What is the Gospel?

Another good one from the GotQuestions? site.

What is the Gospel?

Question: “What is the gospel?”

Answer: The word gospel literally means “good news” and occurs 93 times in the Bible, exclusively in the New Testament. In Greek, it is the word euaggelion, from which we get our English words evangelistevangel, and evangelical. The gospel is, broadly speaking, the whole of Scripture; more narrowly, the gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.

The key to understanding the gospel is to know why it’s good news. To do that, we must start with the bad news. The Old Testament Law was given to Israel during the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 5:1). The Law can be thought of as a measuring stick, and sin is anything that falls short of “perfect” according to that standard. The righteous requirement of the Law is so stringent that no human being could possibly follow it perfectly, in letter or in spirit. Despite our “goodness” or “badness” relative to each other, we are all in the same spiritual boat—we have sinned, and the punishment for sin is death, i.e. separation from God, the source of life (Romans 3:23). In order for us to go to heaven, God’s dwelling place and the realm of life and light, sin must be somehow removed or paid for. The Law established the fact that cleansing from sin can only happen through the bloody sacrifice of an innocent life (Hebrews 9:22).

The gospel involves Jesus’ death on the cross as the sin offering to fulfill the Law’s righteous requirement (Romans 8:3–4Hebrews 10:5–10). Under the Law, animal sacrifices were offered year after year as a reminder of sin and a symbol of the coming sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10:3–4). When Christ offered Himself at Calvary, that symbol became a reality for all who would believe (Hebrews 10:11–18). The work of atonement is finished now, and that’s good news.

The gospel also involves Jesus’ resurrection on the third day. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25). The fact that Jesus conquered sin and death (sin’s penalty) is good news, indeed. The fact that He offers to share that victory with us is the greatest news of all (John 14:19).

Read the rest here.

Sharing the Gospel in Spite of Personal Difficulties (CMI Reblog)

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on March 26, 2016  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Sharing the Gospel in Spite of Personal Difficulties

SharingTheGospelDifficulties

Awhile back, I read an article titled “Telephone Difficulties with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”1 As a person who lives with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, this article helped me understand why I often have trouble with telephone and even one-on-one personal communication.

When you’re on the phone, you don’t get any of the non-verbal cues that come with face-to-face conversation. Communication experts agree that most of communication is non-verbal, and when you remove all those verbal cues, your brain has to work harder to comprehend what’s being said. Our foggy brains may not be able to muster the level of focus.¹

This also holds for me many times during personal conversations with people. I will either completely blank out when trying to pull a specific word out of my brain or I start talking about something completely different than I intended, hoping it will help me remember what I was going to say.

I have learned to lean heavily on my computer, tablet and phone to keep in touch with people. I do much better if I can type out what I want to communicate because it gives me the time to correctly compose what I want to say—oh, do I ever love my delete and backspace keys!

I can quietly sit and wait for the intended word or phrase to come to me, without feeling the stress of frantically trying to drag it out of my memory. Typing also allows me to look up synonyms of the word I’m trying to come up with, which leads me to the word in question or to another, better word.

I love to share the Gospel message with people, but I am often homebound with several chronic illnesses. Another big plus of interacting socially online means I can take better care of myself by doing it only when I’m feeling up to it.

Social interaction takes energy. I didn’t understand that when I was healthy, but now I know it all too well. On low-energy days, I really try to avoid the phone.¹

These difficulties when trying to communicate personally can also be a part of several other chronic illnesses. Dealing with chronic pain severely depletes energy, and that means we need to make the most of the bits of time when we’re not sleeping or resting.

Most of my days are now “low-energy days,” so I heavily rely on my personal electronics to make contact with people all over the world. Using various forms of social media, I am able to reach out to those who so badly need to hear about the saving mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.

Even if you do not have the limitations of illness, you can still opt to reach out to the world through your electronic devices. If that works better for you, your lifestyle and preferences, go for it! What matters most is spreading the Gospel message, not how you do it. God uses everything; He wastes nothing.

