The word “gospel” means good news. What exactly was the gospel, the good news, that Christ preached? Was it a gospel of salvation? A gospel of grace? A gospel of peace? These are indeed good news. In fact, they are wonderful news. But do they comprise the good news Christ brought, taught and preached?
A false, counterfeit gospel is being taught in the churches today. It is basically a gospel about Christ, urging you to accept Christ. Why is an entirely different message being preached as the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ?
Was His good news about Him and what He was going to do? It is absolutely critical that we understand what Christ's one, true gospel is because eternal life is at stake! Mark 16:15–16 gives us some very sobering words: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Christ the Messenger
Christ emphatically says it is necessary to believe the gospel He preached to be saved. Not just any gospel—the gospel He preached. Christ preached the wonderful message, the good news God the Father sent Jesus Christ to announce to the world: the good news of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, it is called the “gospel of God.” It is the Father’s message, His good news delivered thru His Messenger Jesus Christ. It is also referred to as the “gospel of Christ” because He was the one who announced it to mankind.
Mark 1:14–15 tells us very clearly the message Christ proclaimed: “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Very clearly this gospel is what we are commanded to believe in.
It is also this same message that He instructed His disciples to preach: “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:1–2).
An updated gospel
Many so–called religious scholars are claiming that, after Christ’s death and resurrection, there was an additional dimension, another emphasis to the gospel the apostles preached. They use Luke 24:46–48 to support their claim. Christ instructed the Apostles that “repentance and the remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations.” But nowhere in these passages did Christ explicitly command them to preach this as an additional dimension of the gospel or include this enhanced understanding as part of the gospel message.
Christ very clearly instructed the apostles to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God before He ascended to heaven: “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
With eternal life at stake, Christ would have most certainly instructed His Apostles to include any additional emphasis to the gospel before He ascended to heaven. Examine your Bible and you will find no such additional emphasis or added dimension. Instead, you will discover that “another gospel” was already being preached instead of the true gospel Christ proclaimed and instructed His Apostles to preach (II Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6–9).
So what did they do? The Bible very clearly says they continued to preach the message they were taught by Christ to preach: the good news of the Kingdom of God. In the book of Acts, we read what the Apostle Paul preached about the gospel: “And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8). And again in chapter 28, verses 23 and 31: “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening…. Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”
Around 70 AD the message Christ and His apostles preached began to be rapidly suppressed, with another gospel being taught in its place. This was a false, counterfeit gospel about the person of Christ, the miracles He performed and the things He did. The true gospel was replaced by man’s gospel about the person of Christ.
The true gospel restored
In January 1934, Mr. Herbert W Armstrong restored the vital knowledge of the true gospel and began preaching it to the world. That gospel Mr. Armstrong restored was the good news of the Kingdom of God. God's true Church continues to preach it today.
It may be small in number, a little flock, with a little strength. Other organizations are larger in number and have vastly greater resources. They have magazines and literature. Their ministers maintain a presence on radio, television and the internet. Their message, however, is a FALSE gospel of a watered–down, syrupy, feel–good message about Christ. It is a mixed and confusing message about a multi–dimensional, nuanced and enhanced understanding of the gospel. There was only one gospel Christ preached. That pure, clear, true and undiluted gospel was the good news of the Kingdom of God.