A few months back, I helped for perform a memorial service for a dear sweet woman in our church family. Her son-in-law and I shared the honor of celebrating and honoring her life. The son-in-law, Billy, was asked to clearly share the Gospel. Billy decided to share what he called the Sticky Gospel. He called it this, because Mary loved sticky notes. She had many sticky notes on her bathroom door that included the names of people and their prayer requests. There were prayers for healing, prayers for recovery, prayers for people to come to know the Lord and many more requests. Billy shared about her sticky ministry of prayer and then shared the Sticky Gospel – the message of Christ.
As I listened, I thought about the great message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know and love this message well. I thought, though, about many in my church and others churches. I wondered how many Christ followers truly know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How many of God’s people could truly share and articulate the Gospel of Christ with another person? What about you? Do you know the message of the Gospel? Has the Gospel stuck with you so you could share it with others? Has the Gospel stuck in your heart so that your life is changed?
The phrase Gospel is used 77 times in 74 different verses in the New Testament. It is sometimes called the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Gospel of God, the Gospel of Christ, and the Gospel of God’s grace. The word Gospel literally means good news. So what is all of this good news about.
The Gospel is the good news that God is reconciling us to himself, forgiving us of our sin and restoring our broken lives through the life, death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. The Gospel is such good news, because, in spite of our sin, God has decided to show us mercy. He had and has every right to judge us, reject us and curse us, however he has allowed his wrath to be poured out upon Jesus Christ at the cross. Instead, God has chosen to love us, pursue us and bring us back into right relationship with himself. The Gospel is not about how good we are, but it is about how amazing our God is. The Gospel is about God’s glory, mercy and grace.
The apostle Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, first for the Jew then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He believed it was God’s power to save. Some people would mock the Gospel, despise it, reject it and even persecute Christ followers because of it. Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel because he believed every man, woman and child needed to know this message. It was an urgent and imperative message from God.
When I was a new believer, I realized that according to scripture, there were two types of people – those who knew Jesus, and those who needed to know Jesus. It was not a judgmental thought, but I knew it was a part of my mission and purpose to share the love and mercy of Jesus Christ with others. What about you? Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Are you embarrassed to let others know about your faith in Jesus Christ?
If the Gospel really sticks in your life you, then you are never ashamed. The Gospel is a message that really has the power to change hearts and lives. It is a simple message, and yet it is literally the greatest message the world has ever known having changed billions of lives through the last 2,000 years. Has the Gospel stuck with you – in your heart and life? And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at david@ sscommunitychurch.org or 634-2960.