Mark 16, Revised Standard Version, footnote
‘Gospel’ is the Middle English word for the Greek ‘euangelion’ which means ‘good message.’ But what is this ‘good message’? Many say that the gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, and that is actually good news because it shows that God self-sacrificed to reinstate us into the courts of Eternity. But, as with everything else we find in the Word, Living and Written, we should pay attention to what Jesus says the gospel is and not what we decide it should be, and Jesus did not tell his apostles to go into all the world and tell every creature that he died for their sins, and he certainly never commanded them to go into all the world and threaten people with Hell. No, the gospel, according to Scripture, is ‘the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.’ So, when we are sharing what has happened to us and why we have so much peace and joy in a world of absolute fear and confusion, we should never begin the conversation with ‘Jesus died’ but with ‘We can live forever, and the reason for that is because Jesus sacrificed himself for us.’ This may seem like splitting hairs, but we can presume that the God-Man Jesus is fairly wise, and if he wanted us to talk about his death first, or hell, or material prosperity, or theological fine points, or whatever, then he would have incorporated those into the Great Commission. But he didn’t. The gospel, the ‘good news’, is eternal life. After that comes the catechism, and not before. By the way, your eternal life begins now. Today is the day of salvation.