This article is primarily for those who preach, teach, or speak to an audience on a regular basis, but if you don’t fall into that category please keep reading! This is too important for any of us to pass up.
It is easy to assume things. How many times have we assumed something simple and realized later it caused a complicated mess? As ministers of the Gospel, it can be easy to assume way too much each week as we stand and deliver the message. It is easy to assume that those listening know what it means to be “saved”, “come to Jesus”, or “trust Christ.” The truth is, many in our culture today may have no idea what we are talking about. That’s why it is crucial that we give a clear Gospel message every time. Yes, …every single time. No matter what the text or the topic, by the end of the message we should always make time to tie in the Cross. And not just to say, “if you’re lost we invite you to come accept Jesus today.” That has the best of intentions in it, I know, but people today are much less likely to understand and respond. Here are 3 reasons we MUST share the clear Gospel message every time we have the opportunity.
1. The Gospel (not our preaching) is the power.
In Romans 1:16, Paul says the Gospel is the “power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.” What is the Gospel? Paul answers that for us as well in 1 Corinthians 15—it is described as the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every week, every time we preach—people need to hear the Gospel. It is the power of God unto salvation! They need to hear how Jesus lived the perfect life that none of us could ever live and died the death that we all deserved. But the story doesn’t end there (thank God)! We must tell them how He came back to life and how they can receive this wonderful (free) gift of salvation! While the Gospel doesn’t have to be the topic of every message, every message needs the Gospel in it (or at the end of it).
2. Faith comes by hearing.
Romans 10:17 says “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God.” They must hear the Gospel, then they can have the faith to believe and receive the power of God in their lives to save and set them free forever.
There’s a quote I’ve seen floating around on social media for some time now, you may have seen it, too. It says, “Preach Jesus, and if necessary, use words.” I understand that this is trying to make a point, but unfortunately, it is a bad one. If the Gospel is the power of God, and their faith comes by hearing it, then we must use our words to share the Word! I finally saw an awesome comeback to this horrible quote the other day, “Feed the hungry, and if necessary, use food.” Ridiculous, right? Yep…you get the point.
3. Many have never heard.
It’s true, and I’m not just talking about the many who live in other parts of the world or country. I’m talking about those who live in your community. Sure, they may have heard about Jesus, but many of them have heard the wrong information or made their own assumptions about Him. Sadly, many of them have never heard the truth. When I was pastoring in Berea, KY, I met a young couple, Tim and Storm. They grew up in “the Bible belt” a county over from where I grew up. They had heard about the Jesus of Christmas, but they had never heard the Gospel of grace. I shared with them how going to Heaven had nothing to do with a work that we could achieve, but a gift that we receive—the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! The looks on their faces said it all…they were amazed and shocked. I asked them gently, “Have you ever heard this before?” They simply said, “No, sir…never.” Praise God that both Tim and Storm trusted Christ as their Savior afterward, and I got to serve as their pastor. It still troubles me deeply to think about how they had never heard, though.
Recently on a flight to Texas, I had a great conversation with a Muslim named Emily. She was flying there to meet her fiance whom she had never met and to marry him that day. She had never heard the true Gospel before. She listened carefully as I shared and although she didn’t put her faith in Christ, she said she would look more into it as I handed her a tract. Then she said something that blew my mind, “I grew up in church, and I have never heard this before. IF I had heard it, I don’t think I would have become a Muslim.” WOW! I pray that Emily, who has now heard the Gospel, will trust in Christ alone for salvation. I have hope that she will, but how had she never heard before??
The truth is, there are MANY out there who have never heard a clear Gospel message. They’ve gotta hear it, and we’ve gotta tell them! Ephesians 4:15 says to “speak the truth in love.” There are so many false gospels out there. There are many who are being tossed around by “every wind of doctrine.” We have a responsibility, a calling, and a duty. We must give them the clear, true gospel every single time we speak, preach, or teach. We never know when someone may hear the truth for the first time.
Will you commit to sharing the clear Gospel in your messages every week? You won’t be sorry that you did. You won’t have any regrets. You will have to be intentional about doing it, though. You love Jesus, but you are human. It is easy to get excited about teaching something “fresh” from our studies, and then to just skim over the part we may assume everyone has already heard. We must share it every week, every time, without fail. Don’t worry about sounding like a broken record, because the best part to put on repeat is the power of God…the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!