What Is the Gospel?

November 3, 2003

[Don't Croak Without Jesus]A couple weeks ago, I found a church flyer stuck under my windshield wiper. On the front was an invitation to a church in town, offering $10 gift certificates to the Black Angus steakhouse for any visitors. Hm. Well, that’s not my cup of tea, but I have to give them credit for being creative. It was the back of the flyer that troubled me.

The back read, “The Bible Way to Get to Heaven” and listed a 4-point outline, including a prayer. All you need.

How I have changed! It was not that long ago that I would have read this flyer with approval. Now, I think:

“The Bible way” — What ever happened to “the Jesus way”?

“Get to heaven” — Is that it? Is that the point?

“4-point outline” — They reduced the entire Bible to the back of a flyer. So why should anyone go to their church, when everything you need is on the flyer, including a precanned prayer?

I shared this story with our group, and posed the question: What is the gospel? This led to a lively and spirited discussion. It stretched me. I hope it stretched everyone. In the course of the discussion, we discovered that one of our quieter members is a thinker with deep theological insight. It’s way cool when you see 1 Corinthians 14:26 actually take place.

Notable Jon Reid quote: “Choose Jesus, he sucks less than the alternative?”

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

6 responses to What Is the Gospel?

  1. very interesting….lets open this up a little more to our blog readers…

  2. what is the gospel ?

    I was over at Jon’s blog and I read an interesting question. “What is the Gospel ?” I’d like to hear what you think the gospel is….but please don’t reduce it to a 4 point sermon.

  3. I used to hand out those kinds of tracts myself not too long ago. I actually took pride in getting kicked out Malls for handing out tracts. I’ve changed too e.g. we did an SE project Halloween night. We just pointed out the unconditional love of God and then trusted the Lord take it the rest of the way.

  4. Yeah….theres nothing like good fire insurance huh!

  5. Great reminder for how far we’ve come. Thanks Jon.

  6. Worth reading

    What is the Gospel? Jon Reid talks about a flyer he got (hmm, reminds me again of Steve’s post on spam evangelism). Check out I Used To Be A Thief: I got away with it. And I would still be getting away with it today if the Lord hadn’t caught me and set…