And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. —Matt. 24:14
What do you believe? This past week, while waiting in a car line to pick up my granddaughters at school, I heard a song on the radio that was described as the number-one Christian song in the world. It was sung by the Newsboys, entitled "We Believe."
The same week I heard the Newsboys' hit song, I read an Op-Ed that appeared in the Jerusalem Post criticizing my 911 video invitation to pray for Jerusalem because in it I implied that Jews need to be saved. Do they? Or are they exempt from the Gospel?
And what is the Gospel?
When the apostle Paul shared with deep conviction in Romans 1:16 that, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile," what was he talking about?
Prompted by the hit song and the Op-Ed, I have reflected on what Paul was talking about and what I believe. These are my reflections:
Everyone born into the human race is born with a sin nature, so that all are sinners.1
The consequence of sin is not only physical death, but spiritual death—separation from God now and in eternity.2
But God so loved the entire world of humanity that He sent His own Son, Jesus, into the world to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sin, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish separated from God, but will have eternal life.3
When we confess that we are sinners, ask God to apply the death of Jesus to our sin and forgive us, He will.4
Following the crucifixion of Jesus, God raised Him from the dead to give us new life here and life in heaven when we die.5
When we respond and receive Jesus by faith into our hearts, He comes into us in the person of His Spirit, so that we are born again as a child of God, forgiven of our sin, and have eternal life.6
When we receive Jesus Christ by faith as our Savior and Lord, we pass from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, from death to life.7
And the Gospel is this...
"Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."8
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Just the name of Jesus.9
"If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."10
"There is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all..."11
So...do Jews need to be saved? Yes, they do. According to God's Word, their religion does not exempt them from being sinners. Like the rest of us, they too need a Savior. Which is why God has given Jesus to be the Savior of the world.12
That's the Gospel that Paul was talking about. And that's the Gospel I believe.