The word GOSPEL means "good message" or as some say, "good news". As as Independent Baptist preacher it is my privilege to declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ: (that all men are sinners, damned before a holy God; that Jesus took the damnation of man on Himself and offers salvation to all who will repent of their sinful condition and believe on Jesus). But I must admit there are some "other Gospels" that I sometimes wish I could preach.
- The Gospel of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man: I might not be considered such a hard-nosed, narrow-minded preacher if I preached that "a loving God would never send anyone to Hell." My popularity would skyrocket and the size of our church would probably double. It would be a much less confrontational gospel. That gospel is truly tempting since I really don't enjoy confrontation and controversy. But I can not preach that gospel...
- The gospel of Water Baptism for Salvation: If I really believed that water baptism could save a man's soul I would go house to house with a tank of water in the back of my truck. I would beg, even trick people into being baptized and thus escape the terrors of the Lake of Fire. I would park outside the public schools and offer to save the souls of our youth. Who would possibly object to a little dip in a tank of water? I would not stop until the whole world had been presented with the opportunity to be baptized. But alas... I cannot preach that gospel either.
- The Gospel of Church Membership Salvation: Certainly this would succeed where the last one failed. We could go through the phone book filling out church membership cards on all of the local residents. They could be voted in at the next meeting of the church, then notified of their eternal life by mail. Hardly a soul could escape this type of evangelization! I wish I could believe that and preach it for I would love to think that my entire city was heaven bound... But I can't.
- The Gospel of Good deeds versus Bad deeds: Were this the true gospel I think we could all rest easy. For certainly if all of our deeds were measured up, the good deeds would outweigh the bad (except in the case of murderers and drunkards, but who wants them in Heaven anyway.) I'll admit, in our human way of thinking, we do have some vices but we also do a great number of good deeds. If only I could believe this line of thought, my life as a preacher would be much easier... But it is not true!
- The Gospel of Sincerity: I wish I could preach that "no matter what you believe, so long as you really believe it, God will accept you." That would be very comforting to people. I cannot, however.
- The Gospel of Speaking in Tongues: I have noticed that just about anyone who desires it can have a Tongues experience. If you open your mind to the message of the modern day Charismatic preachers, genuinely seeking to speak in tongues, you will sooner or later have the experience. If that could bring a person into a right relationship to God I'm certain that I could convince scores of people to seek that experience for the saving of their souls... But it never has, and never will!
- The Gospel of Genetic Regeneration: Here is one every parent would love to endorse: "If the parents are Christian, then the children are automatically Christian." That would pacify the heart of every parent of the Godless Children of this world. But it "just ain't so."
However unfortunate it may seem, I am doomed to preach only one gospel. After all, God is my "Boss" so I must do what He tells me regardless of what anyone says. I must preach it just like the Apostle Paul who preached "Repentance toward God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21) Who also said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
Lest I be misunderstood: Be it known that my flippancy is to make a point. I LOVE THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST APART FROM WHICH NO MAN CAN BE SAVED!
By David Thompson