If we want to know what the true gospel is and what we should preach: we can do no better than to follow the example of our Lord!
The primary teaching of both John Baptist and Jesus Christ [the true Gospel] was to repent of living according to our own natural inclinations, and to change direction to live by every Word of God.
Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
After John had taught this and many people were baptized many leaders decided it would be a good idea to be baptized also, but they thought to do this in order to impress the people and had not really changed their evil behavior. Therefore John said that they must first prove the sincerity of their repentance by a change in their behavior.
Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance [demonstrate a change in behavior towards godliness]:
Six months after John Baptist began preaching Jesus also began preaching the same thing. Repent, and change direction from living according to your own ideas and start living by every Word of God (Mat 4:4)
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
On the Feast of Pentecost in 31 A.D. Peter told the gathered throngs:
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted [change our attitude and behavior], that your sins may be blotted out [regret and stop sinning so that we might be forgiven], when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
This is the same thing that God inspired Ezekiel to write for his day and for us in our day as well
Ezekiel 14:6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols [everyone including today’s Ekklesia needs to turn from following idols of men to embrace and live by every Word of God]; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Every prophet and man of God proclaimed the True Gospel, which is summed up in Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Why? To call them to repentance!
Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
God inspired Joel to write that just before the day of the Lord we should repent and turn to the godliness of living by every Word of God
Joel 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil [God would rather forgive the sincerely repentant than bring correction on us for our unrepented sins].
The True Gospel is to rebuke all sin and call people to sincere repentance! The True Gospel offends most, even in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
The True Gospel CANNOT be presented in an inoffensive business model outreach effort; to water down the True Gospel of Warning, Witness and the Way Into the Kingdom of God and eternal life: offends Almighty God! Today’s lukewarm assemblies will be cast out into the correction of great tribulation for our sin of lukewarm attitude towards any zeal to teach and to live by every Word of God (Rev 3:16-22)!
When Jesus began his ministry he quoted Isaiah
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Right at the very beginning of his ministry here on earth, Jesus stated that he had been sent by God the Father to (among other things) do these six things:
1. Preach the gospel of salvation to the spiritually poor
2. Heal the brokenhearted who were mourning over their sins
3. Preach deliverance to the captives held in bondage to Satan and sin
4. Preach the opening of the eyes of the spiritually blind so that they could learn and understand “SEE” spiritual things
5. Set at liberty those that are bruised and suffering in bondage to Satan and sin
6. Preach the acceptable year [the coming of deliverance] of the Lord, salvation through the willing sacrifice of the Lamb of God for repented sin
Preach the Gospel to the Poor in Spirit
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Healing the Brokenhearted
Psalm 43:2 . . .Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?… 43:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
In this world our condition is one of many sorrows and hopeless bondage to Satan and sin,we cannot extricate or save ourselves. This world is full of many sorrows and the true gospel of Salvation explains how God will heal the broken hearted, removing sin and the sorrow which sin brings, from this world.
The true Gospel of Salvation heals the broken hearted; when they learn that there is a means of deliverance through the application of the sacrifice of Christ in atonement for all sincerely repented past sin.
The true Gospel gives mankind hope that hearts broken by suffering and bondage to sin will be healed by God’s mercy and power through sincere repentance and the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God to cover our sins, releasing us from our bondage to Satan and sin which has as its end suffering and eternal death.
The true gospel is that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God atones for our sincerely repented sins and liberates us from bondage to Satan, sin and death; if only we will go forward a new person sinning no more.
The true Gospel gives HOPE to the hopeless
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart [sincerely remorseful and repentant over sin]; and saveth such as be of a contrite [humble with a broken or crushed pride] spirit.
All have sinned and we are all in need of redemption from the wages of sin.
The healing of physical diseases is a example that God promises to heal our spirit by redeeming us from the wages of sin, if we will only sincerely STOP sinning and go forward as a new person to sin no more.
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
The true Gospel [Good News]; is that hearts broken by the many sorrows in this world will be made whole by sincere repentance and the application of the atoning redeeming sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
Jesus Christ gave up his Godhood to be made flesh and to give his life to atone for all sincerely repented past sin, thereby healing the brokenhearted, who sorrow in sincere repentance.
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
To Preach Deliverance to the Captives
Since the days of Adam and Eve, when they took of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, all mankind has been taken captive, we all have sinned.
If we yield to sin we become subject to corruption and death. But if we yield to God and His righteousness, we are delivered from bondage to Satan sin and death.
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Jesus came to show us the way out of captivity to Satan, sin and death; and if we believe the Gospel of Repentance and Salvation and we commit to STOP sinning, God sets us free from our bondage to Satan, sin and death.
John 8:34 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
To Preach the Recovering of Sight to the Blind
We are born into this world blind to Godliness and it is Christ who frees us from our spiritual blindness opening our eyes [minds] to receive the Word of God.
First God the Father calls us to himself through Christ by the Holy Spirit, stirring us up to seek the truth of God.
If we respond positively and sincerely repent of our sins, earnestly desiring to live by every Word of God the sacrifice of Christ is applied to us removing the veil of spiritual blindness covering our eyes and we start to understand things that we could never see before.
As we diligently seek to learn and live by every Word of God; God gives us more of His Holy Spirit and the more we begin to understand.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
2 Corinthians 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [from bondage to Satan, sin and death]. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
When Paul was struck down on the road to Damascus, he was blinded until Ananias placed prayed for him to receive his sight.
This is an example of what happens spiritually when God calls us and we begin to see and understand the light of godliness. We begin to understand the Word of God and we become aware of sin and its devastating results and we chose to reject sin for the righteousness of every Word of God.
It was Jesus that healed Paul of his blindness, not just the physical blindness as a result of the bright light, but Paul was healed of his previous spiritual blindness.
Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
To Set at Liberty Them That are Bruised
The wages of sin is suffering and death and Jesus came to set us free from the decay, suffering and death that sins brings.
Jesus’ sacrificial death provides a way of salvation for all those who turn from sin and sincerely repent making a baptismal commitment to sin no more; and ask that the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God be applied to redeem them from the wages of sin.
Revelation 12:10 Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren [Satan] is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night, 2:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
One thing that is very liberating is the fact that death is not the end of the godly faithful, it is actually the door to eternity for those who faithfully endure living by every Word of God to the end of their physical lives.
Death holds no terror when we realize that for the godly faithful death is like going to sleep knowing we will rise up to eternal life with a new body composed of spirit.
Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law [which kills the sinful]. 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through [Victory over death comes by the true Gospel of Salvation through sincere repentance and the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God.] our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalms 91:15 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.
The True Gospel
The true Gospel is the Gospel of Salvation, the Good News of the way to overcome Satan, sin and death itself; through sincere repentance, a baptismal commitment to STOP sinning and to sin no more, and the application of the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God. That IS the Gospel of the Kingdom which is the Good News of how to enter the eternal Kingdom of God the Father!
The true Gospel is not some message limited to the idea that a Kingdom is coming: The true Gospel is about the Way Into That Kingdom; about how to overcome Satan, sin and death to gain eternal life with peace and prosperity forever and ever more.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.