Most Christians understand the importance of the Gospel, that is the Good News of Redemption and Forgiveness through the Sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of the world.
Unfortunately in our modern society, even among many believers, the Gospel is equivalent with belief, so many have fallen into the politically correct narrative that belief is a personal and private experience. Therefore not wanting to offend others, the Gospel message is also a personal and private thing.
It’s amazing how many Christians I have seen or interacted with who believe it’s not our place to preach the Bible outside of church and that sharing the Gospel is dependent on whether it would offend someone or not. Or more so, that sharing the Gospel is offensive because it’s considered to be trying to convert someone. While we would love to see people come to Christ, we are not the ones who ‘convert’. We share. What happens afterwards is between that person and the Lord.
They confuse the message with the relationship we believers have with Christ. That many believe it’s personal, they mistakenly believe that the Great Commission was a great suggestion and never meant for them to share. To that I have asked, what would have happened to Christianity had the gospel never been shared due to the ‘personal’ beliefs of the disciples? It never would have spread over the Middle/Near East Europe and North Africa, and it certainly never would have spread world wide into our time if it were meant to be ‘personal’.
Speaking of spreading, do you realize that until around 1000 AD, the Christian Gospel was barely known outside of Western Europe, the Mediterranean and near East? Yet what had Jesus told His disciples to do? “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…” Matthew 28:19 (KJV)
Jesus also told them in Matthew 24:14 “ And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
In the Book of Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.“
Considering the “whole world” back then, that would mean the known world. I doubt that they knew any territories beyond the Roman Empire and Near East. Definitely not North and South America, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands and Far East.
Consider some of the places where Christianity is illegal now, and believers are severely persecuted… yet the Gospel and true Christianity is spreading like wildfire. For those who might believe that some guy named Jesus really existed and that he was a good ‘teacher’ and had good messages akin to the old time philosophers and ideals, would such witness be so strong if the Gospel message was false? If Jesus wasn’t Who He claimed to be, the message would have died with Him. Or at the latest with the last of His disciples.
The other day, Lawngren posted an interesting article called Timeline. In it, he brought up the lack of written language “in the beginning”, and how it was said to have been recorded orally for many centuries. But like back in the days when lifespans were in the hundreds of years, the message… the Truth, had a way of standing the test of time, and as it is with the Gospel.
The fact that the man, Jesus, was no one ‘special’, a carpenter from a small hick ‘burb in Judea and didn’t have that large of a following outside maybe a couple of hundred people, and the fact that He died at the age of 33 after only three years of public ministry, you’d think we wouldn’t know about His life and teachings if he was just some guy who lived and taught some good messages way back then.
Test of time. And of Truth
His ordinary life and way shook the known world then, and it continues to spread around the world today.
Go back and read Matthew 24:14 again. Do you see it?
Even in our parents day, the Gospel wasn’t preached or known in every nation. It wasn’t until the 50’s that a group of young Missionary Aviators went to try and share with the feared “Auca” of South America and ended up being murdered by some of the tribe.
The Waodani for the most part didn’t become Christians until the families of those same Missionaries made an alphabet and produced “God’s Carvings” in the Waodani language. There were still many pockets of indigenous people groups who’d never heard of Jesus who have since learned of Him.
The internet wasn’t around back then either, and while there were pastor’s radio shows, there wasn’t any real nationwide broadcast of the Gospel until the late 60s.
It amazes me that in a nation like ours, and virtually every Western “Christian” nation, there is so much biblical illiteracy, and many of our younger folks have no idea Who Jesus Is. There have been Christian bookstores and online Bible translations in every conceivable language available for years. Churches in every town across the country. Missionaries are still active around the world, and now have the internet and satellite bringing the home church into the mission field. I pads and personal computers have opened the Gospel to the world in ways our parents and grandparents’ never could have imagined. In remote villages in India where people have never heard the Name Jesus, are able to listen to the Gospel message recorded in their own dialect by gathering around a solar powered recorder brought to them by folks from organizations such as The Well International Ministries who go around the world to bring aid and help to those already on the front lines of mission work.
I have tried to share the Gospel with people and also Biblically illiterate believers (not trying to be mean, but studies show many Christians don’t know much of the Bible) by reminding them also that the prophecies of Jesus’ first coming came to pass, and the prophecies that He is coming again will also come to pass. And the time is close.
” Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4
I have had so many believers scoff by telling me that every generation since Jesus has believed they are the last generation, and the end was near. It used to be that I would point to the rebirth of the State of Israel, the budding of the fig tree, which made our generation different than those previous. But when you consider Jesus’ words about the Gospel being shared to every tribe and tongue, that has only been possible in our lifetime since the advent of personal computers and world wide technology and communications… or, in the words of the angel in Daniel’s day when “knowledge shall be increased.“
The Gospel message is the most hope filled, amazing and incredible message for all mankind of all time. But the way that it has been preserved for over 2000 years since the time of Christ is pretty amazing too. The fact that it’s been banned, burned, twisted, taken out of context, scrutinized and even put on trial for centuries, and still is outlawed (yet the message still gets out), and the fact that the New Testament alone is available in over 1520 languages and Bible portions or stories are available in over 1120 other languages shows that there is more to God’s Word than many realize, believe or consider.
For those who might not understand it, or have read it.. or maybe you are skeptical…
You can start here.
I hope everyone has a blessed day!