“….Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
This is our business. This is our goal. This is our commission given by the Lord Jesus Himself. This is why we need to be a Gospel driven church. This means that all our ministries and all our plans for any future ministry need to be aligned with this foundational commission.
But this is where so many believers get confused. There is such a labyrinth of definitions of the true gospel that the gospel which is central to our faith and mission, gets lost. This is why we see the ‘gospel’ so often tagged on many humanitarian aid works that the church is being increasingly involved in. Not that this is wrong…. Actually it is being Christian to show compassion and helping the needy. But can I suggest that being compassionate, helpful, and even showing deeds of mercy are not in themselves the true gospel.
The ‘gospel’ must be the good news of Jesus Christ communicated in words. All the other works may help toward this ultimate goal, but works of mercy must never be seen as ‘gospel complete.’ We must be verbal communicators of the true gospel. I like how Mark Dever in his book ‘The Gospel & Personal Evangelism’ puts this:
Clarity with the claims of Christ certainly will include the translation of the gospel into words that our hearer understands, but it doesn’t necessarily mean translating it into words that our hearer will like. Too often, advocates of relevant evangelism verge over into being advocates of irrelevant nonevangelism. A gospel that in no way offends the sinner has not been understood.