Saturday, September 08, 2007

D. James Kennedy Remembered

Dr. D. James Kennedy went to be with the Lord on September 5, 2007.

When we speak of contemporary "giants" of the Church, he certainly has to be included. Since I love Theology, the study of God and His Word, my heart resonated with Kennedy's, because he loved Theology, too.

I didn't always agree with Kennedy. I didn't agree with him that America was once a "Christian Nation", and needed to be restored as a Christian Nation, though by God's grace we have certainly been heavily influenced by our Christianity, and blessed by the Lord. I believe the Bible teaches the view that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual one, with Christ reigning in the hearts of anyone who is His, whether in America or the deepest darkest Communist or Muslim environment.

Ironically, it is Kennedy's evangelistic endeavors that I believe have had more influence on America and around the world than any political preaching or lobbying he has ever done. Only eternity will tell if I'm correct.

But having said that, my greatest debt to D. James Kennedy was his simple Two Question "formula" for quickly getting at another person's understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It was formulated as Evangelism Explosion, and again only eternity will reveal what an enormous influence Kennedy has had in souls led to Jesus Christ. It has simplified and clarified my own thinking since the late 1970's, when I first was "trained" in Evangelism Explosion.

Frankly, I've forgotten most of the details of the Evangelism Explosion book -- my copy was a thick padded Olive-Green-covered manual we so cherished back then.

But I've never forgotten the Two Questions, and I pose them here for anyone who may be reading this and has an interest in Jesus Christ:

1. Have you reached the point in your spiritual life that if you died today, you know you would go to heaven?

Whether the answer is "Yes" or "No", the 2nd Question may help you in understanding the Good News about Jesus Christ:

2. If you stood at the gates of Heaven and God asked you why He should allow you in, how would you answer?

If your answer has anything to do with "earning" Heaven, or, "I did my best," or any other kind of works or merit or religion or baptism or "doing this" or "not doing that" -- in other words if your answer has anything in it of "deserving" Heaven, then you don't understand the Gospel. But we (me and D. James Kennedy) have Good News for you.

Though you, like us, don't deserve salvation from our sins, and don't deserve Heaven, God offers it as a Free Gift to anyone who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That's what "Grace" means. Salvation is by Grace, a free gift, not by works or "earning" or "merit".

Jesus is God, but He came to earth as a man. He is God and Man, and He came to earth to die on a Cross, shedding His blood, to pay for sins, so that He might give eternal Life to all who would change their minds and believe in Him. Change their minds about their sins (recognize and oppose them), and change their minds about Jesus (recognizing Him as Lord God and Savior, Who paid for their sins on the Cross, and was raised again to life).

That's the Good News, that if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved. Jesus Himself said, "Whoever comes to Me I will never cast out." (John 6:37)

"...let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price." (Revelation 22:17)

Come to Him now. Believe in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Call on Him. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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