¿Qué es el evangelio y por qué comprenderlo bien es clave para las misiones?

What is the gospel and why understanding it well is key to missions?

What do I mean when I use the word “gospel”? By it I mean the historic Christian message, the good news about what God has done for sinners through Christ. And by this I do not mean certain implications of that message, such as the way some Christians live or what they do, but I mean the message itself of what Jesus has done for sinners; the only message that can save us from Hell and take us to God.

The biblical gospel begins with God, who created all things by His Word. From nothing, God spoke and all the galaxies, nebulae, stars and planets were created. He also created life on our planet, including the first man and the first woman. God placed them in a garden and gave them all things to enjoy and govern with perfect freedom. The only prohibition was that they did not eat from a particular tree. But the rebellious enemy of God entered the garden and tempted Eve, although Adam did nothing about it. They chose to disobey God's prohibition and listen instead to Satan's false promises. We humans have been doing the same thing ever since. But God will punish sin because it is good and just. He is not the kind of judge who sweeps dirt under the rug, thus perverting justice. He is a just judge, and that is bad for lawbreakers like us. Rebelling against the just government of a perfect God is indescribably evil and deserves punishment of inconceivable severity and duration. We deserve eternal and conscious punishment in Hell under the wrath of God.

But God had a plan in His incalculable love and wisdom to punish sin—and thus be a just judge—and at the same time forgive sinners like us (and thus reflect His mercy). That is what He did by sending Jesus Christ—the coeternal and same God in the person of His Son—to become incarnate. Jesus lived a perfect life without ever rebelling against God. He never committed any sin, but willingly took the place of sinners. And as He was nailed to the wooden cross, He carried on His shoulders the full force of the righteous wrath that the almighty God has against sin. Christ took upon Himself the eternal punishment that our sins deserve. His sovereign sacrifice absorbed the punishment of all sinners who would one day repent and trust in Him. God showed that He had accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ when He raised Him from the dead after three days in the tomb.

Now this resurrected Jesus commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and trust in Him. And amazingly, Christ grants us not only the promise of forgiveness, but also adoption as beloved sons and daughters of the same God we have insulted. If we have repented of our sins and trusted in Jesus, we now know peace with God and the firm hope of having eternal joy and enjoying Him forever. That is the biblical gospel and it is true for all people, all languages, all places and all cultures throughout the ages.

Whatever our role in the church, the best we can do is believe this gospel. We have to meditate on it and measure everything in our lives in light of its truth and its worth.

And when we have done so, we need to pray for our church leaders and gently encourage them to lead the congregation in putting the gospel at the top. Thank them whenever they clearly present the gospel in their preaching and encourage them to promote a passion for world missions as a natural and biblical consequence of the gospel.


The only valid fuel for world missions is the glory of the gospel, not the needs of humanity.

Pastors and church leaders have to hold this gospel high not only in evangelistic messages, but at all times. The saved people in your congregation need to be regularly reminded and helped to marvel at the idea that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8b). Where people see the work of Christ as extremely valuable, missions become a rational and glorious sacrifice. The only valid fuel for world missions is the glory of the gospel, not the needs of humanity.

What do the words “missions” and “missionaries” mean?

However, what do we mean when we use the word “missions” and who can be considered a “missionary”? For some Christians, these two words have recently changed their meaning. Some now treat the church's mission as encompassing all the good things Christians do, from social action to environmental protection. It is true that it is good to do these things and many others that many Christians do regularly individually. But my intention is to maintain the traditional and historical use of the word “missions.” That is, the exclusive and characteristic evangelical mission of the church, which is to make disciples of all nations. That is, the kind of evangelism that takes the gospel beyond ethnic, linguistic and geographical boundaries, and that gathers churches together and teaches them to obey everything that Jesus has commanded. The truth is that doing it differently means turning the word “missions” into something useless. Just as Esteban Neill said in his famous phrase regarding this new definition of missions: “If everything is mission, then nothing is mission.”

Likewise, when I refer to “missionaries” I am not talking about Christians who live in a culture different from their own and who share the gospel. Just as not all church members who love Christ are “pastors or elders” and not all church members who speak about the Bible are “teachers” in the sense of James 3:1, neither are all witnesses of the gospel In a culture different from their own, they are missionaries as we see in 3 John or 1 Corinthians. I stick to the traditional and historical understanding of the word “missionary” as someone who is recognized by the local church and sent to make the gospel known and to gather, serve and strengthen local churches regardless of ethnic, linguistic or religious divisions. geographical. Those are the people our churches have been told in places like 3 John to support.


This article was adapted from a portion of the book The Missions , published by Poiema Publicaciones . You can download a free sample by visiting this link .

Page 37-40

Return to blog