Something struck me as I read Acts 10: the gospel message of Peter.
He talked about how Jesus had come with power, healing the sick and doing good. He then talked about how Jesus was crucified and subsequently resurrected. And then he said this,
He (Jesus) commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that… (42a)
Okay, you fill in that blank. What do you think they were commanded to preach and testify about to the people?
Are you sure?
Okay, here’s the finish to that sentence.
…he is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. (42b)
I was. How many people, when they come to the crux of the gospel and what the death and resurrection of Christ mean, start off with that sentence?
“Judgment day is coming. And on that day, Jesus will judge you.”
It’s so easy for us to preach the love of God. But we also need to preach the judgment of God.
Before there can be good news, people need to know that there is bad news: we all are worthy of condemnation because of our sin, and like it or not, judgment day is coming.
After that, we can pass on the good news. What is it?
All the prophets testify about him that through his name everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins. (43)
The price for our sin has already been paid by Jesus on the cross. Our Judge is also our Savior. And if we will put our trust in him and the work he did on the cross, we will be forgiven.
That’s the whole gospel.
Let’s not sugarcoat the gospel. Let’s tell it as it is. Like Peter did. Like Paul did (Acts 17:30-31).
And by God’s grace, many will hear and be saved.