Monday, December 7, 2009

John Gerstner's Evangelism:

Ask me which teachers/writers have had the most profound influence on my understanding  of the Christian Faith, and three men immediately come to mind: John Gerstner, R.C. Sproul, and Michael Horton. Not surprisingly, Gerstner had been a major influence in the formation of Sproul's theology, who in turn became instrumental in the development of Horton's understanding of Christianity and the Reformed Faith.

The following outline was composed of excerpts I copied down several years ago when I read Dr. Gerstner's small books, Theology for Everyman and  A Primer on the Atonement. Jesus' teachings on "The Narrow Door," and "The Wise and Foolish Virgins" were frequently  referred to by him when expounding the Gospel of Salvation. I have printed them out in full, rather than merely citing them as references.

Luke 13:22-30
  And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. 23And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them, 24"Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25"Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.' 26"Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets'; 27and He will say,' I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.' 28"There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out. 29"And they will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. 30"And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last."

Matt 7:13-14
  "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14"For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it."

Matt 25:1-13
  "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2"And five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3"For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5"Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6"But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' 7"Then all those virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps. 8"And the foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9"But the prudent answered, saying, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' 10"And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11"And later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' 12"But he answered and said, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' 13"Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour."

John 10:7-9
  Jesus therefore said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8"All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

(Scriptures are from the NASB)


A. There is only one door, and it is a narrow one.
B. That door is now open, though it will one day close.
C. Our duty is to enter it.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."

a.We deserve to die for our own sins, but Jesus died in our place.
b.Jesus was sinless, but accepted the guilt of our sins and died for us.
c.This is how he became the door by which sinful men and women can approach the Father.

Heb 10:19-20
Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.

Eph 2:17
For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

“Religion” is your seeking after a god in your own image. Christianity is God’s seeking you and taking action to redeem you by the death of His Son.

No one will find God in any way but through Christ.

a. The door is Christ. (Our substitute)
b. Anyone may enter it, but the time for repentance is now. Today anyone may enter and be saved. (John 10:9)
c. Avail yourself of the means that God has provided – The Word of God, prayer, church, preaching. That is, expose yourself to God’s truth and the means of grace He has made available.

“Jesus Christ calls everyone, everywhere to confess his sin and trust in Jesus for his salvation and deliverance.”
“I call everyone, everywhere to come who will acknowledge his sin and bring his guilt and need to Jesus Christ, and I assure him, without any qualification, that in doing that he will most certainly be saved eternally by the blood of Jesus Christ.”__John Gerstner


Daniel said...

Who doesn't like Gerstner? ;) said...

Hi Daniel.
I used to be in the Presbyterian Church USA, and met some there who didn't like him. That didn't stop me from playing videos of his lectures in the adult ed. Sunday School class, though. (One of his comments on the "Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell" series did did evoke audible gasps from some of the class members. The class discussion after that one