What It Means to Share the Gospel and Why We Do It
“I have good news! I wanted to share it with you.”
That’s how we should be thinking about sharing the gospel.
You see, the word gospel means “good news.” Something good to share with everyone. In my fear of rejection, I forget that at its most basic level the gospel is good news. And, when we have good news, we want to share.
But what is the gospel exactly?
Paul lays it out in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8:
15 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.
The gospel tells us who Jesus is and what he did. He is God’s only Son who died for our sins and was raised from the dead. As a Christian, this is the crux of what we believe. We are saved by his death and resurrection.
This is good news because deep down we know that there is no way to save ourselves. I can’t be good enough to make God accept me. I need Jesus as mediator.
So, why are we scared to share this good news?
Well, Jesus said not everyone would receive this news as good. It would divide people, and they would reject it. But, they are rejecting the gospel, not us. It’s hard to remember that because no one likes rejection, even if it’s just the message being rejected.
Even so, I am feeling the need to share the good news more and more. Like the shepherds who told everyone they saw about the Christ child born in a manger, I need to be sharing what I’ve seen too.
I went to church for most of my life before believing in Jesus. I honestly couldn’t have told you what the big deal was about him until someone told me at the point that my heart was ready to believe.
I am sure I’d heard the gospel growing up. I am sure I knew that Jesus was the son of God and died and rose again. But, it wasn’t until my heart was ready to believe that good news that it made any sense to me.
This should be reason enough to keep telling the good news of the gospel. It may not make sense today. It may be rejected today. But, perhaps another day, it will be received. I am so glad that someone told me one more time what they believed about God and His Son.
We live in a time where it can be “wrong” to talk about Jesus. Guess what? It’s not the first time in history that it’s been seen as wrong. Almost all of his disciples were killed for their faith. There are places right now where talking of him leads to death, not just a friend walking away.
So, I encourage you (and me) as we celebrate his birth to remind others of his death and resurrection too. If someone prays before a meal, let it be you. Pray thanking God for His son, Jesus, for His birth, death, and resurrection and who through whom we can be saved.
Be bold in your Christmas conversations. Ask friends and family if they go to church. Ask them what they think of Christmas. Ask them what they think of Jesus. It’s ok to bring him up and say his name.
Praying for us all this Christmas. Let the good news that began in this season light it up once more.
If you’d like some extra illustrations for sharing the gospel, my go-to illustration is the bridge diagram. My husband likes this testimony and two kingdoms gospel presentation by Chuck Woods. Finally, this is a beautiful reminder of why God needed to send Jesus and why we need Jesus in our lives.