Several years ago, a dear friend of mine passed away. My wife and I made arrangements to attend his funeral. My friend was a Christian. He attended a Baptist church, and the funeral was being held in what he considered a Gospel preaching church. I am sure, when talking to the pastor that the pastor felt that he was a Gospel preacher. However, when he stood up to preach the Word of God at this funeral (which, by the way, is an excellent place to share the Gospel) he told people that my friend was saved and that he knew for sure that he was in Heaven because he was a Christian. He told people that there was a literal place called Heaven and a literal place called Hell. He told people they needed to be saved in order to get to Heaven and to escape Hell. He told them that my friend would want them to go to Heaven. And, he said, “I encourage everyone here to get saved!”
At the end of his message, he had everyone bow their heads and close their eyes and he gave an invitation for people to be saved. When all was said and done, I am sure this gentleman felt that he presented the Gospel, but he did not! Many preachers believe they are Gospel preachers, but they are not. To be a Gospel preacher, you must be one who, each time you speak, presents the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15 declares what the Gospel is.
Verse one says, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel …”
Verses 3-5 say, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen…”
According to 1 Corinthians 15, the Gospel is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he rose from the dead according to the Scriptures and that he was seen by hundreds of people. Pastor, the world needs to hear this good news, this Gospel. The Bible is clear, the Holy Spirit is in the world convincing men of three things. (See John 16:7-11) The Holy Spirit is convincing men worldwide that they are sinners, that there is a righteous God, and that judgment is coming.
As a preacher, you are called to share the good news. The Good News is that though they are sinners, “Someone” has paid for their sin. That “Someone” is Jesus Christ, God in human flesh. He paid for their sin by dying on the cross. The proof of His death is that He was buried, then He rose from the dead. The proof that He rose from the dead is that He was seen by hundreds of people. The good news is that since He died for our sins, and was buried and rose from the dead, we do not have to pay for our sins ourselves. People must believe that and receive it in order to get to Heaven.
It does not matter if you are preaching on tithing, family values, prayer, Bible reading or any other topic. Every time you preach, you should include the Gospel message if you consider yourself a Gospel preacher.
Listen to your last message. Did you tell people that Jesus died for their sins, was buried and rose from the dead so they could have eternal life? If not, you may have preached a good message, but you did not preach the Gospel. Do not assume people know what it means to be “saved”, “born again” or “make a commitment to Christ”. These are terms that we are very familiar with as pastors, and our Christian community knows them very well. The sad thing is that our Christian community does not even know what the “Gospel” is.
Preacher, I admonish you, be a Gospel Preacher.