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Christian Apologetics toward Islam and Missions to Muslims

The Key of Knowledge

Today I want to talk about a subject that is dear to my heart. It is the subject of Biblical Evangelism. When I share the Gospel with a lost person, my goal is not necessarily that they get saved at that moment. My goal is to accurately communicate the Gospel message, and I leave the results with God. It is not my job to get someone saved, it is my job to give them what they need to know to get saved. This next verse tells us something very important about evangelism.

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6)

It is up to God to work in the hearts of people to bring the convicting power of the Gospel to fruition. We plant and water, but only the Holy Spirit can do a work in their hearts.

This reminds me of two men standing with two signs as cars would drive by. One man’s sign said, “The end is near.” The Other man’s sign said, “Turn or burn.” Some times we are not really making the message clear to those who hear us. These men were trying to warn the passing cars that the bridge was out. Instead of what was on their signs, maybe they should have just written, “Bridge Out!”

It is a tragedy if we try and share the Gospel with someone, and then make the mistake of not communicating it accurately. So often we assume the person is trusting Christ when they have not fully understood the message.

I have talked with a number of adults who have made a “profession of faith” as a child, and told me they were not sure they were saved. Some of them have even been leaders in their church. There are all kinds of reasons, maybe they were going through a hard time and thought their problems would go away, maybe they were in vacation Bible school and thought they were going to get candy, or some other reason, but the message was not understood, and their “profession” had no depth.

Once a person find himself in this situation, it is hard to correct the problem. Everyone has been treating them like they are a Christian, and they are ashamed to admit that they have never been truly born again.

There is a passage in the Bible that can be puzzling.

Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

I believe this means that they were handling the law, but they had taken away the key of knowledge. They hadn’t enter in means they were not true believers themselves. Not only are they not going to get to Heaven, they are hindering those who are seeking the truth from going there as well.

What is the key of knowledge?

I think this is explained when we look at the word conscience. This word means with (con) knowledge (science).

In the Garden of Eden there was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The Devil told Eve that she would not surly die, and that God was trying to keep something good from them. When they ate of the fruit, their conscience was born. This is when they obtained the knowledge of good and evil. When people sin, that is transgress God’s law, they do it with knowledge. They do in knowing that it was wrong.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)

We can’t know sin without the law.

What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Romans 7:7)

The Bible teaches that God has placed his law in the hearts of men and all of us know the difference between right and wrong. When we break His law, we know it.

This following verse has helped me very much when I try to bring people to Christ.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:   Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. (Romans 2: 14-15)

The Gentiles did not have the law, the Ten Commandments, but they did by nature that which is found in the law. Every tribe and nation has laws that are common, laws against murder, stealing, etc. This is natural for all men because God’s law is in their hearts, or conscience. If you ask an atheist why murder is wrong, he will say that it just is. If you press for an explanation, he will not find one, but we know that it is because God has placed His law in even the atheist’s heart.

The Bible teaches that God has placed his law in the hearts of men, and all of us know the difference between right and wrong. When we break His law, we know it.

You will notice that this passage give two things that the conscience does. It either accuses or excuses. When someone does something wrong, accusations are made. When something is not considered wrong, it excuses, or declares innocent. It allows us to discern between what is right and wrong according to God’s law.

How Does This Relate To Evangelism?

We have to communicate to the person that he is in real trouble with God because he has knowingly broken God’s law.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
They need  to learn what they have earned because of their sin.
For the wages of sin [is] death;… (Romans 6:23a)

The death it is talking about here, is eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. This knowledge should cause pain in their heart. We need to push this button a bit. There needs to be real conviction of sin before someone is ready to know the solution to the problem.

Before getting to the actual Gospel we need to ask questions that are designed to get people to understand their sin before God. The need to know that stealing a small item is not just a sin against the person they stole from, it is a sin against God because it breaks His law.

People often don’t thing they are bad sinners because they have not murdered anyone or committed adultery. They need to understand that if a person is angry without cause, it is the same as murder.

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22)

The need to understand that lusting after a woman is the same as adultery in the eyes of God.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

The fact is, we have broken God’s laws and we can illustrate this over and over again. Our purpose for doing this is not to make the person mad, it is to help them understand the trouble they are in with God. They have broken God’s law, and there are consequences to having don so. There is something in the heart of each person that tells him he did something wrong.

One day everyone who is not saved will stand before God as a lawbreaker before a righteous judge. He will measure us by His law, the Bible, and they will find themselves in deep trouble. Our goal is to get the person to understand this. When they do they will begin to fear God.  This is the reason we use the law of God to bring people to Christ. Only when they understand the trouble they are in are they ready for the rescue plan, the Gospel. Before that it is just so much foolishness to them.

The rescue plan they need to hear is this: God sent His Son to die on the cross to pay the debt of blood owed for your sins, and mine. It is only His blood that can buy us back from sin because God required that blood be shed for sin. A perfect sacrifice had to die in our place to pay that debt. No one could be the debt but the sinless Son of God.

Jesus has paid our debt, but we must come to Him on His terms, not ours. His terms are complete trust, or faith, in Him and the work He did on the cross. We must not put our trust in anything we do, even a prayer. It is all His work.

Aren’t you glad God came to your address? I sure am glad He came to mine! It is my desire that the good news of the Gospel get around the world to every man, woman, and child. Let’s make sure that we use the key of knowledge to properly present the message of the Gospel to the lost around the world. It is their only hope, let’s get it right.

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Updated: May 19, 2017 — 11:00 AM
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