Paul's Passing Thoughts

What Is The Answer To Life’s Most Important Question

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on March 2, 2018

Recently a friend of TANC Ministries emailed me and asked me the following question.

“Would like to ask you a favor. Could you summarize the gospel/new birth in a paragraph or two? …In other words, suppose someone walks up to you and asks, ‘How do I get saved? Is there any hope for me?’ Suppose this person is a stripper, prostitute. What would be the most appropriate response?”

This is a great question! Here at Paul’s Passing Thoughts and TANC Ministries we talk much about doctrine and justification and the errors of authentic Protestantism. Our focus has been primarily to those who find themselves stuck in the institutional church and those who are seeking honest solutions to the problems they perceive and have witnessed in the institutional church. In other words, our ministry focus has been geared primarily towards believers. We don’t often discuss strategies for giving the true Biblical Gospel to the unsaved.

But that is neither here nor there. So in response to our friends inquiry I sat down and put together a few thoughts about just how we should present the Gospel, not just to strippers and prostitutes, but to anyone who is under law and in desperate need of salvation for eternal condemnation. My reply follows:


This is really hard to do in a paragraph or two. I have a comprehensive essay on the Gospel that I wrote about a year ago. It is rather long and technical, but it might give you a place to start. Here’s the link:
A Comprehensive Essay on the True Gospel

I don’t know that I would necessarily present the Gospel to an unsaved person this way, but there are several points in that article that for a person who desires to be saved are necessary for them to understand.

  1. They have to understand the state of unregenerate man (that he is under law and therefore under condemnation. Incidentally, this is the reason for the guilt they may be experiencing, as well as the conviction of the Holy Spirit, which is provoking them to seek salvation.)
  2. They have to understand who God is.
  3. They have to understand that God will judge all those who are under law.
  4. They have to understand that God made a way for man to get out from under law and escape condemnation (judgment)
  5. They have to understand that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to end the law and end condemnation.
  6. They have to understand that a person who believes in Jesus (that He is God’s Son and died to end the law) is born again (“born from above”, “born of the Spirit”, “Born of the Father”).
  7. They have to understand that one who is born again is righteous as a state of being because he is now the literal offspring of God the Father.
  8. They have to understand that one who is born again is righteous because the law has been ended for him and he is no longer under condemnation. There is no judgment for him
  9. They have to understand (and this is most important) that a person who is God’s child no longer lives a lifestyle like he used to. A person who is God’s child has a love for the law and a desire to live accordingly.

I add that last point in because if we’re dealing with, as you say, a stripper or a prostitute, then implicit in the Gospel is the reality that such a person can no longer continue doing the things they were doing. This is not because it is necessary to maintain salvation but because such behavior would not be congruent with one who is no longer a slave to sin but a slave to righteousness.

This brings up another issue, because now you may be dealing with someone with whom such a profession is their only means of living. The reality of how they are going to provide for themselves if they stop being a prostitute or stripper looms over their heads. This is where I think the truth of the book of James hits home. This is where we as believers need to step in and exercise our faith. I think we need to think ahead as to how we can step in and provide a temporary solution for people such as this so that they can end this lifestyle and provide for their means until they can get back on their feet again; so there can be no excuse for them not to accept God’s gift of eternal life; so they can become a child of God and live a Godly life with no worries. This is, as James says, “pure religion and undefiled before God.”

~ Andy

 

7 Responses

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  1. John said, on March 2, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    What an important piece, and thank you for addressing it. Yes, there is a difference in how one presents the gospel to different people; the gospel stays the same, always; it cannot change. But everyone’s circumstances are different, and the listener’s response to the gospel is indeed the most important decision to the most important question. Yes, a wealthy, settled person may respond and call upon the name of the Lord and carry on with his/her daily tasks, but now as a born again child of God, and this person may even have a huge impact on those around him. I have seen it.

    But what about the strippers and those in the so-called sex industry? Certainly, with justification at the new birth and the new life present (the old man/woman now dead and gone, not simply “covered”), a person cannot continue in that chosen lifestyle. There would be such a clash (if the conversion was real) that the Holy Spirit would force such a person to leave at once, or there would be a false assurance in continuing in the sex industry, for example. The latter happens when the New Birth is superficial and not altogether real, like when it’s a feel-good-for-30-minutes-long feeling.

    Yes, just as battered and abused women need a halfway place to find their feet, so do sex workers who repent of their ways and are born-again. I encourage those who share the gospel and who believe that the person is genuinely saved, to also share a room/temporary place to stay so that the temptation to return to the old ways may be squashed and sanctification can roll on. And I encourage people to help them find employment/significance so that they don’t have to think (Satan’s lie) that the sex industry is the only answer. In fact, it’s no answer at all.

