The Gospel and the response

In our local church we have just completed a series of three evangelistic Sunday services. We invited different people from outside our congregations, who we believed have a ministry of evangelism, to preach. Although our underlying church philosophy is each-one-reach-one, we feel that from time to time we need to supplement this with focused services where the Gospel is preached and an opportunity given to respond. This exercise has highlighted an important question – what is the Gospel and how are we to respond to it? The reason this question has come to the fore is that the various evangelists we invited had very different understandings of the essential elements of the Gospel and how we should respond.

One evangelist presented the idea that all that is needed to be saved is to pray a ‘sinners prayer’ irrespective of whether or not the person understood anything of the message of Jesus’ atoning death on the cross, the need to repent of rebellion, the need for the rebirth of the spirit, testifying to salvation, being baptised, and so on. Another evangelist didn’t preach a Gospel message at all but simply gave an ‘altar call’ at the conclusion of the service.

So what is the Gospel and how are we to respond to it? In the next few posts I will discuss some very different approaches to presenting the Gospel message and I will give you my convictions on the matter. In the meantime, I would love to read your response to the question ‘what is the Gospel and how are we to respond to it?’ Please comment.

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Christopher Peppler



3 thoughts on “The Gospel and the response”

  1. Jose de Carvalho

    The gospel of Christ has to be proclaimed by explaining the fundamentals. The hearer needs to accept and acknowledge the conditions of the covenant:
    • Benefits
    • Obligations
    • Penalty

    More importantly the covert has to acknowledge that he is a sinner and repent.

    Although I fully believe that Christ’s model for us is one of discipleship the conundrum is when you have to share the Gospel with someone that we will probably never see again.

    As in most cases it does not have to be either or. We should not omit to proclaim the gospel, even persuade the hearer on a need to basis just because we will not be responsible for the follow up.

    I am often left with the impression from some sectors of the church that due to the fact that we are committed to the philosophy of each-one-reach-one, evangelism outside a discipleship programme is ineffective.

    It is my conviction that the Holy Spirit is responsible for the conception phase anyway: thus we should assume our responsibility and allow the Holy Spirit to empower the seed and leave the results to the Great Shepherd, our loving Lord Jesus Christ.

    The objective of this elaboration is in hope that you will clarify this matter by bringing balanced teaching in your future posts.

    Yours in Christ


  2. Thanks Jose. But me, bringing balanced teaching? 🙂 We will just have to wait and see how the posts and comments evolve :)But thank you for mentioning the aspect of covenant because I am not planning to cover that in future posts on this particular thread.

  3. Isn’t the account of Rahab of Jericho such a beautiful example in the old testament of how salvation works? She realized her fate, chose to serve the God of Israel and was saved.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.