The word ‘Gospel’ literally means ‘good news’, or ‘good message’. This word has a long history, even before it primarily referred to the message of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament times the word that we would translate ‘Gospel’ referred to the news brought back to a community that a battle had been won. So a war would take place, and everyone would wonder what was happening. Sometimes they would updates about how it was going. But then when the war or battle was over, someone would be given the job of going back and spreading the word that the victory was theirs.
This was the ‘good news’… the gospel. Someone had brought them the gospel that they had won the battle. Then the king would give them a reward for bringing the good news. It may be a feast, or a financial blessing. In some cultures the reward was called the ‘gospel’. But eventually the news itself was simply known as the gospel.
For the believer, the most important thing we can do in this world is share the good news. Everyone is facing or in some sort of battle today. Many people enter into their battle worried about how it will go. Most people have no hope, or misplaced partial hope because they do not know Jesus has already won the victory of life. It is a great privilege and responsibility to be able to go throughout the world and tell people the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who don’t know how the battle ends.
The apostle Paul spent the last half of his life running around telling people the good news. Here is what he told a group of early Christians…
“I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. So I am eager to preach the good news to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:14-17)
The war has been won. Jesus conquered sin and death. We know that because we have experienced it. But there are many in our lives who don’t know that truth. We have been given the task of telling people that the war is over. Victory is secured. They won’t know if we don’t tell them. Think about it… you only know because someone told you. You must tell someone else. Do not be ashamed of the good news. It is power. There is no one who doesn’t need to hear it. It affects everyone.
The Gospel is not merely that God will do something for us at some point in the future. The Gospel is that the battle has already been won.
Today, make it your mission to tell someone that the battle is over. They can be free from the power of sin because Christ has broken the chains that bind us. There is more to this life than just waiting for death. We can have life and have it abundantly. If your friend’s child had a terrible disease and you found a cure, you would be extremely glad to tell them the good news that there is a cure… a solution… a victory over the disease. You wouldn’t ‘wait for the best time’. You wouldn’t wait until they brought the subject up. You wouldn’t try to figure out the most inoffensive way to share it. You wouldn’t take them somewhere so they could hear the news from a doctor. You would call them up and just tell them what you heard. If you had experienced the deliverance from the disease, you would tell them your story.
You actually get to share a greater news than that. Do it. Do it today. Some day in the future, the King will reward you for sharing the good news with other people, but in that moment you will discover that the reward is in the news itself.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.