When you hear ‘Gospel,’ what comes to mind? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John? A certain type of music? All this year, I have written short columns about evangelism. To do evangelism is to share the Gospel. So what is the Gospel?
Is it, ‘God loves you?’ Yes, but it’s much more. Is it, ‘believe in Jesus and you’ll go to heaven when you die?’ Yes, but again, there’s more.
The Gospel is the reality that all people are sinners. Sin imposes great pain on human beings. My sin hurts me and it hurts you. Your sin hurts me and it hurts you. Our sins hurt other people and the world (Romans 8:20-23). Worst of all, sin separates us from God. If nothing is done, we’ll live with the pain of sin and separation from God forever. And, there’s nothing we can do.
However, there is something God did. He became one of us. In Jesus, God in the flesh, God conquered sin then died for the sins of the world, yours and mine. When we give our lives to Him, we die with him. And we are raised with him. We share in His resurrection and will ourselves one day be resurrected. The Gospel is we have forgiveness of sin and eternal life when we give ourselves to Jesus and live under His lordship.
When we evangelize, ultimately, we want to lead people to understand that salvation is putting all hope, all trust, and giving all our allegiance to Jesus. We cannot evangelize until we know what the gospel is. Once we know it, we prayerfully seek opportunities to share it with the goal of leading others to new life in Jesus.