Jonathan at “Jon’s Journey” has written a very good post called “Did Jesus preach the gospel?” The post is part of a series that he has been written looking at the good news in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).
He begins with the gospel as it is commonly proclaimed today: “You are a sinner. God is holy and cannot have sin in his presence. Jesus paid the debt for your sins. Trust Jesus and you will have eternal life.” (By the way, this is the gospel that I’ve heard since I was very young.)
Next, Jonathan compares this to the gospel (good news) that he finds in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. At one point, he says:
You can not read the gospels without noticing how often the topic of the kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven is on the lips of Jesus. Matt 4:23, Matt 9:35, Matt 24:14, Luke 4:43, Luke 16:16 are a few that link the word ‘gospel’ with this kingdom message. We also find his disciples were sent out preaching the same message (Matt 10:5-8, Luke 9:1-2, Luke 10:9) . We have 4 books call the ‘gospels’ that have a lot to say about the good news message Jesus and His disciples preached. Paul and the other New Testament writers continued with the same message and themes.
I think that Jonathan is making a very good point. I think the gospel includes forgiveness of sin and eternal life. But, I do not think that is the whole gospel. I’m glad that more and more people are beginning to include the good news of the kingdom in their understanding of and proclamation of the gospel.
What do you think?