Did you know that the Gospel contains pretty much every truth taught in the Bible? It’s true. Since the Gospel is about Jesus, and since Jesus is the focus of the Bible and all Scripture points to Him, then this means that the entire Bible is “Gospel truth.”
But here’s the problem with that fact:
If the entire Bible is Gospel truth, then what are you supposed to share with others when you present the gospel to them?
Can you really tell them to just “read the Bible”? Can you tell them that they have not believed in the Gospel until they believe the entire Bible?
If so, we might as well just give up evangelizing right now. You will rarely, if ever, get a non-believer to read the entire Bible, and even then, no one ever actually believes the entire Bible (not even you).
Stop Telling People to “Believe the Gospel”
This is why I never invite people to “believe the gospel to become a Christian.” Such a statement is just too vague and too vast.
Saying, “Believe the Gospel” is akin to saying, “Believe the Bible to become a Christian.”
Besides, when someone starts reading the Bible, they quickly come across statements that are hard to believe, such as the idea that Methulselah lived to be 969 years old (Gen 5:27), that Joshua got the sun to stand still for a day (Joshua 10:13), or that Elisha got an ax head to float (2 Kings 6:6).
If they think they have to believe the entire Bible to become a Christian and they read those hard to believe ideas and think, “Well, I just cannot believe that!” they will then think, “I guess I cannot be a Christian.”
But they can become a Christian, even if they don’t (yet) believe these things! The problem is not with their lack of faith, but with our failure to clearly present the gospel.
We need to present the gospel like Jesus
People don’t need to believe the entire Bible, or the entire Gospel, in order to become a Christian. They just need to believe in Jesus.
Though the entire Bible is gospel truth, there are some gospel truths which consistently appear whenever someone is inviting others to become a Christian.
Jesus is the best guide and example of this. In the Gospel of John (which is the only book of the Bible written with the express purpose that those who read it will believe and have life–John 20:31), Jesus shows us over and over and over how to simply, clearly, and succinctly invite people to gain eternal life.
While the entire Bible contains Gospel truths, there are some central gospel truths which I call the gospel invitation. This gospel invitation is what Jesus consistently used (as did Peter, Paul, and the other apostles) to invite non-believers to receive eternal life from Jesus.
Here is what they said:
Believe in Jesus for eternal life.
Jesus used versions of this statement over and over and over in the Gospel of John (cf. John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47). In my course, The Gospel According to Scripture, I include a resource which shows where this gospel invitation is used 185 times in the New Testament. It is used consistently by Peter, Paul, and the other apostles.
Best of all, this gospel invitation is used consistently by Jesus. If this gospel invitation was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for me.
So the next time you are talking with someone about the gospel or how to receive eternal life, don’t use unclear and muddled statements. Instead, follow the example of Jesus and Scripture, and simply invite people to believe in Jesus for eternal life. This is the best, clearest, and most biblical way of inviting people to receive eternal life.
so stop telling people to believe the gospel. This is like telling people to believe the Bible. This is not wrong, it is just not helpful. Such an invitation is too vast and too vague. Instead, let us follow the example of Jesus and use His gospel invitation.
Invite people to believe in Jesus for eternal life.
Want to learn more about the gospel? Take my new course, "The Gospel According to Scripture."
The entire course is free for those who join my online Discipleship group here on RedeemingGod.com. I can't wait to see you inside the course!