Christians claim to be the ones who believe in the good news of Jesus Christ. They say they believe in His existence, His death, and His resurrection. They make it their goal to proclaim Him and all that He said – every word that He said.
Every Christians has a version of the gospel that they believe and proclaim. It usually includes the cross, the resurrection, and a collective of commands that those who call themselves Christians should follow. There is also an underlying tone about God’s view of those who do not believe. It usually includes some anger, angst, and disapproval. Those who believe this way often develop the same attitude toward those who don’t believe.
In order to be Christians who believe in every word of Scripture and of Jesus, our good news must include and make room for every word that Jesus said. We must believe in the totality of who He is, what He said, and what He came to do.
As you think through what you believe, can your version of the gospel include these words from the mouth of Jesus?
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. John 12:47
And these words penned by John about Jesus?
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17
These paint a very powerful picture about the intentions and heart of Jesus toward those who do not believe. Sadly, these intentions and words don’t fit within the attitudes and belief of many who call themselves Jesus followers today. No condemnation? No judging? How can this be? How does this fit with the rest of what Jesus said? How does this fit with the rest of the New Testament?
They fit perfectly within the heart and mind of Jesus. They are part of of the entirety of who He is. There is no gap, contradiction, or incongruity. They are part of the whole of who He is and what He came to do.
In order to be Jesus followers, we must also have this as part of our entirety. This must fit within our heart and attitudes as well. They should make up who we are. It must be part of our message of good news. Without it, we are believing and proclaiming a distortion. We would be only telling part of the story. We would be proclaiming another gospel.
What kind of gospel do you believe? When it comes to no condemnation and judgment, can you gospel do this?