Religion Magazine

I Do Not Think Sharing The Gospel Means What You Think It Means

By Ldsapologetics

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:16-20 KJV

So often in churches, specifically LDS Churches, people speak of sharing and spreading the Gospel message. But the loudest proponents of sharing the Gospel think it means converting others to their beliefs. 

That is not what sharing the Gospel is about. That's not what it means.

The word Gospel originally meant "Good News." So the idea was to share this good news about Christ. But I don't see that it solely or otherwise ever meant merely convincing others to think and believe as we do.

Often in scripture when Christ is mentioned He and His message are interchangeable. Because His power was not simply a birthright, it was the result of living His own message. So, in scripture, when we are told to believe on His name what was meant, it seems to me, is that believing and living His message is what saves us. Simply believing He is our Savior in a literal sense does nothing for us in and of itself.

So then all we have to do is define what His message is. Now at the risk of cherry picking and/or over simplifying His message I'll quote a few passages that for me are the essence and undying principles of that message:

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-40 KJV

How can we claim to love our God if we hate His children fashioned in His likeness and created by His very hand?

Next we have examples provided by Christ as to how we can live out His Gospel(pardon the length of the quote, I wouldn't include it were it not necessary):

  31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matthew 25:31-46 KJV

By their fruits shall we know them. If the fruits of our lives are feeding the hungry, supporting the widow and the orphan, or even supporting the veterans we know, helping the poor even if we also are poor, loving the hateful who likely have never known love but who need it the most, extending God's grace to those who the world or even ourselves say do not deserve it are classic examples of what it really means to share the good news of Christ.

If with our lives we produce abundant fruits of love, laughter, smiles, hard hearts softened, smiles, bearing one another's burden so as to make it easier to bear, then our lives testify to what words can never do proper justice. Our lives will be the proof that we shared the good news of Jesus.

If, on the other hand, our lives bear abundant fruits of hate, neglect, abuse, violence, mockeries, selfishness beyond self preservation, then our lives testify that we have squandered God's good news. And we have spread misery rather than love. We have borne rotten fruit. And that fruit can not be mistaken for good fruits from the good news of the Gospel.

To bear rotten fruit is the result of sins.

Here's what makes a sin a sin to me; it's not that we are punished for our sins as much as we are punished by them. And all too often others face the negative, unhealthy, and abusive consequences of our sins.

A sin is a sin because it robs us of health and provides us instead with toxicity. A sin is a sin because of its toxic effects on ourselves and others.

Sin is not a matter of arbitrary rule breaking.

The fruit we bear will prove whether or not we have truly shared the good news of Christ's Gospel.

And remember that though we can not change who we were, and we can not change who we are, we can still change who we become. So as long as we are better today than we were yesterday then we are making progress.

The difference between bearing good fruit and bearing evil fruit is a choice. So let us choose the right.

I Do Not Think Sharing The Gospel Means What You Think It Means

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