What Is the Meaning of “Gospel”?
“Gospel” is an old English word, which represents “Good news.” So if we translate it literally, its meaning is good news.
Where Does Gospel Come From?
Gospel comes from God, that’s for sure. After the ancestors of our human, , were tempted into sin by the snake (that is, Satan), God began the management work of saving mankind. God bestows different gospel upon man in different ages based on the needs of mankind. In the time of Noah, God revealed to Noah, asking him to spread the gospel of destroying the world with a flood. Early in the Age of Law, God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, which was a great gospel for the Israelites who were slaves in Egypt. In the Age of Law, God raised up many prophets and directly revealed to them to convey His words, which was the gospel for those who heard it. In the Age of Grace, God incarnate came to earth personally to do the redemption work, bringing the gospel of the kingdom of heaven to us mankind….
Preaching of the Gospel
In the time of Noah, men were deeply corrupted, so they lost the blessings, care and protection of God, falling into darkness. As they became increasingly depraved and evil to the extent that God didn’t bear to look, God planned to destroy the world with a flood and then told Noah to build an ark. In that time, Noah was a righteous man. He listened to , built the ark and spread the gospel for 120 years. Nevertheless, people didn’t believe his word. Eventually, only Noah’s eight family members entered the ark and survived.
As time went by, there were more and more people on earth. Satan corrupted man constantly. We mankind strayed far from God once more, degenerated. It is recorded in : People of Sodom and Gomorrah worshiped idols, engaged in sorcery, were licentious and corrupt and left no evil undone. The two cities became the cities of sin in God’s eyes, with the result that God decided to destroy them. But before the destruction, just as God always did, He gave them chances and sent messengers to arrive there. Yet people of the cities wanted to bring harm down upon the messengers. Finally, only Lot and his family accepted God’s gospel and fled from that city of sin; nevertheless the rest of people were fully exterminated by the brimstone and fire from the heaven. The Nineveh was also a city of sin in God’s eyes. But when God sent Jonah to spread the gospel to the Ninevites, they wore sackcloth and ashes, confessed and repented to God after hearing His word. Just as the Bible records, “yes, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands” (Jonah 3:8). As God saw their genuine repentance from within, He didn’t bring calamity on them. From these historical facts, we can see: When our human sins reached God’s eyes and we faced being destroyed, as long as we accept God’s gospel and act according to His word, we can survive in the disaster. Otherwise, we will be destroyed. Furthermore, there are still many such historical events recorded in the Bible. When God’s word was conveyed to people in that time by the prophets, if people accepted and followed His word, they would be preserved by Him; if they didn’t accept His word, even rebelled and resisted, they would suffer God’s punishment and curse. From this we can see that God’s righteous disposition encompasses mercy, lovingkindness, and even more so, majesty and wrath, and that God’s disposition exists everywhere and at all times.
At the end of the Age of Law, people were all entangled by sin, failed to keep the law and committed more and more sin, so that they faced the danger of being condemned and executed by the law. In line with the need of mankind, God ended the work of the Age of Law and started that of the Age of Grace. However, people at that time merely saw “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:35). Moreover, it is written in Mark 1, “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1: 14-15). Here we can see that the brought the gospel of repentance for the people under the law. For two thousand years, only if we mankind accept the gospel of the Lord Jesus and pray in the name of the Lord Jesus can we gain His salvation and be forgiven of sins by Him. Our sins are not the barrier for us to come to God any more, and Satan has no way in accusing us, for God personally became the sin offering for us mankind and redeemed us from the domain of Satan. Those who have accepted the gospel of the Lord Jesus, gain the work of the Holy Spirit, living in peace and joy and enjoying an abundance of grace of God. But the Pharisees were just the opposite. They rejected the gospel, and even resisted the gospel of the kingdom of heaven preached by the Lord Jesus. In the end, they not only were condemned by God to suffer “seven woes”, but also punished justly by God.
Gospel Continues Being Spread
God does His work to regain man from the domain of Satan step by step, hence we mankind come closer to Him….
In modern times, we mankind live in a state of being estranged from God once again. Although we believe in the Lord Jesus and pray in the name of the Lord Jesus, our hearts become more and more distant from God and we all live in the situation of committing sins in the day and confessing them at night, incapable of breaking free from the bondage of sins thoroughly. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death” (Roman 6:23). “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Therefore, what we mankind need is not the gospel of repentance any more, but the everlasting gospel promised by God.
There’s a prophecy in Revelation, “And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14: 6-7). From this prophecy we know that in the last days, God will preach the final gospel to the people on earth. And this gospel tells that God will execute judgment to purify man completely in order to make man break free from the bondage of sins. We have been corrupted by Satan for thousands of years. What we need is much more than God’s mercy and love, and we are more in need of God’s righteous and majestic judgment and chastisement. It is only this ways that can snatch back us the profoundly corrupt mankind from Satan’s domain. And at that time, we will know our satanic nature, such as arrogance and haughtiness, selfishness and despicableness, treachery and perversion, as well as know our own real identity and status. Also, we will no longer pursue being supermen or great people to let others look up to and admire us, and no longer live by satanic dispositions, but will honestly ’s predestination and sovereignty, be grounded and forthright in conducting ourselves and doing things, and pursue being an honest man to live out the manner of a true person, to satisfy God. Just as the prophecy in Revelation goes, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). So the final gospel is the everlasting gospel, which directly involves whether we can and enter the kingdom of heaven.