What is the Gospel? How we answer that question says a lot.
For many people the Gospel is that Jesus came to die for my sins so that when I die I can go to be with God in heaven forever.
There is a lot of truth in that summation but we have to examine things a bit further.
What is your view of sin, for instance. Is sin a big deal to you? Is sin only important because it keeps us from heaven (later on) or is sin important now? If you have a low view of sin, it seems to me, you would also have a low view of salvation. If sin isn’t much of a big deal then salvation doesn’t seem to be much of a big deal.
Jesus thought sin was a big deal. The first words out of his mouth in Mark tells us to repent (of our sins) because the kingdom of God is near. Mark says this was Jesus’ “good news” (Gospel) message.
The Gospel has something to do with forgiveness of sins. That means sin has to be a big deal to God and then to us.
Next is dying and going to heaven. What is your view on heaven and hell? Just as many Christians are seeing sin as less and less a big deal, many Christians are also believing less and less in the reality of hell. Our view of the judgment of God and of the reality of hell affects our gospel.
What is our view of heaven? Is heaven a disembodied existence in the clouds or is it something more? How we view heaven affects our gospel. If you think your whole life is about being somewhere else doing something else then it isn’t easy to see how the gospel affects our lives now (and it does).
All of this affects our view of making disciples and evangelism. Even deeper than that, these things can also reflect how we see the Scriptures. Are they just good advice to be consulted on an as needed basis or are they something more? Do the scriptures have authority in any way, shape or form or they just another book among many to be read and applied in a convenient manner?
These are important questions and they are all interrelated. How we view God, the Bible, and how we define the Gospel all have an impact on how we live and whether or not we reach the lost. If we compromise our view of scripture we compromise the gospel. If we compromise the gospel we compromise our mission
More and more we need good biblical teaching in our churches. We need sound foundations put in place based on a high regard for the Word of God and a reliance on the work of the Spirit.