Estimated reading time: 4 minutes:-)
Recently, we’ve been going through a documentary-type film called The American Gospel in my theology class.
It’s on Netflix, and before you shy away from the association because of Netflix’s featuring choices lately, give me a chance to explain. The American Gospel is one of the best Christian documentaries I’ve seen, and it focuses on the topic of being saved by grace through faith, not by works. You could call Ephesians 2:8-9 the theme of the film. I really enjoyed watching it.
One of the core messages they addressed was the desperate need to hear the gospel message.
I found it interesting because they addressed how many Christians didn’t feel the need to hear the gospel over and over again because they already knew it. If you grew up in church, you had it memorized before you turned seven. If you didn’t, you are still likely quite familiar with the message. But is the gospel only for those who haven’t yet heard the good news?
Before we answer the question, let’s look at some facts.
The gospel message is the meta narrative that covers all of history. Ultimately, all of creation and history points to it. It’s pretty darn important.
Secondly, the gospel isn’t a plan. It’s a person (as The American Gospel emphasizes). Jesus Christ is the main character of history, King of the world and savior to all peoples, yet he also walks with God’s children and desires a personal relationship with you. Isn’t that crazy? Have you ever stopped and marveled at how insanely awesome Christ is?
Thirdly, what happens when we hear the good news? Luke 5:24 shows us an accurate picture of what hearing the gospel and salvation look like: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but passes out of death into life.” So we have this new life through believing in the gospel the first time. But hearing this gospel continually reminds us of that salvation.
I think from scripture, it’s obvious that the gospel is meant for everyone to hear often, not just from those who don’t believe.
I’m a part of a worship class at my school, and we plan messages for the student body. Lately, we’ve been struggling with this very topic. Obviously, it’s important to avoid repeating a certain message over and over again. But at the same time, the gospel is the single most important thing we could be talking about at all times.
So here is my encouragement to you: wherever you are in your walk of faith, take some time to read the gospel. Hear the gospel. Listen to the gospel. Like really listen. Christ died for you, suffered greatly for you, and rose again so that you might be with him forever!
Below, I’ve included 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 because it summarizes the gospel almost better than John 3:16. It reminds me that salvation is from Jesus and not from anything else. I have been saved by grace through faith, and it is not from myself.
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve.”
You, a broken sinner who deserved much worse, are saved by Jesus Christ! Isn’t that incredible?