Wednesday, April 16, 2014

30 Things the Gospel is NOT

One of the Devil’s favorite tactics is to create confusion by manipulating the definitions of words so that they are no longer clear. When language becomes muddy so does our ability to understand the thoughts the words represent. One of the things that weigh most heavy on my heart is when I encounter people who are convinced they are trusting in the Gospel, but what they believe is a mixture of confusion and is not what the Bible teaches. I have had a couple of these experiences this week and it got me thinking about the various confusions I have come across or heard about regarding this.

In just a few minutes I was able to list 30 things just off the top of my head that are not the Gospel but that I have heard presented as such. Some of these are blatant falsehoods while others are connected to, flow from, or are related to the Gospel. It is also true that some of these are connected to our salvation and are biblical but none of these is the Gospel.

The Gospel is NOT:

  1. A feeling
  2. A portal to magical power
  3. Following the example of Jesus
  4. Living a moral or good life or being nice
  5. Opposition to homosexuality
  6. A promise of physical healing
  7. A promise of wealth
  8. Conservative politics
  9. Liberal politics
  10. Your testimony
  11. Social compassion
  12. Environmental consciousness
  13. Opposition to abortion
  14. A system of philosophy
  15. A religious system
  16. Unfinished, incomplete or waiting for you to finalize it
  17. A method of ministry
  18. Raising a Christian family
  19. Prayer
  20. Keeping the 10 commandments
  21. Church attendance
  22. Being at peace with your “inner self”
  23. A membership card
  24. A relationship
  25. Having a purpose filled life
  26. Engaging the culture
  27. God responding to us
  28. A set of rules
  29. Evangelism
  30. A life we live

The Gospel is not something we do. It is not a set of rules or standards. It is not a process or an experience. We contribute nothing to it. The word Gospel means “good news” and it is the good news about something that God has done. It is the message of a theological and historical fact of something already completed.

The bad news is that all people are sinners and will stand in judgment before a holy God. All of us are guilty and deserve to be convicted and punished. The good news of the Gospel, however, is that Jesus Christ, the righteous One, sent by God the Father, lived a perfect life in the flesh, not for His own sake but for His people. He did what we by nature could not do for ourselves. Having lived a life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God. God accepts this sacrifice on behalf of those united to Christ though faith.

The Gospel is something God has done. We either accept it in faith or reject it. Once we accept it, many things will flow from it but it remains nevertheless the objective work of God in Christ. When we share or preach the Gospel, we share or preach what God has done in Christ.


  1. A good post, and right on the mark. N.F.I

  2. Thank you for the encouragement