What is the Gospel? Is it:
a. A kind of music that you see in mainly black-majority churches with big choirs clapping to?
b. Something to do with a rap track about the Ghetto by 2Pac?
c. Something to do with Sister Act?
d. Something Christians bang on about you don't understand?
What does the rapper Propaganda think about it?
What does it even mean?! Let's hear from Wikipedia...
"The word gospel derives from the Old English god-spell, meaning "good news" or "glad tidings". It is a word-for-word translation of the Greek word 'euangelion' (eu- "good", -angelion "message"). The Greek word "euangelion" is also the source (via Latinised "evangelium") of the terms "evangelist" and "evangelism" in English. The authors of the four canonical Christian gospels are known as the four evangelists.
Paul the Apostle used the term 'euangelion' gospel when he reminded the people of the church at Corinth "of the gospel I preached to you" (1 Corinthians 15.1). Paul averred that they were being saved by the gospel, and he characterized it in the simplest terms, emphasizing Christ's appearances after the Resurrection."
1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 15.1-4: "Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 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..."
Ever heard some good news? Of course you have. Good news comes in different ways and levels - a passed exam, a driving test passed, finding enough money in your pocket to buy a drink on a hot day, learning that you're off on holiday to Disneyland (OK, that's just in the adverts). Or maybe it's bigger stuff - that girl you've liked has agreed to go out with you, or marry you (hopefully after you've been going out with her...) Or maybe that you're clear of cancer, or that a friend injured in an accident is going to live. All this is good news.
Have you ever watched a movie with a really powerful ending or one that is really moving in a good way? Often this is because there is 'redemption' (people changing, things working out for good etc). At the end of the movie 'The Shawshank Redemption' this happens when 'Red' is released from prison, finds the money and then meets up with Andy again. In 'The Bourne Identity', Bourne sorts out a few things and then the last scene is him tracking down Marie in her shop and them getting back together. In 'The Last Holiday', Georgia finds out she's not going to die, gets married to her boyfriend Sean and sets up her dream restaurant. All these are good news.
The Gospel means good news, as we've learned from Wikipedia. Have you ever seen footage of the Jesus video being shown in some countries where people have never heard of Jesus? When they watch the Jesus video and see Jesus being beaten and then killed, they often cry out in horror or just plain cry that such a good man should be killed so wrongly. But when they see Jesus come back to life, they cheer and celebrate. To them, this is good news.
Here is a clip from Youtube of Heidi Baker, healing and good news
The Gospel - the Biblical breakdown
In the video on youtube, Propaganda explains the Gospel brilliantly, but let's break down what Jesus and Paul said - as the Bible is the best place to go!
Romans 3.22-25 - This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 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..."
John 14.6-7 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Romans 10.13 - That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
1. That Jesus died for our sins.
2. That he was buried.
3. That he rose again on the third day, as the Bible said he would.
4. This can only be received by faith.
5. This faith must be put only in Jesus, who is truth - as only he is the way
6. The ultimate destination of 'the way' is to God the Father.
7. This faith must be believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth.
If you're interested, there's a thing called the 'Nicene Creed' which is basically a confession of faith. You can find it by searching the web or by clicking here...
So Why Is This Good News? Biblical breakdown
Matthew 25.46 - “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
John 3.16-18 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Romans 3.22-24 - This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 5.12 - Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.
Romans 5.6-8 - You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 6.4-6, 8 - We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection... Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
Romans 8.38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 5.11-12 - And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Hebrews 9.27-28 - Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Revelation 20.15 - If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire
Yikes, what does all that mean?!
OK, sorry there's a lot there (and that's not even everything the Bible has to say!!), but here's the summary of the good news:
1. Everyone falls short of God's standards. He's not a hard task master, he's pure, perfect, holy. We're not!
2. Because mankind sinned, disobeying God, it drove a big gap between man and God. This sin means that we mess up, do bad things and then die. When we die, we only have 2 options: heaven or hell.
3. Heaven is a perfect eternity with God that is beyond the best we could ever think of. Hell is described as a lake of fire (of burning sulphur). Hell is where we deserve to go, heaven is the result of believing in Jesus.
4. The good news is that Jesus came into the world to set people free - and do this as a free gift! But this comes through believing in him (if people have never heard of Jesus, God will judge them in other ways). Jesus died on the cross, once, even though we didn't deserve it.
5. If we believe in Jesus, turn from the sin and confess him as boss of our lives - nothing can ever separate us from the love of God which is a perfect love and a love that never leaves, never forgets, never misses what's going on and which always works things for the best for us (even when we can't understand!) See Romans 8.38-39
6. On top of this, Jesus has also promised us to give us the best possible life in this life too - see John 10.10. Ther are loads of true stories of how people believe in Jesus after meeting true Christians and seeing how much peace and joy they have! 1 John 5 says whoever has Jesus has the life here and now!
7. One day, Jesus will return again. He will return to where he went back to heaven from - the Mount of Olives - see Acts 1.6-12. There's lots of debate about what happens after that, but basically Jesus will judge people perfectly according to the Bible and those who have Jesus in their life will also be rewarded for all they've done for God - the rewards will be way better than lame TV show prizes too!! See 1 Corinthians 6.8 and Ephesians 6.8.
So... Time for Action!!
If you don't believe in Jesus, this is your chance. Just pray: Jesus, I'm sorry for what I've done wrong. I know I'm a sinner. Please come into my life, change me, fill me with your Holy Spirit. I choose to turn away from my old life and want to live for you. I confess that you are Lord, you are God and I believe it in my heart. Baptise me in your love and in your Holy Spirit. Amen!
Now. Tell someone you have prayed this prayer - speak it out to someone. Take a stand today. Find a Bible (a real one like the Message, NIV, Amplified etc, not one of this fake ones made up by dodgy places like mormons and jehovah witnesses). And find a great church that believes in the Bible, the Holy Spirit and will allow you to be who God's made you to be :)
Talk created 29/6/11..