"I contend for this, that to gospelize a man is the greatest miracle in the world. All the other miracles are wrapped up in this one. To gospelize a man, or, in other words, to convert him, is a greater work than to open the eyes of the blind; for is it not opening the eyes of the blind soul that he may see spiritual matters, and understand the things of heavenly wisdom, and is not a surgical operation easier than operation on the soul?" Charles Spurgeon
"Gospelize"...I love that word! I like it better than the word evangelize. Gospelize's verbal twin has too much baggage and too many misconceptions. Gospelize has the same destination as the word evangelize but it's sporting nicer (not necessarily newer) shoes to cover her beautiful feet.
When we gospelize our communities we are being used by God to bring the kingdom of God into the center of our neighborhoods. There is more peace, more laughter and less backbiting. Why? Because the love of God is overflowing from us and flooding the streets!
When we gospelize our relationships we are bringing Jesus into the center of other people's lives. We are proclaiming the good news to them and inviting them to the party thrown by Jesus Christ himself. Through faith in him based on his death, burial and resurrection they are grafted into the tree of life.
When we gospelize our own lives we are reminding ourselves that the key to living the Christian faith never moves past a blood-stained cross and empty tomb. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:18, "to those of us who are being saved it is the power of God." We have confidence because we've been saved from the penalty of sin. We have joy because we are being saved from the power of sin. And we have hope because, someday soon, we will be saved from the presence of sin...all because we've been gospelized.
With this hope in mind let's gospelize our neighborhoods, schools, work places, Facebook pages and hang-outs. Let's declare the good news that Jesus died so that we don't have to. Let's proclaim that Jesus lives so that we can live with him forever starting now. Let's incarnate this gospel message in ways that seize the attention of others and points them toward Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
When should we gospelize? Ephesians 6:15 makes it clear that we should always have our, "feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." In others we should continuously be ready to share the good news with others.
Who should we gospelize? Anyone and everyone! Jesus said in Luke 14:23 that we should go out to the highways and byways and invite friends and strangers alike into the kingdom of God. We need to beat the bushes to reach as many as possible with the best news in the universe!
How do we gospelize? We learn how to share our faith in a clear and effective way. This link (www.dare2share.org/videos) to these podcasts may help. Watch the "Live THE Cause" podcast series and learn how to share your faith (aka "gospelize!")
I close with this reminder from Spurgeon, to gospelize a person is the greatest miracle in the world. In the moment of their conversion they are blasted out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. They are adopted, born-again, regenerated, forgiven, redeemed and made new...all because someone took the time to gospelize them.
Who will you gospelize today?