THE GOSPEL: LEARN, SHARE AND INVITE
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS-CHRIST ?
The gospel is the message that God gave us through His son, Jesus-Christ: the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life with Him in heaven, if we turn away from our sins and turn to Him, accepting Jesus Christ His Son as our personal Savior and Lord. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). This simple message is for the entire world, not just for a race, a group or a sect.
WHY DO WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL?
What would you think of a surgeon who just started making an incision in a patient without really knowing what he was doing? You would probably wonder how that doctor even came to practice surgery. If he were to make one mistake, his patient could be disabled for life—or even killed. Yet, when it comes to sharing the gospel, many people are as inept as an incompetent surgeon, even though people's eternal destinies hang in the balance.
Question: What is the gospel?
Answer: You might say, "I'll leave that to the preachers and theologians to figure out. All I know is that I'm already saved and going to heaven!"
But wait—we all need to know the gospel for two very important reasons:
We want to make sure that we have heard and responded to the true gospel, lest we have a false hope concerning a salvation that we think we have.
Jesus told us to "Go into the world and preach the gospel" (Mark 16:15). Those words are not merely addressed to pastors, teachers, evangelists, and missionaries; they are addressed to every follower of Jesus Christ!
We cannot be disengaged or disinterested in this subject, for it has eternal ramifications.
HOW CAN WE DISTINGUISH FALSE GOSPEL FROM THE (TRUE GOSPEL) REAL THING?
The apostle Paul showed us the importance of understanding and guarding your beliefs when he told Timothy, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers" (1 Timothy 4:16 NIV).
Paul also strongly urged his fellow believers to stay away from false or counterfeit gospels. "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!" (Galatians 1:6–8 NIV).
False gospels usually fall into one of two categories:
The watered-down gospel
It offers God's forgiveness, telling you that all you must do is believe, without any mention of repentance.
It presents Jesus Christ as though He were some mere additive to make one's life a little better.
It tells you about heaven, but leaves out the message of hell.
The rule-laden or overly complex gospel
It strips the true gospel of its simplicity and power.
It comes laden with rules and regulations that we must keep to find forgiveness.
It is so complex that no one can unravel it.