Whenever the true gospel message is given, there are usually two basic objections. If a witness does not know how to deal with these objections, the result will often be that the person being witnessed to will not trust Jesus Christ as Savior.
The word “gospel” means good news and the gospel of Jesus Christ truly is good news. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
The first objection to the true gospel is usually, “I can’t believe that because it is too simple.” The simplicity of the true gospel has been a stumbling block to many down through the centuries. It seems that man in his pride always wants to add something to the finished work of Christ.
Israel stumbled because it is too simple. In Romans we read that Israel did not attain to the righteousness required to enter heaven–the righteousness of God. The question “Why?” is asked and answered in Romans 9:32. “Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, bur as it were by works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” It was too simple. Jesus paid it all and Jesus, therefore, became a stumblingstone to them. They didn’t seek salvation by faith but by the works of the law.
Satan used the fact that the gospel is simple to prevent people from trusting Jesus Christ as their only hope of reaching heaven. Notice how II Corinthians 11:3 says exactly that. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
It is the simplicity of the message of Jesus Christ that Satan used to corrupt the mind of the unbeliever to think that works, a change in behavior, or a change in life-style will bring about salvation. When the Bible says, “Not of Works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9),” it is saying that no works whether good or bad have anything to do with salvation. It is “by grace are ye saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8).”
The second objection is often stated, “I can’t accept that because that would mean I could live as I please and still go to heaven.”
It is true that the moment that a person puts their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior that they are saved forever. Jesus promised that He would not cast out or lose anyone that He saved (John 6:37-39). But it is not true that you could live as you please and get away with it.
A disobedient believer will incur the chastening of God the Father and can lose his joy, power, effectiveness, testimony and rewards but cannot lose his salvation. Salvation was purchased by the sacrifice of Jesus alone and His blood alone can cleanse our sin and provide for us salvation. The Christian life is dependent upon sacrifice of self and, therefore, can affect the blessings of a life lived for Christ.
In other words, we become a child of God by the new birth at the moment we trust Christ as Savior. We will never be anymore saved than at that moment. At the moment a person is saved, he is totally, completely and forever saved. God becomes our Father at that moment for the first time. The unsaved person has God as their Creator but not their Father. As our Father, God deals differently with His children than He does with the lost.
Notice I Corinthians 11:32, “But when we (believers) are judged, we (believers) are chastened of the Lord that we (believers) should not be condemned with the world (unbelievers).” I Corinthians 11:30 tells us of some of the forms of chastening. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (are dead).”
Sometimes the Lord takes the disobedient believer home to heaven early (I Corinthians 11:30), but certainly does not excuse the disobedience. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (Hebrews 12:6).”
If a person remains disobedient to the Lord and God does nothing about it, it would prove the person was never saved. Notice this truth in Hebrews 12:8, “But if ye be without chastisement whereof all (believers) are partakers, then are ye bastards (illegitimate), and not sons (not born again).”
The Bible tells that God’s dealing with the disobedient believer does not lead to life of sin but rather a life of righteous living. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11).”
On the positive side, God tells us that we can earn rewards by living for Him. So much so that Moses recognized God’s rewards as being greater than Egypt’s treasures. Hebrews 11:26 tells us that Moses, “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: For he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”
As you present the gospel to a lost person, expect that you will hear one or both objections that we have discussed. Be prepared with the answer from Scripture. You will find that your effectiveness as a witness for Christ will greatly increase.
We are told in I Peter 3:15 to “…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” To be ready with an answer is a command in Scripture. We should be prepared. Since these two questions always come up, we should be ready.
The issue in witnessing is always grace vs. works. Do human works in some way save us or did Jesus Christ alone provide for our salvation; God says you are not saved by your works, but by grace through faith.