The Gospel. The Good News. Do you think the Gospel is JUST the “good news”? Maybe the Gospel is phenomenal news that transforms and restores our lives?
One of my biggest pet peeves is when pastors simply say: We just need to preach the Gospel to (them).
My first question to the youth pastor is: What is the gospel?
I see so many manifestations of the Gospel in the Gospels and in the NT and American Evangelicalism. To me, JUST preaching the Gospel seems to be broad. Some see the Gospel as fire proof insurance while other see the Gospel as a social justice movement.
My second question is: Why should we ONLY preach the Gospel to them? How about we help them live it out? Not only do we give them the Gospel, but we help them live it. I think we teach a holistic Gospel (love, forgiveness, grace, sin) and help them work and walk out their salvation as Paul commands us in Philippians 2.
WHAT is the Gospel and HOW do we communicate it?
WHAT is the Gospel?
The message of the Gospel encompasses: The Person of Christ, Sin, and The Cross-Reconciliation Event.
Person of Christ explores Jesus’ claims and character.
Jesus makes self claims: I am the way truth and the life. He makes direct claims: I am the Son of God. He makes indirect claims: It is the lost that I come to save. He makes dramatized claims: I am divinity.
Bottom line: The non-believer needs to see Jesus lifted up. The Gospel is about knowing Jesus and following him. We need to let them know what he is like and what He is claiming to be.
The Gospel not only needs to explain the character of Jesus, but also demonstrate (incarnational witness) the teachings of Jesus. Jesus befriended people and treated them with respect, love, dignity.
They need to know Jesus is real, true, presence, and that He really cares and we need to make sure we talk about the resurrection. The cross has its power because of the resurrection.
Some scholars view sin as self-centeredness, separation, rebellion, one trying to be king in their own life, pridefulness, and the concept of the Lordship is the repentance of sin.
Sin is a willful rejection of God and His commands. We are born into sin and we must acknowledge that we are sinners. Every one sin and everyone inherits the origin sin. Sin is about my desire to put myself into the center. We are fully responsible of our own actions and we just cannot blame Adam. Therefore, we must reconcile ourselves with GOD.
The Cross Reconciliation Event enables the relationship with God to be restored and redeemed. The message of reconciliation is rooted out of 2 Cor. 5:18-21. BE RECONCILED TO GOD.
The Cross Reconciliation event is about the suffering and obedience of Jesus and therefore we do the same. The Cross needs to be more than a formula in order to hit on the true meaning.
The Gospel presentation is all about the person of Jesus and getting to know Him. The goal is to give him more and more of me to HIM. The message should be follow Jesus Christ. No matter who you are, we must follow Jesus. FOLLOW CHRIST. Heaven is the byproduct of our desire to follow Christ.
HOW do we communicate the Gospel?
– We need to recognize we live in a post-Christian culture. Most people do not have a clue about this stuff.
– We have to be sensitive, creative, and gentle when we communicate Christ. 1 Peter 3:15 states: do this with gentleness and respect!! We must do everything with gentleness and respect. We become a Pharisee and we dishonor the ministry of reconciliation of God if we are forceful and not sensitive.
– Evangelism should not be separate from discipleship. Theologically you cannot separate discipleship from the Church because this is where the growth begins. We cannot do an altar call without the follow up. Evangelism that does this is not true the holistic model of ministry.
– Evangelism is directed towards the non-believers.
– We have to remember God gives us the opportunity (Colossians 4:5 & Colossians 3:12) We also need to allow people to disagree as we trust the process and the Holy Spirit.
If you want to make a non-believer mad, here is what you do:
Superiority— Coming off as superior is more about attitude than words. An attitude that says I’m further down the road, therefore I’m better than you will more than likely turn away anyone. It is the receiver who defines this, not the talker.
Certainty— Is an attitude that reflects I’m so certain, therefore you are a fool.
Evaluation— of opponents comes off as being judgmental. It may communicate I used to be just like you.
Control—Is where you control the dialogue or interaction. The person is being boxed in. Defensiveness manifests itself in a variety of ways. Verbal people manifest it verbally. Some people shut down or remove themselves. Removes powers over them and the receiver feels trapped.
Neutrality-an objective source of wisdom. I really don’t care. If you don’t care, why should I care?
Strategy-if they sense any strategy, they will get defensiveness and run away.