“Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and
a teacher of the Gentiles.”
(2 Timothy 1:11)
It is amazing the wide variety in the messages coming out of today’s church. It ranges from preaching Hell, fire, and brimstone, to the ever-popular message that promises provisions and prosperity. The message is not left to the whim and wish of the messenger. The motive of the messenger will determine the message of the messenger. Jesus, not only modeled how we should live, He also left us a model for ministry. Scripture makes it clear what Jesus preached and taught:
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”
“Jesus answered and said to them, Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
“Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel.”
The church of Acts 2 is our permanent pattern and timeless template for ministry. The message of the New Testament church was neither vague nor generic: “And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch.” (Acts 14:21) Paul, the premier preacher of the New Testament church preached a sure and certain message: “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” (Rom 15:19)
Spirit-filled scholar and theologian, Finnis Dake defines “Gospel” as being that which pertains to “salvation and all benefits of the good news of Christ”. The word “Gospel” is found 101 times in the New Testament. Not only did Jesus preach the Gospel, He commissioned His church to do the same: “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel”. Without exception, the New Living Translation translates the word “Gospel” as “Good News”. The “Gospel” is Good News, for it contains the provision, plan and promise of salvation for all of mankind. This “Gospel” is Good News, for it teaches us that salvation is not by works of righteousness which we do, but, by faith and trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross. The “Gospel” is Good News, because in Christ, every demand of the Law is fulfilled. The “Gospel” is Good News, because Jesus’ shed blood gives us access to God’s throne, and on the basis of that shed blood, we can come boldly unto the throne of grace and find grace to help in the time of need!
Today’s church must be relevant, aggressive, current, and compassionate. The church must be open to all and closed to none. The “Gospel” is still good and welcomed news to the unsaved. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Mississippi or Minnesota----the anointed preaching of the “Gospel”, in the presence of sinners, with an unconditional love for sinners, produces converts. That is why we do what we do regardless of what it takes, what it costs, or where it takes us. May the Holy Spirit give each of us wisdom to prepare for the harvest that is about to take place!