The Whole Gospel to the Whole World

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The Whole Gospel to the Whole World

Gospel of Jesus Christ 

The word “gospel” means “glad tidings” or “good news”.  When Jesus was born in Bethlehem God sent His angel to proclaim to the shepherds, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Lk. 2:10-11)  The gospel is that God has provided a way of redemption for mankind through His Son Jesus Christ.  Through the gospel, the Holy Spirit works for the salvation of all human beings (Rom. 1:15-16).  It is called “the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mk. 1:1. Rom. 15:19) and “gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4).  The gospel has to do entirely with the Lord Jesus Christ.  It was preached by Him (Mt. 4:23; 11:5), by the apostles (Acts 16:10; Rom. 1:15), and by the evangelists (Acts 8:25). 

Salvation begins with belief on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31) 

“But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’"  (Rom. 10:8-13)

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:13-14)

False Gospels lead to Damnation

The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian Church:

“ I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,  which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:6-9) 

Notice Paul wrote the Galatians were “turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel”.   If the message that is preached has nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ and His grace then it is not the true gospel.  “. . . Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (Jn. 1:17)

To distinguish the true gospel from the false gospels, a major clue is that any teaching that changes the focus and nature of God or the Lord Jesus Christ or their doctrines of salvation is anti-Christ and false. Preaching the false gospel misleads people into damnation instead of salvation.  Paul warned that even he himself or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”  Here we have the clear indication that the gospel cannot change.  What the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles preached two thousand years ago must still be preached today.  On Judgment Day “God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” (Rom. 2:16)  The false gospel is a deadly mixture of truth and error that pleases man, panders to his carnal nature rather than pleasing to God. The true gospel (of the Kingdom of God) comes only by God's revelation, producing fruits of faith and eternal life

Other Religions do not believe in the same God as Christians do

We find a lot of false gospels being preached in the world today. More so after the September 11 terrorist attack on America.  Some preach we should be more tolerant and embrace all religions so that there will be peace on earth.  When Jesus was born the angel and a multitude of the heavenly host were praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Lk. 2:13-14)  True peace comes from our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 16:33).  Christians should endeavor to live in peace with people of all religions but they must not compromise their faith and accept other religious beliefs.  There is only one way to God.  The Lord Jesus Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Jn. 14:6)

There is a misconception that the three religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam believe and worship the same God. This thinking is definitely wrong.  It cannot be  true because not every religion will enable one to go to heaven.  The Bible states: “You believe there is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons believe – and tremble.” (Jas. 2:19)  A careful study of Judaism and Islam shows that these two religions do not believe in the same Christian God who manifested Himself in the flesh.  According to the Bible this denial of Christ’s divinity is the sign of the Antichrist (1 Jn. 4:3)

Not  every  Christian  will  be  Saved

Some others preach you can go to any Christian church and still be saved.  This is not true because Jesus said:  "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' “ (Mt. 7:21-23)

Our Lord Jesus Christ warned the disciples there would be many false christs and false prophets before His Second Coming (Mt. 24:23-26).  Many teach that Jesus is just a good prophet and teacher comparable to Mohammed, Buddha or Confucius but not as God manifested in the flesh.  Some pseudo Christian churches also deny the divinity of Jesus Christ.  Jesus said to the Jews: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  Jesus was talking about His oneness relationship with the Father (Jn. 8:23-27; ref Isa. 9:6).  He proclaimed Himself to be the One True God when He said, “I and My Father are one” (Jn. 10:30).  If you do not believe Jesus is the One True God manifested in the flesh you will die in your sins.

Repentance and Remission of Sins

After His death, burial and resurrection our Lord Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission to the disciples.

“And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.  Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,  and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lk. 24:45-47)

Belief in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ

John 3:16 is the most quoted verse in the Holy Bible.  Here is what it says:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

That is fine, but let us continue reading what the Lord said:

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (Jn. 3:17-18)

Here He said that if a person does not believe in the name of Jesus he is condemned already.  Many believe who Jesus is but not in His name.  Belief in the name of Jesus affects salvation (Acts 4:12).  Here is what the apostle John wrote: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 Jn. 5:13)  What are the effects of believing in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation? “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins." (Acts 10:43)  How can we receive remission of sins through the name of Jesus?  On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Peter to proclaim:

"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:38-39)

Baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins is part of the true gospel. 

Washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ

Another truth that is related to water baptism is the application of the Lord’s blood.  After Jesus had died on the cross one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (Jn. 19:34)  This miracle connects the two important events of the Lord’s baptism and His crucifixion.  Water points to His baptism and blood points to His atonement on the cross.  The apostle Paul wrote: Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:3-4)   

Water alone by itself has no cleansing power, but when combined with the Blood of Jesus Christ baptism has the effect of washing away sins (Rev. 1:5).  For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.'  (Lev. 17:11)  “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Heb. 9:22)  The apostle John who had witnessed the miracle on the cross wrote: “This is He who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 Jn. 5:6)  The Holy Spirit bears witness the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is present in the water during the baptism therefore the sins of the baptized persons are remitted.  The whole gospel must surely include the shedding of the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ

Baptism  of  the  Holy  Spirit

 Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to Nicodemus:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'   The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."  (Jn. 3:5-8)

He later explained the true meaning of born of water and the Spirit to His disciples.

For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1:5)

On the Day of Pentecost the disciples did actually experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)

Speaking with tongues is the evidence of baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:6-7)

Washing of Feet

After the supper had ended our Lord Jesus Christ began to wash His disciples feet.  “Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You washing my feet?’  Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.’ Peter said to Him, ‘You shall never wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’” (Jn. 13:6-8)   Having no part with the Lord Jesus Christ can be a very serious situation.  Washing of feet needs to be practiced in every congregation.  Our Lord said to His disciples, "Do you know what I have done to you?  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” (Jn. 13:12-15)

Holy  Communion

As the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles were eating the Passover meal He “took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’  Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Mt. 26:26-28)

Holy Communion is highly essential for Christians to partake of the Lord’s flesh and blood in order to have eternal life and be raised on the last day (Jn. 6:53-56; 1 Cor. 10:16-17).  This sacrament should be held as often as possible.  We should follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ by using only one unleavened bread and grape juice (Mt. 26:29).

The  Seventh  Day  Sabbath

God instituted the Seventh Day Sabbath at Creation (Gen. 2:1-3)  Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mk. 2:27-28).  He set a great example by His regular Sabbath-keeping (Lk 4:16).

There can be no doubt the Early Church that consisted of Hebrew Christians continued to observe the Seventh Day Sabbath according to the Commandments of God after the Lord’s death (Lk. 23:56).  At the Jerusalem conference the apostles confirmed the keeping of the Sabbath (Acts 15:21).  Both the Jews and Gentile Christians kept the Seventh Day Sabbath (Acts 13:42-44)

Keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath is an integral part of the gospel (Heb. 4:1-8

“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.  For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.  Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” (Heb. 4:9-11)  

True Christians are the people of God” therefore they must keep the Seventh Day Sabbath.

 

Keep the Ten Commandments


Although salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but it does not mean that we can commit sin (Rom. 6:15).  "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness" (1 Jn. 3:4).  Our LORD did not come to destroy but to fulfil the Law or the Prophets.  He declared, "Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot and one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (Mt. 5:17-18).  All the Ten Commandments are continued in the New Testament, but the handwriting of ordinances were abolished when Jesus Christ died on the cross (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 9:8-10; 10:1).  Every one of the Ten Commandments must be kept. “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (Jas. 2:8-12)  During the Old Testament time the people were unable to keep God's Laws because they were doing it by their own efforts.  In the New Covenant God puts His Laws in the mind and write them on the hearts of His people (Heb. 8:10; 10:16).  He helps them keep His Laws by putting His Spirit within them and giving them a new heart (Ezek. 36:26-27). Jesus Christ taught that in order to have eternal life we must keep the Ten Commandments. (Mt. 19:16-19)  “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.” (Ecc. 12:13-14)   “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14 - NKJV)


Live a Holy Life and Endure to the End


Holiness is one of the essential attributes of God’s nature.  It indicates purity and absence of all that is sinful.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is called the “Holy One” (Lk. 1:35)  Christians are exhorted to become holy.  “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:15-16)  Heaven is called “the Holy City, New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:1-2)  “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Rev. 21:27)  “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:13) 

Many are deceived into believing that they can continue in sin and still make it to heaven. (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Mt. 7:21-23)  “We must through many tribulations enter the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22).  Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”(Mt. 24:13) “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Rev. 3:5)   

