Gospel of Inclusion
— Kay Taiwo
Years ago, a well known ministry raised questions over whether it is necessary to communicate to an unbeliever the need for salvation. This premise suggests that all are saved in God’s scheme of things (whether or not an individual confesses the lordship of Jesus). This implies that we need not preach the gospel. Hence, those who have traveled far and wide, were persecuted or even martyred for preaching the good news of Jesus were wasting time and money.
This view is antithetical to sound doctrine. Its underlying implication qualifies it as damnable heresy.
Let’s go into a simple study that will aid in clarifying the confusion.
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ
14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
— Ephesians 4:11-15 NIV
The head of the Church specifically set a structure that has been in place almost two thousand years ago. He set in His Church five ministry gifts (also known as five-fold gifts). They are: apostle, prophet, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
The following, though an oversimplification of the ministry gifts, represent a general synopsis of the roles and functions of the Church governing structure.
The prophet, pastors and teachers have the primary responsibility to build up the body of believers.
The evangelist and apostle’s primary role is to proclaim and plant churches respectively.
For the purpose of this study. Let us zero in on the evangelist.
The word “evangelist” comes from the Greek word “euaggelistes.” It means a preacher of the gospel. Euggelistes comes from the root word “euaggelizo” which means: to announce good news (“evangelize”)….declare, bring, preach (the gospel).
— Strong’s Comprehensive Concordance of the Bible.
This being the case, John 3:16 must be one of the evangelist’s favorite passages of scripture. What does John 3:16 say?
It reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let’s dissect this verse.
1. God loves the world so much… This means all are included, and none is excluded from God’s love. His love does not discriminate. His love shows no partiality regarding social class, race, culture, or creed. His love embraces the world with value that equates to His only son. That action to give up Jesus for us, is the clearest demonstration of the love He has for the world.
2. Whoever believes in his son will not perish… The operative word here is “believe.” This means someone has to let the world know, so they can believe, hence preventing them from perishing. The word “perish” comes from a Greek word which means: to destroy fully.
So the role of the evangelist is to proclaim the good news of God’s love which will not only avert the eternal destruction of an individual, but also cause him to have everlasting life.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
— Romans 10:14-15
So we see the need for the gospel to be proclaimed since there is “no claim” on salvation unless the individual decides to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.*
*Scriptures on salvation: John 3:3; John 3:17,18; Acts 4:12; Romans 1: 16; 1 Peter 1: 5.