I am reading a book by Gregory Koukl called Tactics. In the first part of the book one of the thoughts he has is towards “loving or reasoning” people into the kingdom. Here are a few of his thoughts…
When people say you can’t argue anyone into the kingdom, they usually have an alternative approach in mind. They might be thinking that a genuine expression of love, kindness, and acceptance, coupled with a simple presentation of the Gospel, is a more biblical approach.
If you are tempted to think this way, let me say something that may shock you: You cannot love someone into the kingdom. It can’t be done. In fact, the simple Gospel itself is not even adequate to do the job.
How do I know? Because many people who were treated with sacrificial love and kindness by Christians never surrendered to the Savior. Many who have heard a clear explanation of God’s gift in Christ never put their trust in Him…
According to Jesus, then, two things are true. First, there is a particular work of God that is necessary to bring someone into the kingdom. Second, when present, this work cannot fail to accomplish its goal. Without the work of the Spirit, no argument – no matter how persuasive – will be effective. But neither will any act of love nor any simple presentation of the Gospel. Add the Spirit, though, and the equation changes dramatically.
Here’s the key principle: Without God’s work, nothing else works; but with God’s work, many things work. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, love persuades. By the power of God, the Gospel transforms. An with Jesus at work, arguments convince. God is happy to use each of these methods.
Why do you think God is just as pleased to use a good argument as a warm expression of love? Because both love and reason are consistent with God’s own character. The same God who is the essence of love also gave the invitation, “Come now, let us reason together.” Therefore, both approaches honor Him.
Would this change how you approach unbelievers?
Do you agree with his thoughts?