Go into all the World and Preach the Gospel to Every Creature

Just before His ascension into heaven our Lord Jesus Christ gave His disciples the Great Commission that is recorded in the New Testament.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” (Mt. 28:18-20)

“And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mk. 16:15-18)

“Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And you are witnesses of these things. (Lk. 24:44-48)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

Unity in the Truth of the Gospel

 

Before going to the Cross our Lord Jesus Christ prayed for His disciples:

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.  I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (Jn. 17:17-23) 

Our Lord was praying for all Christians throughout the world and in different generations.  He was definitely praying for us in our present age.  One of the reasons the Great Commission has difficulty in fulfillment is the disunity and distrust amongst Christians of different denominations.  When Christians hold discussion forums to try and sort out their differences they are heading in the right direction.  Those that adopt the “holier than thou” attitude, do not fellowship and work with other Christians are impeding the spreading of the gospel.

Our Lord Jesus Christ indicated God would use ministers who did not belong to His group (Mk. 9:38-40).  During the time of the apostles the Christian congregations are called by different names.

      •  In the New Testament there were many groups that are called by different names.  The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is called "the House of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15)
      • The first Church that was established in the New Testament is the one in Jerusalem.  It was simply called "the Church" (Acts 2:47), "the Church which was at Jerusalem" (Acts 8:1) and "Church in Jerusalem" (Acts 11:22).
      • Later on, other local congregations were established in other areas. They were called by various names. "And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." (Acts 11:26)
      • Another group was known as "the Way" throughout Asia Minor (Acts 9:2; 19:9; 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22).
      • They were also called "Nazarenes" in Caesarea (Acts 24:5).
      • They were called "the Church of God" in Corinth, Ephesus and Galatia (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 1:2; 11:22; 15:9; Gal. 1:13; 1 Tim. 3:5)

      • In Rome they were called "Church of Christ" (Rom. 16:16), "Church by Christ Jesus" (Eph. 3:21), and "Churches of the Saints" (1 Cor. 14:33).

The list of different church names goes on and on.  Some Christians did a research in the New Testament and discovered more than fifty different names and designations for the Church. Although all these churches and congregations are called by different names, yet in the Kingdom of God they are in the one and only Body of Christ. The important thing about all these New Testament churches is that they had all believed in the same Lord Jesus Christ, had the same faith, the same water baptism and the same Holy Spirit, therefore they were all accepted by the One True God (Eph. 4:3-6). This same principle can also be applied in our time that also has the same situation.  Any Christian group or congregation that has the same faith, same water baptism and same Holy Spirit is in the one and only Body of Christ - the Church.  A believer in the Kingdom of God must recognize and accept the work of other Christians that do not belong to his group (Mk. 9:38-41)  


Gospel of the Kingdom preached to all Nations

“And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Mt. 24:14)


Every Tribe and Tongue and People and Nation

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3-4)

“And they sang a new song, saying:  ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on earth.” (Rev. 5:9-10)

If it is God’s will and desire to have all people saved because our Lord Jesus Christ came to redeem every person on earth then He will use congregations and ministers in different parts of the world to preach the gospel.  No single religious group can claim exclusive rights to world evangelism.  Exclusivity is not only against the will of God but also an impossible task.  Just look at the facts of the truth. 


1.     Nations of the World

The world that we live consists of many nations.  Within each nation there are various ethnic groups that have immense diversity of cultures, ideologies, and languages.  No single religious group has the sole capability reaching out to every nation in the world.  It needs the combined efforts of many groups to accomplish what God wants us to do.

Visit these web sites for more detailed information on the nations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states

http://www.nationmaster.com/countries

2.     Tribes of Nations

Many nations have indigenous people that are divided into tribes.  Just look at the American Indians you will find many tribes.  Visit these web sites:

http://www.yvwiiusdinvnohii.net/tribes.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_First_Nations_peoples

3.     Major Languages in the World

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_language

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0855611.html

Great Multitude of People who are saved in Heaven

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! . . . . ." All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,

Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,

Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?"  And I said to him, "Sir, you know."  So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.  They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Rev. 7:9-17)

Just go and preach the Whole Gospel to the Whole World

May  God  bless  you

A Sermon based on this Article was preached by Paul Wong
to a Congregation in Houston, Texas on June 1, 2002

This Article was published on this Website on July 30, 2009
For comments please write first to:
arkwriterpw@gmail.com  

 

Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
The ARK Forum on the Internet is international and non-denominational.