The Boldest Claim a Christian Can Make

Posted on November 2, 2018


By David Ettinger

A Question of Boldness
cross bwHow bold are you when it comes to sharing the true message of Christianity with unbelievers? The answer lies in how firmly you believe in the boldest claim a Christian can make.

When most Christians share their faith, it is usually personal. We are comfortable talking about what God has done for us. We often speak of the peace He has given us and of how Christ turned us away from bad behavior and transformed us into honorable men and women. But when it comes to telling unbelievers why they need Christ in their lives, we rarely go further. Yes, Jesus will make better people of unbelievers, and He will give them a greater sense of inner peace, but this is not the boldest message we need to share with unbelievers.

A Soul Matter
The most important truth any human being will ever hear is that dealing with their soul. If you can convince a person that he indeed possesses a soul and that it lasts for eternity, you must next tell him about the only two destinations awaiting their eternal soul when life in this world is over.

One destination is Hell, a place of eternal punishment and separation from God. The other destination is Heaven, a place of eternal peace in the presence of God. Jesus confirms this in His teaching about the sheep and the goats: “Then they [sinners, the “goats”] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous [the “sheep”] to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). The apostle Paul also tells of the frightening reality of hell: “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Jesus gives another sobering reminder of Hell: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

Declaring the reality of hell is bold, though not the boldest claim you can make, but you are getting close; it is the prelude the boldest claim.

A Sin Matter
Once establishing that Hell is real and that it is reserved for “sinners,” you must explain what you mean by the term “sinner.” You can explain that ALL people are “sinners” by action; we all do wrong things and fall short of what God requires of us (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:23). However, the word “sinner” also refers to our “standing” or “status.” We read in 1 John 1:7: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” This does not mean Christians will never sin again, but that we are “reckoned,” or “deemed,” clean from sin; we are not condemned to Hell. In Christ, our standing has been changed from “condemned sinner” to “Heaven-bound child of God”; “our citizenship [our eternal destination] is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).

To sum up: “Sinners” go to Hell, and those cleansed from sin go to Heaven. Now the question is, what determines “sinners” and “those cleansed from sin”?

The Boldest Claim

  • In John 3:36, Jesus proclaims: “Whoever believes in the Son [Jesus] has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
  • In John 14:6, Jesus asserts: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • In Acts 4:12, Peter writes: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
  • In 1 John 5:11-12, the “beloved apostle” declares: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son [Jesus]. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

sunset-cross-2-1478642And there it is, as boldly proclaimed as can be. The boldest claim a Christian can make is this: All men and women have eternal souls which will go to either Heaven or Hell when their mortal lives are over. Only those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord will go to Heaven; those who will not accept Jesus as Lord – no matter how “good” they are by human standards – will go to Hell. It is not a pleasant claim, but it is the absolute truth and the boldest claim a Christian can make.

Unless Christians make this bold claim, we are not giving the full Gospel of Christ. We may lose our friends and family members for this claim, and it is the claim that unbelievers will most resent, but it is one that must be made. This message should of course be communicated as lovingly as possible, but it must never be diluted. Jesus and the apostles didn’t dilute it, and neither should we. We may not even like the message, but we cannot deny its truth. Christ is the only way to eternal salvation! That’s it. There is no way to whitewash it.

May God give you the courage, strength, and fortitude to deliver this crucially bold claim to the precious unbelievers in your life who so desperately need to hear it!