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“It would seem that everybody in evangelical Christianity, everybody who is truly a Christian, would understand that the gospel is the heart of Christianity, that the gospel is found only in the Scripture. And that the gospel must be preached to the ends of the earth. ……. The heart of the Christian faith is the gospel. The gospel is found in the New Testament. The foundations of the gospel are found in the Old Testament. And the gospel must be preached to the ends of the earth if people are to be saved. That’s essentially the Christian mission.
“That’s what the church has believed. That has compelled its life. That has been its mandate. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in My name and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” He said it another way. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”……..That has been the church’s mandate. True Christians have always believed that. The true church has always taught that. We have believed and been compelled by the fact that if people don’t hear the gospel, they can’t be saved. And if they aren’t saved, then they’ll spend eternity in hell under the judgment of God. So it is absolutely critical that the world hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. That they not only hear it but that they understand it accurately. That they believe it. That they embrace it for themselves because it is the only saving truth.”
“Compelled by this clear biblical mandate, Christians through the centuries have taken the saving message to the ends of the earth. Generation after generation they have been engaged in doing this. Preaching the gospel to every person on earth has been the goal of the church. I have told you many times that that’s the only reason we’re still here. We’re already saved and sealed for eternity. There’s no reason to leave us here except for this responsibility of evangelism.”
“Now we believe that the Bible is very clear that salvation comes through believing in Christ. Believing in Christ comes from hearing and understanding the gospel. Being able to hear and understand the gospel can only occur if somebody takes the message. And somebody can only take the message if they’re sent with it. And that’s what Romans 10 says, “You’re saved by believing in Christ but you can’t believe in Christ unless you hear about Christ. You can’t hear about Christ unless somebody preaches. And somebody is not going to preach unless they’re sent. And that is our mandate and that has been the mission of the church since the church was born on Pentecost and Jesus said, “You’ll receive the Holy Spirit and you’ll be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost part of the earth.” Since the church was launched till today, uncounted millions of dollars in every currency on the map of the world and millions of hours of effort and work and millions of Christian people through the centuries have been spent and sacrificed to take the only message of salvation to the edges of the earth. Translation work, rigorous, difficult, challenging work of taking a language that isn’t even written and developing an alphabet and developing a way to write that language and then teaching the people to read their own language when they’ve never even seen it. And then giving them the scriptures and the gospel, leading them to Christ, rigorous work that takes decades and then printing materials in every language, preaching, teaching, evangelizing…that’s what the church has been engaged in since its calling, since the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. An unrelenting effort to use every means available to reach people with the only message that can save them from eternal judgment and that’s the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Now all of that is bad enough and we’ve tried to address that. But there’s a new wave in the evangelical world that is at least as frightening, if not more frightening. And the new wave in the evangelical world is this, there are some people who are telling us it isn’t necessary to even take the gospel to the ends of the earth. It’s not necessary. People are being saved without it…without it.”
“Well what does the Bible have to say about this? Do we have a biblical case for the…for the exclusivism? Do we have a case for the fact that if you don’t know the gospel and if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ, you aren’t going to heaven?…….The answer to that is yes.”
selected quotes from The Exclusiveness of the Gospel, Part 1 -December 31, 2000 by John Macarthur.