Christ alone is head of the church. There is no earthly head of the church. No scriptural authority is given to anyone to make such a claim. In this day of ‘reconciliation’, there is a push for Christianity in general to be reconciled with the Catholic church. The Bible says we are to be reconciled to God – not errant teachers. 2 Corinthians 5:20 The traditions of man often stand between the individual and God.
In a later era J. C Ryle preached:
‘There were three great doctrines or principles which won the battle of the Protestant Reformation.
These three were:
(1) the sufficiency and supremacy of Holy Scripture,
(2) the right of private judgment, and
(3) justification by faith only, without the deeds of the law.
(Acts 17:11 says, ‘These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.’ They exercised the right of private judgment to make sure Paul was telling the truth.)
Number one tells us the scripture is sufficient. Today there are some who claim ‘new revelation’. They are liars, perhaps fooling even themselves, but never the less they are liars.
Furthermore, the scripture is the rule above anything a man may say, though he be pope or beggar. The Bible is also supreme or stands in authority over the traditions of man. There is no man made revelation (so called) or tradition that can be right if it usurps God’s authority. The Holy Spirit will never speak what is contrary to the written word of God.
Number two reminds us that all Christians have the right to evaluate the scripture based on the scripture. Therefore, if a man or woman preaches something that is error, then the lowliest Christian has the right to disavow wrong teachings. Currently he or she also has the right to separate themselves from the church preaching heresy without fear of being burned as a heretic.
Number three reminds us that it is by grace through faith that a lost soul is saved. It is without works, or obedience to the law. A truly saved person will do their best to live within the boundaries set by God. Works give evidence of one's salvation; works do not give salvation.
In a more modern day I have been taught in church that the Bible is:
Here we go again with that inerrant stuff. Fortunately, it is true. The Bible is inerrant. That is the rock solid unshakable foundation on which a committed Christian can stand. This book is true. It is the Word of God. It has the words of life.
Sufficient is also a wonderful tenant. The Bible is complete and makes clear the way of salvation. There is nothing new to be added to it or taken away from it.
The Bible is also relevant to whatever is happening at any given moment in time. No matter what era or age, no matter who the person, no matter what the nation or people, the Bible has the keys for the individual to make peace with God.
You may be thinking that these things are best suited to convert those who are in a false form of Christianity, or who have fallen into some doctrinal error. It is true tenants of the faith are a good way to approach someone like that. They are also good to show the way of truth to someone who may be a social Christian, or has some idea of Christianity from living in culture with some of the traits of Christian behavior and hospitality still left.
However, knowing these things is useful in approaching anyone. If you are able to engage them in a conversation regarding their eternal destination they will have questions. The point of contact is always scripture from the Bible.
The Bible is the word of God. It is the truth. The Bible has power to convert to a receptive or non-receptive audience. Take a look at an example of the Apostle Paul’s life.
The Apostle Paul preached to a group of non-believers on a place called Mars Hill. That was a point of contact, and Paul definitely made the most of it. He preached the unwavering truth of Jesus Christ to a totally pagan society. The story is told in Acts 17. (Take the time to read the entire chapter. It is really good.)
Things just did not appear to be going well for Paul. He got himself kicked out of Thessalonica for preaching Jesus Christ. He was escorted to the next city called Berea, where he again set out to immediately preach Jesus Christ. Things went a little better there, but the trouble makers from Thessalonica came and stirred up trouble there as well. The next thing Paul knew, he was kicked out of Berea and escorted to Athens.
So, what did Paul do in Athens? Did he keep his mouth shut in order to stay out of trouble? Did he re-evaluate his approach to preaching? Did he try to come up with a way to better engage society and then slip in a few uplifting thoughts about Jesus Christ? No. His heart saw the need of the people to hear about Jesus. So, he started preaching Jesus again! The end result was that some were saved.
How did Paul manage to win converts from such a group of stuck up scoffers? He didn’t do anything except preach the same message that had gotten him kicked out of the last two towns.
He preached the scriptures telling them:
25. Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26. And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
TO SEEK GOD
WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD:
CHILDREN OF GOD SHOULD NOT MAKE THE GODHEAD INTO AN IMAGE
NOW IS THE TIME TO REPENT
JUDGEMENT DAY IS COMING
RESURECTION DAY IS COMING
PAUL QUIT SPEAKING WHEN HE HAD SAID ALL
When considering this story, you cannot get past one thing. Paul’s method was effective. Some were converted out of a very hard audience.
The Bible is our example in all things. Because this is the message Paul used to a pagan society this is the message Christians today should use to a pagan society, or a Communist society, or a New Age society, or apostates, or any person or group of people that don’t know Jesus Christ. Paul faced the arrogant when he faced the Athenians. They thought of him as a ‘babbler’ (V.18), someone fit for amusement. Paul didn’t care. He had a message to preach and he preached it.
In most of the societies around the globe today, the gospel is either not known or not respected. The people of most societies are like the people of Athens, they just want to hear something new and try it out. Obviously a lot of them will not repent though they hear the truth, but some of them will. Paul had a point of contact with the lost in three towns in this one chapter of Acts! He didn’t waste any of his time. He seized the opportunity to preach Jesus Christ on all three locations. And, some were saved in every instance.
Paul didn’t know how much time he had to preach, so he didn’t waste any time trying to fit into society, or ease people into the idea of Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. He just jumped in with both feet and started telling the truth.
Make the most of points of contact with the lost. Preach/teach the same message Paul preached/taught to the Athenians.
Remember Colossians 4:5, ‘Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.’ Just like Paul, no one has time to waste skirting around the issues and mentioning Jesus Christ as an afterthought. Many people may have only one point of contact with a Christian in their life time. Others may have many points of contact with Christians, but no one knows when it will be their last point of contact with the truth.
Always be ready to throw out a lifeline to the lost. Tell them about Jesus Christ.
Throw Out the Lifeline
Throw out the life line across the dark wave;
There is a brother whom someone should save;
Somebody’s brother! O who then will dare
To throw out the life line, his peril to share?
Throw out the life line! Throw out the life line!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the life line! Throw out the life line!
Someone is sinking today.
Throw out the life line with hand quick and strong:
Why do you tarry, why linger so long?
See! he is sinking; oh, hasten today
And out with the life boat! away, then away!
Throw out the life line to danger fraught men,
Sinking in anguish where you’ve never been;
Winds of temptation and billows of woe
Will soon hurl them out where the dark waters flow.
Soon will the season of rescue be o’er,
Soon will they drift to eternity’s shore;
Haste, then, my brother, no time for delay,
But throw out the life line and save them today.
This is the life line, oh, tempest tossed men;
Baffled by waves of temptation and sin;
Wild winds of passion, your strength cannot brave,
But Jesus is mighty, and Jesus can save.
Jesus is able! To you who are driv’n,
Farther and farther from God and from Heav’n;
Helpless and hopeless, o’erwhelmed by the wave;
We throw out the life line, ’tis “Jesus can save.”
This is the life line, oh, grasp it today!
See, you are recklessly drifting away;
Voices in warning, shout over the wave,
O grasp the strong life line, for Jesus can save