by Song Jiayin
What Is the Gospel?
Gospel, which means “the voice of blessing” or “the blessed message or good news,” is the blessing that the only true God who created all things will bestow upon the world. If we want to understand how much this good news really means to us, we need first to know what the bad news is. Since , our ancestors, were corrupted by Satan, we mankind have to face death. This is undoubtedly the bad news for us. Thereafter, in order to save us from corruption and death, God started the work of saving mankind. So every stage of God’s work is the gospel. Especially the work of redemption done by the in the Age of Grace is the gospel we are most familiar with and the gospel that has been spread throughout the earth. Owing to our having accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are saved, and are freed from the bondage and condemnation of the law, and receive the gospel of the kingdom of heaven.
Why Do We Preach the Gospel?
1. God’s Command
Matthew 28:18-20 record: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.” Acts 1:8 records: “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.” Preaching the gospel is what God has entrusted us with, and it is what God requires of His followers. Preaching the gospel is for the sake of bearing testimony to God’s work, for the sake of bringing before God those who have not received the gospel to accept His salvation. Therefore, preaching the gospel is also the work of saving mankind, and is a testimony of our carrying out God’s will.
The Lord entrusted His great mission to Peter, Jacob, and John, and other apostles and disciples. They all shouldered the mission from God and preached the Lord’s gospel everywhere, and finally sacrificed themselves for the gospel. Likewise, this great mission was given to the churches and saints in the past ages. For example, David Livingston went to Africa, Robert Morrison and Hudson Taylor came to China, William Kerry left for India, and Adoniram Judson reached Burma. They had truly shouldered this mission. The command of the Lord Jesus was also the command given to the churches, and the command to us too. We should take on the responsibility of spreading the Lord’s gospel.
2. Man’s Duty
Preaching the gospel is the responsibility and duty of a created being, and it is also a good deed. If we can preach the gospel, and in the process of preaching the gospel we can touch the Lord’s heart, practice and experience His words, understand His words, and achieve obedience to Him and fulfill the Lord’s commission. This is God’s salvation and perfection of us chosen people, and is the most meaningful thing. Romans 10:14 says: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” If there were no one to preach the gospel, people who hadn’t accepted the Lord Jesus’s gospel wouldn’t receive the salvation of the cross because they hadn’t accepted Him as their Savior; they would be condemned by God. This would be our sins too. But if we preach and they don’t accept the gospel, then that is their own sin.
What if We Are Rejected When Preaching the Gospel?
Then we should follow the Lord Jesus to walk the way of the cross, and continue to preach the gospel. Matthew 20:28 says: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” In Luke 14:27 the Lord Jesus said, “And whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” The Lord, in His work of redemption, had endured all kinds of sufferings and sacrificed His own life and everything, and ultimately redeemed us mankind. For the sake of God’s work, we should also suffer ridicules, slanders, and insults, and offer up our minds and bodies. Even if we meet failures and frustrations, we cannot lose our heart, but rather should still rely on God and look up to Him, and continue to preach the gospel and testify to God. We should also practice this word: “… present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God….” (Rom 12:1). Many people might say: “We know to bear the cross to follow the Lord, but we are unable to put it into practice. We don’t enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit, lose our original faith, love, and don’t have the will to suffer. We become passive and weak when faced with difficulties, and even want to give it up.” However, it is undeniable that in each age there are some churches particularly blessed by the Holy Spirit. Why do they have unfailing strength in preaching the gospel? Why is it that they remain full of confidence even if ridiculed and reviled by others? And moreover, they achieve good results in preaching the gospel, and a growing number of people join their church. Why do they have the work of the Holy Spirit but we don’t? Revelation 14:6 says: “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.” What is the explanation for this? It is indeed a question worth us considering and seeking.