By johninnc and Jack Weaver
We recently received an e-mail from a fellow grace believer who wants to spread the gospel to people with whom he comes into contact. Following are excerpts from the e-mail:
When l share the simple plan of salvation and they believe in Jesus to give them the gift of eternal life, what do l do with them to help them grow as christians. lt seems to me that if l send them to a church in my area, they will get this LS teaching…l know that l will have to have a fellowship in my home to encourage and also be encouraged, if you know of a web site that would teach new christians ” what’s my next step” i would love to know about it.
This is a great question. Many of us do not have a home church, and would not be comfortable steering anyone – much less a new believer – to any church that distorts the gospel in ANY way.
Before anyone begins looking for a church, he should be thoroughly grounded in the gospel.
In addition to the home fellowship that you suggested, below are some recommendations to help new believers grow in grace, and some things to avoid.
1. Suggest that they repeatedly read clear explantations of God’s plan of salvation. Such resources will remind them of the Biblical truth that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This will also reinforce the truths of eternal security and assurance for the believer in Christ.
We recommend two such resources at ExPreacherMan.
“The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea
“How to Be Sure You are Going to Heaven” by Dr. Thomas Cucuzza:
2. Have them learn to read God’s Word. Start by suggesting they read through the book of Galatians several times, one chapter per day. The book of Galatians is a defense of the gospel that will help new believers understand the nature of the attacks that they will face from the world of professing Christendom, and the Biblical response to those attacks.
3. Emphasize the importance of not looking to changes in our lives for assurance of salvation, nor to let the lack of sufficient changes in our lives undermine our assurance of salvation.
4. Suggest they read ExPreacherMan articles and comments.
5. Have them listen to online sermons from sources that you have evaluated and are convinced are reliable. We recommend Dr. Cucuzza’s sermons. See link below:
6. Warn them to avoid playing “Russian Roulette” with books, sermons, and websites that claim to be teaching Christianity. There is more bad teaching out there than good.
7. Make yourself available for questions – within reason. Some people will fail to do things they need to do to grow in grace, or will do things to undermine their faith (see number 6) and be pretty shaky. Challenge people to take an active role, and not just have you feed them.
8. Pray that God will provide for them, and for you, a church in which the gospel is taught clearly, consistently, and without contradiction. If you are unable to find a church, don’t despair. ExPreacherMan is available as a place for fellowship, discussion and encouragement for people who have church homes, as well as for those who don’t.
9. Let them know to never let down their guard and to maintain vigilance. Avoid any church where there is evidence of Calvinism or Lordship “salvation.” Many churches and pastors will claim to believe in grace, but their words will betray them. Consider the following from one false teaching mega-church:
From “Core Beliefs:
Those who put their faith alone in Christ for Salvation are children of God and heirs of eternal life.
From the Senior Pastor’s blog:
Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.
10. Tell them to share the good news with others.
Want to know the good news? Here it is: Good News!