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  "THE SIMPLE GOSPEL"
 
 
by Dalton Key
  
for the week of February 28, 2021

Just prior to his ascension, Christ commissioned His disciples to go into all the world and “preach the gospel.”  (Mark 16:15,16.)  From Mark’s account, together with accounts of the same commission in Matthew and Luke, we find that “the gospel” includes faith, baptism and remission of sins.  (Matthew 28:19,20; Luke 24:46-48.) 

Peter and the other apostles carried out their Lord’s commission for the first time on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts’ second chapter.  On this momentous occasion Peter’s message was the gospel of Christ, a message which involved repentance, baptism and remission of sins.  (Acts 2:38.)  On that Pentecost long-ago, some 3000 souls were obedient to the gospel message, were thus saved from sin, and were added by the Lord to His church.  (Acts 2:31,47.) 

Nearly twenty centuries have come and gone since Peter’s message on Pentecost.  Yet this same message, the gospel message, continues to be “the power of God unto salvation.”  (Romans 1:16.)  This message, as the very word of God, is still “living and powerful.”  (Hebrews 4:12.)  It still works as heaven’s spiritual seed, begetting children into the family of God.  (Luke 8:11; 1 Peter 1:23.)

Because Christ has commanded His gospel to be preached, and because God’s power to save is in the gospel, we have neither right nor reason to proclaim anything else – anything less – to a lost and dying world,.  Our theme must be as Paul’s was in the long ago – “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  (1 Corinthians 2:1,2.)  Projecting opinions is not preaching Christ.  Harping on pet projects and self-promotion is not preaching Christ.  Preaching social reform is not preaching Christ. 

Paul charged Timothy to “preach the word.”  (2 Timothy 4:2.)  He didn’t suggest that Timothy “share a few thoughts about the word.” Or “amuse his hearers with entertaining anecdotes instead of the word.” 

We concur with T.B. Larimore, masterful preacher of the gospel of years past, who said, “I would be afraid to be ashamed to be afraid, and ashamed to be afraid, to preach on anything that is not part of the divine message that Jesus has commissioned his apostle to preach to every creature in all the world.”