The following is an excerpt from The Spirit-Filled Believers’s Handbook, which was written by the late bible teacher Derek Prince.
Once in East Africa I heard a young African evangelist speaking to a white missionary who was responsible for the direction of a group of churches stretching over a wide area. He made the following statement: “Your churches are only storehouses, storing people for hell”
To some people this might appear a shocking statement, especially coming from a national to a missionary. Yet, knowing the situation as I did, I realized that the young African was speaking the truth.
Most members of those churches had never once had the basic facts the gospel presented to them and had never been faced with the need make a personal response to those facts. They had exchanged paganism for a form of Christianity; they had memorized a catechism; they been through a form of baptism; they had been accepted as church members; many of them had been educated in mission schools – yet of essential facts of the gospel and the experience of salvation they had no knowledge nor understanding whatever.
Churches such as these – whether in Africa or in America or anywhere else in the world – are just what that young African called them: “storehouses storing people for hell.”
The supreme purpose of every true Christian church, the chief duty of Christian minister, the main responsibility of every Christian layman to present to all who may be reached, in the clearest and most forceful way, the basic facts of the gospel of Christ and to urge all who hear to make the definite, personal response to these facts which God requires. To this, the supreme task, every other duty and activity of the must be secondary and subsidiary.
Let me now state once again these basic facts of the gospel and the response which each person is required to make.
- Christ was delivered by God the Father to the punishment of death on account of our sins.
- Christ was buried.
- God raised Him from the dead on the third day.
- Righteousness is received from God through believing these facts.
In order to receive salvation, each individual soul must make a direct, personal response to Christ. This response can be described in any of the following ways: calling upon the name of Christ as Lord; coming to Christ; receiving Christ; drinking of the water of life which Christ alone can give.
To every person who has read this far I would ask this question: Have you believed these facts? Have you made this definite, personal response?
If not, I urge you to do it now. Pray with me… Say these words:
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You died for my sins; that You were buried; that You rose again the third day. I now repent of my sins and come to You for mercy and forgiveness. By faith in Your promise, I receive You personally as my Savior and confess You as my Lord. Come into my heart, give me eternal life and make me a child of God. Amen!