By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #41 ~
The gospel, that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, suffered and died to pay the penalty for man’s sin, and then was raised from the dead, is by far the most important message in the world! When a person repents and believes that Christ died for his sins, then he’s forgiven and becomes a child of God. He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and is given eternal life, a personal relationship with God. He doesn’t go to hell when he dies, but instead goes to heaven (unless he is raptured). Satan is no longer his master, but Jesus is Lord of his life. And during his time on earth he experiences real love, joy and peace, and has a reason for living. He has grace for the present and hope for the future. There’s no doubt about it, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news in the world! Mark 1:15, John 5:24, 1 Peter 3:18
The direction of these posts for the past few weeks and for the next few months is about what needs to take place before Christ’s 2nd coming. One thing that’s crystal clear is that the church’s primary objective is to reach the world with the gospel, and then Christ will return to rapture the church and reign over this earth. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus instructs the disciples that they were to “go and make disciples of all the nations… even to the end of the age.” In Acts 1:6 the disciples asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would be restored to Israel. But first things first, for Jesus tells them, “You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Then in Acts 3:19-21, Peter concludes his gospel message by saying, “Therefore, repent and return so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration.”
Then you see that these instructions about preaching the gospel are repeated in all these end time passages. “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony” (Luke 21:13). “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations” (Mark 13:10). “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end shall come.” (Matthew 24:14). Then look at Revelation 14:6-7. There are no ands, ifs or buts. This gospel will be preached to the whole world until the end of this age, and then Christ will return and take the believers still on earth home to heaven.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only answer to man’s problem, the only way to be saved from sin – it’s what people desperately need to hear. We can so easily worry about our own lives, but we need to be concerned for the lost, and seek first the kingdom of God. And we should be excited to know we can serve the Lord in these days leading up to the coming of Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:5 says, “each one has received his task. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” I tell you, this verse really motivates me. God has given each one of us a key role to play in reaching the world with the gospel. It may primarily be prayer, it may be sharing your testimony, explaining the gospel or passing out a tract, but for all of us it means loving the lost and being a good example to them. I encourage you to do your part, and use your gifts, abilities, time and money for the sake of the gospel.
And don’t forget that Jesus Christ is in charge of world missions – He is heading up this global evangelistic outreach. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, He oversees every church, works with every mission agency and Christian ministry, and directs every believer in fulfilling their gospel related task. Christ will keep working until He gets the job done, until that last person to be saved is saved. And mark my words, Christ’s worldwide campaign to get His message out is close to being completed.
I can’t tell you how encouraged I am when I hear specific stories about God’s people being sent out into His harvest, the gospel being shared, and heard on radios and smart phones, and read in Bibles and tracts. This Christ directed effort to reach the world is succeeding. People are getting saved, disciples are being made, and the church is growing. But what does it mean to reach the world with the gospel? I don’t have a specific answer – there are unreached peoples, the 10-40 window, and all kinds of stats. But we do know we’re not there yet, otherwise Christ would already be back on earth. The fact that we are in the end times means this age will soon come to an end and the church will be raptured, and then believers will be in heaven from “every nation and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.’” Revelation 7:9-10
P.S. A related article that specifically explains the Gospel is found in this previous post: The Most Important Thing for You!