Unbelievers should tremble at the immense holiness of God. The reality of their sin should frighten and sicken them. And the redemptive work of Christ should thrill them to the core.
Together the truth of those biblical doctrines should provoke a desperate question in the sinner’s heart. It’s the same question that plagued those who heard Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost: “They were pierced to the heart, and said . . . ‘Brethren, what shall we do?”
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
The truth of the gospel demands a response from the sinner. Passive indifference isn’t an option. Either unbelievers will reject the facts of the gospel, carrying on with their rebellious lives, or they will desperately cry out for the salvation found only in Christ.
And just as vital as knowing the facts of the gospel, God’s people need to thoroughly understand the response to the gospel that His Word demands. Scripture makes no mention of walking an aisle, praying a prayer, or signing a card. In fact, God’s Word never points back to an isolated event or an emotional decision for assurance of salvation. There is no biblical basis for that kind of decisional regeneration. Also, Jesus isn’t knocking on the door of the sinner’s heart, hoping he will let Him in. He doesn’t need sinful man’s acceptance we actually need His! Instead, the gospel call to the sinner throughout Scripture is a simple, short command repent and believe. If we are to faithfully and accurately proclaim the gospel, our message must be a call for the sinner to repent from sin and believe in Christ.