The Apostle Paul had some harsh words to the church in Galatia for those who would turn away from the Gospel of grace and return to trusting in human works for salvation:
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” – Gal 1:8-9
Paul clearly defined the message of the gospel to the church in Corinth with these words:
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” – 1 Cor 15:1-4
Long before Paul was converted and began to preach the gospel and establish churches, John the Baptist laid the groundwork for the coming of Christ:
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” ” Matt 3:1-2
Jesus began his earthly ministry with these words:
“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” ” – Matt 4:17
“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” “- Mark 1:14-15
When Jesus appeared to His disciples after the resurrection, he commissioned them with these words:
“Then he (Jesus) opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” “- Luke 24:45-47
Well, so what?
Who am I, who are we, who name the Name of Christ, to change the message, or omit what Scripture tells us is the core and heart of the gospel message?
How dare we presume that a ‘changed life’ is the Gospel?
How dare we presume that making Jesus ‘attractive’, as the one who merely solves all of life’s little problems, is spreading the gospel that saves a person from Hell?
How dare we presume that love, love, love, without including the issue of sin and repentance, IS even love at all?
Who am I if I presume any of the above? Who am I if I don’t hold as paramount, and address as of ‘first importance’, that Jesus died for our SIN, and if I don’t speak of the need to REPENT from SIN?
I’ll tell you who I am – I am a spiritual coward, a disgrace to evangelism, and a traitor to the One who saved me!
And at the end of the day, I am still a sinner – a sinner saved by the amazing grace of a sovereign God!