“Why did Jesus need to die for me, I’m a good person?” “Why couldn’t God just forgive me, why was the cross necessary?” These are two common objections to the Christian message and a few weeks ago, Solas’s Andy Bannister tackled both of them head on at an exciting evangelistic event organised by our friends at Culduthel Christian Centre in Inverness.
We often find that the best evangelistic events happen in neutral venues, outside the four walls of the church, and so it was in Inverness. Culduthel Christian Centre hired The Kingsmills Hotel, a place where Christians would feel comfortable inviting their non-Christian friends from around the town. The dining room at the hotel was packed and after a fantastic meal, Andy gave a short presentation: “Why did Jesus Die For Me?”
At the end of his talk, after tackling those two objections to Easter, Andy zeroed in on the truth that forgiveness is always costly, and that there is no such thing as “just forgiving somebody”. For instance, if you forgive someone who has wronged you economically, you bear the financial cost; if you forgive someone who has wronged you relationally there is a personal or reputational cost. Thus we should not be surprised that this is even more true of God, whose standards are perfect, the one who is goodness; thus at Easter, we see God in Jesus Christ paying the price for our forgiveness on the cross.
Quoting best selling author Tim Keller, Andy explained that “The bad news of Easter is that we are so bad that Christ had to die for us. The Good News of Easter is that we are so loved that he was glad to die for us.”
The audience were incredibly engaged throughout the talk and in the Q&A afterwards asked a number of really thoughtful and genuine questions. The final question concerned the nature of suffering and evil—a question that allowed Andy to bring the evening to close by explaining that the cross of Christ, as well as providing forgiveness for our sins, is also God’s method for reconciling the world to Himself and so ultimately dealing with the problem of sin and suffering.
The main organiser of the event, Angus Jamieson, said: “We had 60 guests of whom about two-thirds had no Christian faith, and Andy’s talk was excellent and well-judged for this audience. His easy manner and sense of humour made it more like a friendly chat than a sermon. We then had a Q&A session which was fun but yet informative too. We were really grateful for the way Andy was willing to address questions on the spot! The feedback from the guests was very positive and I know has sparked subsequent conversations.”
One of the keys to sharing the gospel of Christ in today’s secular age is to do as the early church did and take the message of Jesus outside the walls of the church. Whenever we do events in coffee houses, pubs, restaurants, hotels, sports clubs, or other ‘neutral venues’, we find a tremendous response—people who don’t yet believe in Jesus are open to coming to listen and engage. There is also something powerful about combining a gospel presentation with hospitality: a meal, a drink, a coffee, a dessert. All this makes for a warm, friendly evening and makes it much easier for Christians to invite their friends—and much easier for their friends to say ‘yes’.
Why not consider inviting Solas to come and work with your church to help you put on an evangelistic event in your city, town, or village. We’d love to help you.
To invite a Solas speaker to your event click here.