    The media and Hollywood glamorize the sex industry, and people who are not affected by it directly buy into the lie. My suggestion: Suppose it was your daughter or sister in this sordid lifestyle and she gets saved one day. Would you leave her there in the filth? The tentacles of the industry are poisonous and far-reaching. No, you would immediately organize a place for her to stay and gently help her, surrounding her with Godly people and Godly advice. And you would keep her away from “church.” That would be like giving her back to the master of sin.

    The Bible does not play around when it says the love of money is the root of all evil. Add to this lust, drugs, booze, sex, the “spotlight.” Do you see the deadly mix? Can you imagine the withdrawal symptoms although God has set one free? I remember my DTs well; it took me a long time to drop certain habits.

    What TANC has taught me is to love more and more. A saved (past tense) stripper is our sister in Christ. Once upon a time, I too dwelled in darkness. To physically help/set up/support a born-again in Christ is God’s love in action; we are now living out love, real love. Remember, there’s no more condemnation for them who are in Christ. The good Samaritan did not leave a wad of money and walked on; he actually did something, and even came back to check on his “patient.”

    Let’s do likewise.

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on March 2, 2018 at 5:47 PM

      The Good Samaritan…what an excellent example, John! Exactly!!!

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  2. John said, on March 2, 2018 at 3:57 PM

    I forgot to mention: A great reply and article, Andy.

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  3. Barbara said, on March 4, 2018 at 9:46 AM

    When we are truly born again we can be assured that God will give us appropriate words and actions that represent what we believe or our way of life. In the right timing along with people who’s hearts have been prepared by God to receive knowledge from us through the Holy Spirit, it will be right no matter the outcome. Many seek a canned presentation or smoking gun they can readily pull out for incidences we anticipate or in some cases we are burdened. We cannot know for sure about how these opportunities may come to us but of course we are to be prepared to give a reason for our hope. But God encourages us to not worry about such things, not to argue or defend, to be peaceable, gentle, loving and perhaps God my grant them repentance leading them to knowledge. “Live your life in such a way that they may ask.” People are often blinded by their own sin. It is often they compare themselves to others as not that bad when they consider “worse sins” such as prostitution. Such examples generally are unfruitful although they do make the point correctly. Recently I read again “Why Church is Bogus, the Denial of New Birth Centrality” on Paul’s Passing Thoughts. The article includes a fine example of our lives being living epistles of who we are, what we stand for, what we believe and I find it applicable to this very topic. We simply are to rest, knowing the Lord will give us what is necessary for the moment. I was greatly encouraged. If we love God we are continually seeking His wisdom in the Word of God and strengthing ourselves in order to obey Him. It is our true joy and certainly not all but other people already know it. We have a great cloud of witnesses. These are just other thoughts, because I always soooo appreciate and learn from you Andy. May God bless you always! Often it is not our words, but our actions that demonstrate and say what we believe. Sometimes it’s what we don’t say to others that speaks the loudest. Spoken from someone who often had an answer whether someone wanted to hear or not. I am learning that love after all is not a noun or a statement or a feeling (although good feelings come do come as a result of loving actions). True love is giving. It is an action verb.

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  4. Ken B said, on March 5, 2018 at 1:38 AM

    They have to understand (and this is most important) that a person who is God’s child no longer lives a lifestyle like he used to. A person who is God’s child has a love for the law and a desire to live accordingly.

    I think this is so important in an age when doctrinal correctness alone (another sola?!!) is seen as the sole criterion for judging whether someone has embraced an authentic Christianity (by authentic I mean the real thing, not a substitute lookalike). I really liked that sentence!

    This divorcing of behaviour from doctrine has a disastrous effect on the church’s witness. Obedience almost becomes a dirty word. I recently heard an Anglican evangelical I greatly respect making this very point about British evangelicals – the comparative absence of actually putting apostolic teaching into practice in relation to the amount of teaching received.

    You need only read around the egalitarian community, for example, to see a mentality of ‘if we don’t like it, we won’t do it’ with regard to apostolic teaching on marriage and the church.

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on March 5, 2018 at 7:44 AM

      “This divorcing of behaviour from doctrine has a disastrous effect on the church’s witness. Obedience almost becomes a dirty word.”

      This is because authentic protestantism has conflated obedience with justification as opposed to it being an expression of love to God and others. To the protestant mindset, the one who is striving to obey the law is seeking to merit his own righteousness and not living by “faith alone”. This is the reason why love is lacking in the church and why so many people reject its orthodoxy; it has circumvented love by denigrating the very means whereby we show love!

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      • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on March 7, 2018 at 6:20 AM

        Ya, if you love (obey), you are seeking a “righteousness of your own” or you are “trying to be the gospel rather than proclaiming the gospel” or “It’s not what we do, it’s what Jesus did” or “it’s not our doing, but Jesus’ doing and dying”…blah, blah, blah.

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