¹ Telephone Difficulties with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 

Hindu Jat people of India #InternetSaathi (CMI Reblog)

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on February 20, 2016  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Hindu Jat people of India #InternetSaathi

InternetSaathi-CellPhone

The Jat people of India live primarily as farmers and mobile pastoralists¹ (nomadic herdsman), raising livestock. Their primary language is Hindi. There are an estimated 33 Million Jats, most of them living in northwestern India.

Overall, the Jats have a very good self image.”Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever,” is a well known Jat proverb. They are brave, hardworking people who possess both the desire and ability to rule. It has been said that no Jat wants to be ruled. Rather, he desires to have power over a group, if not over an area.²

The Jat people living in India are Hindus who follow the traditional practices of worshiping all Hindu gods and goddesses, and as farmers, most of them touch “mother earth” when they get up in the morning. They also pray to the sun god Surya when they are plowing their fields. The Hindu Jats are only 0.03% Christian and 99.92% Hindu. The remaining are listed under, “Other.”

In 2015, the Hindu Jat women were introduced to the Internet through the use of Internet cycle carts which are ridden from town to town in rural India. An article in the July 4, 2015 issue of The Hindu daily newspaper described it this way:

In a significant initiative aimed at bridging the technology gender divide, Tata Trusts have tied up with Google to launch ‘Internet Saathi’. The joint initiative announced today aims at empowering women in rural India with the power of the Internet so they may benefit from it in their daily lives. The initiative will provide basic training on the usage and benefits of Internet for women through specially designed Internet cycle carts that will visit villages to provide easy access to women.³

The photo at this link shows some of the Hindu women clustered around one of the Internet cycle carts.

SEE PHOTO BY CLICKING HERE

Hindu women are the keepers of their homes. They are very busy and do not have the extra time to take formal classes on how to use the Internet, plus cultural and social issues exist that may prohibit it. These Internet cycle carts come right into their villages where the women can take advantage of this mobile learning center without a negative impact on their daily chores and responsibilities.

The internet Cart would be available in the village for a minimum of two days every week for over a period of four to six months. Once the cart has completed the training in a cluster of three villages, it will be moved to the adjoining cluster for completion of a similar cycle.³

Teaching the Hindu Jat women how to use the Internet could be a major step in reaching out to them with the Gospel. Different portions of the Bible have been brought there through the years by missionaries, but if they are Internet enabled, they will soon be capable of reading or listening to the Bible online.

Right now there is an audio version of the New Testament available for them, plus audio versions of Bible teachings, Hindi Bible stories, talking Bibles, and the Jesus Film Project.

There is also a video version of the Jesus Film Project, as well as at least a dozen other videos, including Creation to Christ, God’s Story, and The Story of Jesus for Children.

All of the resources I’ve listed above can be accessed in the Resources section of the Jat (Hindu traditions) in India page at the Joshua Project site.


¹ http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Jat.aspx

² http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/12329/IN

³ http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/taking-internet-to-rural-women/article7383842.ece

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This cannot be posted often enough (reblogged from Isaiah 53:5 Project)

This is from The Isaiah 53:5 Project blog and is too good not to share with you!

This cannot be posted often enough

I have posted this before but it’s an important message and sharing it is the sole reason this blog exists so…

How Can you become a Christian?

Realize Who God Is

It all starts with a realization of Who God is. The Bible says He is the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1) and creator of man (Colossians 1:16). God is holy (1 Peter 1:16), righteous (Psalm 145:17), perfect (Matthew 5:48) and is the judge (Romans 2:16) of all mankind. He is all-powerful (Luke 18:27), all-knowing (Psalm 139:2-6), and is everywhere (Job 28:24). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), infinite (Psalm 102:25-27), and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8). He is sovereign (Romans 8:28-30), good (Psalm 25:8), merciful (Daniel 9:9), and gracious (Psalm 103:8). Understanding these attributes helps build a proper foundation to our need for Him.

