The One Minute Gospel Proclamation
Those who follow my teaching ministry will know that I am not a fan of Gospel Tracts, such as the Romans Road to Salvation or the Sinner’s Bridge of Salvation. First, these tracts misrepresent the gospel and the sinner’s duty towards God; Second, these tracts are designed to serve as proselyting tools, rather than evangelistic helps; Third, these tracts are used as crutches by those who do not have the knowledge or confidence to speak the truth in their own words.
I have been asked on occasion (in various ways), “If you do not believe Gospel Tracts should be used for evangelism, then how would you present the simplicity of the gospel, during a five minute visit at the hospital, to an unregenerate sinner on his/her deathbed?”
First, I would point out to the one asking the question that the salvation of the one on his/her deathbed does not depend on me sharing the gospel to him/her. If that person is numbered among God’s elect people, then he/she is already set apart as a special object of the Father’s love. Likewise, that person has already been freely justified by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. All that remains is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, which is accomplished by His sovereign grace, without the aid of a preacher or the cooperation of the sinner. Henceforth, if the person on his/her deathbed be a chosen and redeemed vessel of the Lord, then he/she will be regenerated before his/her last breath.
Second, all believers should be ready to give an answer with meekness and fear, to every person who asks them of the hope that is in them. If I only have one or two minutes to present the sum total of God’s message to sinners, then it would look something like this:
“If you are an unregenerate sinner, then you are in relationship to God on the basis of the Covenant of Works. You are responsible to worship the one true God, perfectly obey the law inscribed upon your heart and repent of your sins. However, there is no saving virtue in these duties—so long as you remain under the authority of this covenant, it is a curse to every sinner, subjecting you to the condemnation of God.
If, however, you are a regenerate sinner, then you are in relationship with God on the basis of the Covenant of Grace. You have been set apart by the electing love of God the Father, the redeeming grace of God the Son and the sanctifying power of God the Spirit. All saving virtue is through the Lord Jesus Christ, securing for you all gospel blessings under the terms and promises of this gracious covenant. If you have tasted the Lord is gracious, then as a newborn babe, desiring the sincere milk of the Word, freely drink and you will find rest unto your soul!”
Jared Smith served twenty years as pastor of a Strict and Particular Baptist church in Kensington (London, England). He now serves as an Evangelist in the Philippines, preaching the gospel, organizing churches and training gospel preachers.