1) He actually never mentioned faith/believing.
2) He quickly referenced "repent from your sins" during the prayer, with no definition or explanation given for what repentance was.
3) He was compelling people to respond ... but what were they supposedly responding to? The gospel? No, the appeal to be in a relationship with God. But what did that mean? He didn't say!
|Is this the content or the response?|
Greg Gilbert (What is the Gospel?) and Trevin Wax (Counterfeit Gospels) do a great job simply explaining this, though in different ways (both books were mentioned in a previous post). Gilbert uses four words to summarize the gospel: God, Man, Christ, Response. Each word has several concepts connected to it (these are my summaries, not Gilbert's).
God - He is creator there we are accountable to Him
Man - Adam rebelled against his Creator and transgressed God's law. Therefore he was separated from God and all his descendants, which is all of humanity, are separated from God. All people are born enemies of God. We are in a desperate situation, declared guilty before God.
Christ - God initiated a relationship with mankind over and over again: the Abrahamic covenant and the Mosaic covenant are two examples of God initiating a relationship to mankind. But His ultimate initiation was sending His Son, Jesus Christ, the God-man, to live a perfect life and die a perfect death. His sacrifice was for us. He died in our place. God himself paid the penalty that we could never pay in order to restore us in to a relationship with God. Christ's victory over death and sin, that He was who He said He was, was ultimately demonstrated by the resurrection.
Response - Now repentance (turning from sin) and faith (trusting in Christ Himself and His work on the cross as sufficient to pay for our sins) can be explained in a context as a response to the gospel.
Is this more complicated then just saying: repent and believe! Yes, it is. Does it take more time? Yes, it does. Sometimes it might take several meetings for the unbeliever to understand. Sometimes they won't understand the first, or second, or tenth time you explain it. Make sure you do the true work of an evangelist and give the content to the gospel, not just the proper response when witnessing to unbelievers.