By Pastor Alex Ruelo
There is only one message Christians should spread to the world. Acts 4:1-4 says, “The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.” When Peter and John were spreading the message about the resurrection, many were surprised but many were saved too. But what really is the gospel? What does the bIble say? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 says, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
The gospel has not changed from the beginning. Isaiah 53:3-6 says, “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The message was written ever since the world began.
The gospel is a plan from eternity. 1 Peter 1:19-20 says, “but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” Before Adam and Eve committed the very first sin, God already thought about man’s salvation. He created everything that was good, but He also knew what man would do to His perfect creation. God already provided for your Savior even before you were even born.
The gospel is God’s doing. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” God planned for Jesus to be the solution; but at the same time, He is also the one who brings people closer to Him. Many people are scared to share the gospel. Maybe because they do not know what it is, or maybe they are scared to talk, or maybe they just feel like they are not worthy. But John 6:65 also says, “He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” If there is someone in your life who needs to know the Lord, pray for them because it is God who will bring them to salvation. Live your life as a living testimony so that you will not be a stumbling block to them.
The gospel is not free. You have heard it many times that salvation is free. It is free for you, but somebody else paid for it. “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you,” says 1 Peter 1:18-19. No material thing paid for your sins. The precious blood of Christ was payment for your salvation and nobody deserves it. He did not need to die in order for Him to become God. He surely did not need to create you just to disobey Him. And He definitely did not need to sacrifice His Only Begotten Son. But He wanted to see your heart choose Him and only Him. That is why He saved you. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
There are two kinds of evangelism strategies - confrontational and non-confrontational. But you have to remember that is gospel is always confrontational. You have to point out the wrong in people. Many churches are scared to see the wrong in their members. People say that when they see miracles, they will believe. That is not true. Jesus performed so many miracles during His time. The people who believed and were amazed were the same people who shouted for Jesus to be crucified on the cross. Sharing the gospel can be done in any way; and it has to be straightforward. But if you are not doing anything, there is the rub.
As believers, it is your duty to share the gospel. If you are scared, all you have to do is rely on the Holy Spirit. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, once said, “Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the result to God.” Sharing the gospel does not depend on the speaker and the way they speak. It is the Holy Spirit who moves and speaks to the people. All you have to do is to take the first step and share the gospel. John 16:5-9 says, “but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me.”
You need to preach the same message. There is no need to go round in circles. Galatians 1:6-9 says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in 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 them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” There is no other gospel and salvation but that Jesus died and on the third day, He rose again. If anybody teaches you otherwise, turn away. Even fools have followers. But there is only one message. And that will never change.