The gospel of Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
In Rethinking the Gospel, I shared briefly on the content of the gospel…as envisioned in the New Testament.
However, I believe the way that the gospel is presented should differ depending on the people with whom we share it.
This requires sensitivity to the Spirit and attention to the person’s heart. Jesus Christ didn’t present Himself the same way to everyone.
To some, He warned. To others, He rebuked. To some, He showed compassion and mercy. To some, He asked questions or told parables, etc.
Just examine the way He interacted with various people, and you’ll see monumental differences. In a much-overlooked text, Jude describes it like this:
And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (Jude 22-23 NKJV)
You have the same thing in Paul.
Sometimes, Paul says things like, “It’s the kindness and mercy of God that leads us to repentance.” In other places, he says things like, “Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”
Forgive the personal reference, but as I think back on all the times I’ve shared Christ in one-on-one settings over the years (which includes many miserable failures at trying), I’ve noticed a few interesting things.
With some, I never mentioned the afterlife and focused only on the mercy and love of God for the moment. And I watched people repent and believe on Christ.