What is the True Gospel?

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The word Ďgospelí means good news or glad tidings.

Mark began his gospel by stating, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Then he continues the theme of the gospel in verse 14, "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, {15} and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.""

So what is this good news that Jesus preached about that we are to believe? It is the message of the kingdom of God.

Mark continues this theme of the gospel in Mark 16 and verse 15, "Jesus said to His disciples, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. {16} "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Notice that you must believe the message of the good news Gospel that Jesus Christ preached to be saved.

Where Did This Message Come From?

God the Father promised to send a messenger into this world from heaven, bearing a message from Him. The prophet Malachi prophesied this in his book in chapter 3 and verse 1, ""Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me," and that messenger, as explained in Mark 1:2, was John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus Christ at His first coming.

The very first sermon by which God had the Gospel preached to the Gentiles was when Peter was sent to the house of the gentile Cornelius, recorded in chapter 10 of the book of Acts which gives us explicit directions for locating the one and only true Gospel, the Gospel we must believe in order to be saved.

Peter said in Acts 10 and in verse 36, ""The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ; He is Lord of all; {37} "that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached."

Notice carefully these points:

1) With whom did this Gospel message originate? Peter said: "The word which God sent."

2) To whom did God send it? Peter said "To the children of Israel." Although now, 10 years later, this same Gospel was being opened up to Gentiles of all nations, originally it was sent to the children of Israel, and it was sent by God the Father. It did not originate with Jesus Christ, nor with Peter, nor with the apostle Paul. It was sent by God, the Father of Jesus Christ!

3) Through whom was it sent? Who was the divine Messenger who brought and preached the message? Peter said "Through Jesus Christ" Jesus was the divine Messenger. Malachi called Him the Messenger of the Covenant. That message, then, is the New Covenant message, for Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant, and Jesus Christ of the New Covenant, as affirmed by many scriptures. This message, then is the New Testament Gospel.

4) Where was it first preached? To what geographical location shall we look for its beginning? Peter said it "Began from Galilee." Yes Galilee, then is the place where it was first preached. Not Jerusalem but Galilee.

When did Jesus begin to preach this Gospel in Galilee? Peter said "After the baptism which John preached." The true Gospel of the New Covenant, then, did not begin with John the Baptist. It began after John had completed his baptismal ministry.

Now those very definite directions lead us directly to the first chapter of Mark. The first verse tells us this is the record of the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then it relates the baptizing ministry of John, preaching, not the Gospel, but "A baptism of repentance," which prepares the way for the Gospel that the living God sent by Jesus Christ (verse 4).

And then we come to verses 14 and 15: "Now after that John was put in prison" - there is the divine Messenger through whom God sent it - "came into Galilee" - there is the precise geographical location.

So we now have the time, the Israelites residing there to whom God sent the message, the place and the Messenger - so whatever we find Jesus Christ preaching here is the One and Only True Gospel.

And what do we read? "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: Repent and believe the Gospel."

Notice, Jesus said, "Believe the Gospel"! What Gospel? The one Jesus was proclaiming, "The Gospel of the kingdom of God."

But, one may ask, donít we need to believe on Jesus? Of course. Other scriptures teach that. But at this particular time Jesus said we must believe Him, believe what He said, believe the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!

Some believed on Jesus, but did not believe Jesus, did not believe what He said (John 7:31,8:30-31, 46).

Double Curse for the Wrong Gospel

Does it make any difference which gospel we believe? Listen to the answer of God, as inspired in Paulís letter to the Galatians, the first chapter and verse eight, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

And it is made a double curse! For the next verse says: "As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed."

We hear a great deal today of the gospel about the person of Jesus Christ, confining the message solely to the things about Jesus. As a result, millions believe on Christ who do not believe Christ! But Jesus Christís Gospel is His Message!

And yet it was not only His, but His Fatherís who sent Him, as He Himself said in John 12:49-50: ""For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. {50} "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.""

Jesusí revealed in His Olivet prophecy that "The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14). The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is the message that Jesus Christ said is to be preached and published today and then the end will come.