Realize That You Are A Sinner

To become a Christian, you must realize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that your sin is rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4). Think about every time you have lied, stolen, lusted after someone, hated someone, disobeyed your parents or used God’s name disrespectfully. You will never be good enough to enter Heaven on your own merit (Ephesians 2:8-9) because committing even one sin deserves judgment (Revelation 20:12) according to God’s law (James 2:10). No amount of good deeds can ever erase your sin.

Read the rest here.

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Personal Evangelism with Family and Friends (CMI Reblog)

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on August 26, 2015  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Personal Evangelism
with Family and Friends

Evangelism means to spread the message of Jesus Christ—the Gospel, which means, Good News of Jesus Christ. Personal evangelism is sharing the Good News with friends and family.

The thought of evangelizing can make us nervous, but sharing the Gospel message with our friends and family? That causes more uneasiness.

Most of us can recall the circumstances of the day we were born again. Some of us learned about the saving grace of Jesus Christ in church. Others read about it in books, magazines or the Bible. I saw someone live out her faith so well that I wanted—no, I needed—to know where her hope and joy came from.

Many years ago I lived next door to a woman whose circumstances were not the best, but nevertheless, she radiated the joy of the Lord. We became close friends.

She often spoke to me about her faith. One day, as we sat in her living room, she shared the Gospel message with me and asked if I wanted to invite Jesus to be my Savior and Lord. Although I don’t remember her exact words or how I prayed to Jesus that day, I immediately felt an indescribable peace and joy that only comes from the Lord.

Over the years, I’ve shared the Gospel message with many people, but I have never experienced the chance to directly lead someone to Jesus Christ. This stumped me for a long time before I fully understood Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 3 (emphasis mine):

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 

Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.1

What is my point? Do not fret over when and how you can share the Gospel. Even though you may desire to walk someone through the process of asking Jesus to be their Savior and Lord, God’s plans for you might instead be to plant the seed in someone’s heart. That could be through the example of how you conduct your life or it might be through your words of encouragement to someone.

It could even be that He will use you via the internet and/or social media (Facebook friends or family, tweets, or through your blog) as a means to spread His Good News. This is how He has chosen to use me, although I didn’t see it that way for quite awhile.

God can and does use these and many other ways to fill people with a yearning to know more about Him—in other words, He provides the increase. Here is how the end of verse 7 is written in several other Bible versions:

  • but only God, who makes things grow (NIV)2
  • but God gave the growth (ESV)3
  • but God that giveth the increase (KJV)4

It may not be easy to share the message of Jesus Christ with your family and friends, but never give up.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” —Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)1

Resources for Personal Evangelism

Sharing the Gospel online:

Sharing the Gospel in person:


1 New King James Version (NKJV). Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 New International Version (NIV). Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

3 American Standard Version (ASV). Public Domain

4 King James Version (KJV). Public Domain

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Changing Things Up

ChangingThingsUp--AMP

A couple of months ago I wrote this post about having to scale back and only post here three times a week because of my health issues. And my nemesis—aka our monsoon season —is back again, so you’d think I’d have to take a complete break for a couple of months since I always feel worse during these times.

So how come I’ve increased the frequency of my posting to almost every day? 

I am so thankful to find many, many great articles and posts from other sites and blogs that I can share with you! It is a slight change in direction for this blog but is still in line with my vision for it:

  • how God is working in our lives no matter what else is going on
  • how to live a joyful and hopeful life with the Lord at the helm
  • learning to recognize the many blessings in our lives and be thankful for them

Having said all that, if I miss a day or two (or more), it’s probably because I didn’t feel well enough to work up and schedule some posts ahead of time. I’ll do my best to stay current here while I also fit in my writing assignments for the other blogs to which I contribute.

Remember: Thanks living always leads to thanks giving!

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Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders.
—1 Chronicles 16:9

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