What’s the difference between a Christian and a non Christian? Mark Dever

What is a distinguishing mark of a believer?

From the sermon given by Mark Dever at  the 2009 Desiring God Conference for Pastors titled The Church and Evangelism.

The difference between a Christian and non-Christian: When a non-Christian is convicted of sin, he sides with his sin. When a Christian is convicted of sin, he sides with God, against himself.”

Mark Dever describes:

  •  Two things  pastors must teach on evangelism:
  1. First there’s a  need for Pastors to understand the congregation’s responsibility on evangelism
  2. Pastors should teach the history of God’s displaying himself through a people
  •  Two things on evangelism pastors must lead our congregations in
  1. Pastors should lead in equipping a congregation in evangelism
  2. Pastors want to lead their church in evangelizing congregationally
He ends by quoting Spurgeon and advising:

You want to be able to invite your non-Christian friends into the network of relationships that is your congregation. Non-believers can become morally visible to themselves as they move among us. They can see conversions in front of them. They can see life change really happening.

We have had so many people come to our churches who think they are Christians and are converted when they sit under the preaching of the Word.

Talk to your congregation about times when you have tried to be faithful in evangelism and the person has blown up in your face.

The Word of God is full of statements of the certainty of the victory of God. As we evangelize, we are inviting people into the triumph of Jesus Christ.

Spurgeon, with his wonderful God-given combination of confidence in God and tender compassion for his sheep, put it like this:

I am occupied in my small way, as Mr. Great-heart was employed in Bunyan’s day. I do not compare myself with that champion, but I am in the same line of business. I am engaged in personally-conducted tours to Heaven; and I have with me, at the present time, dear Old Father Honest: I am glad he is still alive and active. And there is Christiana, and there are her children. It is my business, as best I can, to kill dragons, and cut off giants’ heads, and lead on the timid and trembling. I am often afraid of losing some of the weaklings. I have the heart-ache for them; but, by God’s grace, and your kind and generous help in looking after one another, I hope we shall all travel safely to the river’s edge. Oh, how many have I had to part with there! I have stood on the brink, and I have heard them singing in the midst of the stream, and I have almost seen the shining ones lead them up the hill, and through the gates, into the Celestial City. (from Spurgeon’s Autobiography, II, 131)

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