If I asked you to tell me the essential elements of the gospel in 30 seconds, would you be able to do it? What would you make sure to say and what would you feel comfortable leaving out? What aspects of the gospel message are essential for faithful evangelism?
What are the essentials of evangelism? We can sum them up in four words: God, man, Christ, and response.
God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Gen. 2:7; 16-17; 18:25; Matt. 25:31-33).
But Mankind has rebelled against God by sinning against His holy character and law (Gen. 3:1-7). We’ve all participated in this sinful rebellion, both in Adam as our representative head and in our own individual actions (1 Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:23; 5:12, 19; Eph. 2:1-3). As a result, we have alienated ourselves from God and have exposed ourselves to His righteous wrath, which will banish us eternally to hell if we are not forgiven (Eph. 2:12; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Matt. 13:50).
But God sent Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to die the death that we deserved for our sins – the righteous for the unrighteous – so that God might both punish our sin in Christ and forgive it in us (John 1:14; ROm. 3:21-26; 5:6-8; EPh. 2:4-6).
The only saving response to this Good News is repentance and belief (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 3:7-9; John 20:31). We must repent of our sins (turn from them and to God) and believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God.
God, man, Christ, response. Remember – it is not evangelism without the evangel (the good news).
This is the good news of the gospel of Jesus. A loving & righteous God, rebellious Man, a merciful Savior, and an urgent response are all necessary elements of the gospel message. More can be said, most definitely, but not less. For a fuller explanation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, check this out.