Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Let’s say that a guy is dating a girl. They’ve been dating for a while. The guy takes the girl to dinner and they spend all night talking about their relationship. She’s thinking that this is the night… the night he’s going to ask her to marry him! At the end of the night, right before dessert is served, he reaches across the table and takes her hands in his. He looks her right in the eye and says, “My greatest hope is that someday, you might become my wife.” End of statement. She’s waiting in anticipation for those magic words: “Will you marry me?” Crickets… Nothing… Nada… Awkward Silence. That’s it! Is that a marriage proposal? Of course not!
This is how James White is justifying that he proclaimed the Gospel. He says that he “hopes” that Muslims would come to Christ in “faith and repentance.” That’s it. He doesn’t explain what repentance is, or what they need to repent from. There was no call to reject Islam and become a Christian. No call to turn away from sin and follow after Jesus, who is God incarnate. Nothing. Just him sharing that his greatest hope is that they would come to faith in Jesus. I’m sorry, but that simply isn’t proclaiming the Gospel CLEARLY, as is claimed repeatedly by James White and his defenders.
Now, you would think that after over 50 debates with Muslims and something like 160+ debates with false teachers of false religions, James White would, at the very least, have a simple Gospel presentation that he could share at the end of the night. Something along the lines of, “I wouldn’t feel right by allowing you to leave tonight without hearing the good news of the Gospel, as this is the only way to receive salvation…” and then lay it all out there.
Like I’ve said in the past, where’s the urgency? We are dealing with life and death here. Mr. White wants us to look at all 160+ debates of his, because he says that he’s proclaimed the Gospel clearly repeatedly. However, here’s the issue: Yasir Qadhi had mentioned that this may have been the only time some of the Muslims in the audience had ever heard a Christian speak before. So why waste this opportunity to CLEARLY proclaim the Gospel in its entirety? What if this is the ONLY time that one of these audience members would ever hear the Gospel? We don’t know.
Now, I know that many of my Calvinistic brothers and sisters are going to say, “Are you not trusting in the sovereignty of God?” While I am a Five Point Calvinist, that doesn’t change my urgency for evangelism. I’m not going to sit back and say, “Well, it’s OK if I let the Gospel slide this time… if God has chosen him, then He’ll bring somebody else along down the road.” I’m going to beg and plead and clearly proclaim the Gospel every opportunity I get! How much do you have to hate someone to know that they are going to go to hell unless they repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ, but yet you kept it to yourself?
Charles Spurgeon put it this way: “If there existed only one man or woman who did not love the Saviour, and if that person lived among the wilds of Siberia, and if it were necessary that all the millions of believers on the face of the earth should journey there, and every one of them plead with him to come to Jesus before he could be converted, it would be well worth all the zeal, labour, and expense. If we had to preach to thousands year after year, and never rescued but one soul, that one soul would be full reward for all our labour, for a soul is of countless price.”
There needs to be an urgency. However, here in America, we are very complacent. Most churches don’t even preach the Gospel. Often times, I don’t even think that it’s intentional… I just think the pastors get complacent and they don’t even think about it!
Don't be complacent. Proclaim the Gospel in season and out of season. Remember, we are dealing with life and death!