The Gospel is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:3-4). The apostle Paul stated in Romans 10:9 “That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” So, this is a statement about what one must believe in order to be saved. First one must believe in the virgin birth, for without it Jesus would have been just another sinful man and not capable of being God’s propitiation for our sins. Secondly one must believe that Jesus lived a sinless life. Not that He did not sin, but rather, He could not sin because He had no sin nature…Christ is impeccable (John 14:30). Thirdly He died an atoning death, meaning His death was the payment for our sin.
I Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…”
II Corinthians 5:21 “For he became sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Fourthly, one must accept this truth by faith and ask the Lord to save them (Romans 10:13; Ephesians 2:8-9).
This is the stewardship of the Gospel that God has committed to the local church (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John20:21; Acts 1:8). This is commonly known as the Great Commission that was given to the church. Therefore, the first and main responsibility of the church is to preach or declare the Gospel. While the commission was given to the church, it is our personal responsibility to be involved. The “go ye” means “go me”. We put the “go” in the Gospel in three ways:
- We are to pray that God will call people to be missionaries. Matthew 9:37-38 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; (38)Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” One of the reasons I believe so few people pray this way is because it is difficult to pray for God to call missionaries if we are not willing to be a missionary if God calls us.
- We are to give so missionaries can go. George Barna research statistics show that 90% of money given to the church to support missions is given by 37% of the congregation. But yet God commanded all believers to be involved in sending the Gospel to the world. It is not our responsibility to win the world to Christ, but it is our responsibility to give the world the Gospel so they can be won to Christ.
- We are to go. Jesus said “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”(Matthew 4:19). Every believer is to be a fisher of men every day. The late Bob Hughes, missionary to the Philippines, said, “We do not need a call, we have a commission. Are we going to give the Gospel or are we going to withhold it?” The apostle Paul simplified the mandate of missions when he said “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent…?” (Romans 10:14-15a).
May God help us to be good stewards of the Gospel.