What is the Gospel?
Christians will throw this term around often as if everyone knows exactly what they mean. We in what may be considered the ‘fundamentalist’ circles are often so far removed from the average man on the street that we just assume he knows and no attempt is made to try to explain the essence of these truths in a way that he will understand. Consider these thoughts.
We go out on the street and say, “Did you know Jesus died for your sins so you can go to heaven? Now just accept Him into your heart as your personal Lord and savior. Repeat this prayer after me…”
These words in almost the exact same form are repeated by many Christians all over the west. My contention is that they are not only honestly confused but dangerously spreading at worst a false gospel or at best a dangerous and incomplete gospel.
Completely lacking from the message we so often spread is a view of God’s holiness and justice without which the unbeliever cannot understand what is going on here. In his eyes he is a pretty good person and God loves him just the way he is. In his eyes he does not need Jesus because on judgement day when God brings out His eternal scales his (the man’s) good deeds are going to outweigh his bad and thus he will gain an entrance into paradise. So when we come and explain this ‘gospel’ to them they reject it because they think they don’t need it or they accept it as merely another precaution against hell but there is nothing of true conversion in any of it.
What I am arguing here is that we have made a fatal error in straying from stressing the holiness and justice of God in our preaching and witnessing. In our modern age these truths are horribly neglected and because of this our evangelism is failing. What scares me is that many do not even understand why this is necessary. The essential truths of the gospel are not even understood in our own ranks let alone by the heathen all around us. I do not believe we can be said to have shared the gospel with someone until these truths have been laid out and clearly communicated.
1 God is perfectly holy in all His attributes.
2 He is a God of justice.
3 God created us for the chief end of being loved, worshipped and glorified by us.
4 God gave us His holy law which is a reflection of His character.
5 We each have rebelled against Him and broken His law.
6 Because He is a God of justice He will punish this our sins.
7 Thus all mankind stands under the just wrath of a Holy God and without any way of escape in ourselves.
8 Good works are as filthy rags in His sight. We are still guilty of that sin even if we live comparatively good lives.
9 Because of God’s love for His people God the son stepped down, took on the flesh of a man and died on Calvary for us.
10 In His death God the Father poured on Him (Christ) all the wrath He had for our sins.
11 Christ, being crushed by God the Father atoned for the sins of His people fully.
12 Thru faith in His atoning sacrifice that blood is applied to our accounts and we stand righteous and clean thru His righteousness.
This is the gospel as laid out in the scriptures. Modern ‘churchianaity’ when preaching or witnessing gives the sinner points 9 and 12 and expects them to understand the rest. No wonder no one is ever really saved deeply. No wonder we have to fight our so-called converts to get them to attend a bible study or prayer meeting. They never grasped the truth of the gospel and thus merely jumped on the bandwagon for some perceived benefit and are still heathen. They may say the right words. They may dress in a suit and tie and come to church every sunday but inside they are still unregenerate children of hell. My fear is that the day of judgment is going to be a surprise for most of the ‘preachers’ in the west. They have deceived the church of God and He has a holy jealousy over His bride. May this sin not be laid to their charge.
God help us if we do not return to the real gospel.