In the Fall 2016 Concordia Journal, Prof. Glenn K. Fluegge focuses on the role of evangelism in the article, “The Dual Nature of Evangelism in the Early Church.” He explains that the two goals of evangelism then and now are: spreading the gospel and preserving the gospel.
That second goal of preserving the gospel struck me as something that we don’t often associate with evangelism, but is so vital in our world today.
In today’s world, in our effort to please and placate everyone, the gospel can become so watered down that it can often lose its core concept: Christ crucified for us.
The Gospel is not just love; it is sacrificial love found only in God’s Son, undeserved from our God.
The Gospel is not just hope; it is confident hope in the resurrection of the dead that we will one day experience because of Christ’s resurrection for us.
The Gospel is not just forgiveness; it is the permanent removal of the power of all sin through the blood shed by Christ on the cross.
Anything else that claims to be the gospel is not the gospel truth.
We need to keep that in mind as we spread the gospel message, always keeping Christ at the center of every discussion of our salvation.
We love, we hope, we forgive only because of Christ. And we serve as the witnesses God wants us to be when we show that in word and deed to those who are desperate for meaning and acceptance and purpose in their lives.
Jesus is the heart of the Gospel. Without him, the message is only nice-sounding words.
With that in mind, go out and spread the Word!