Christ has commanded us to “preach the gospel [good news!] to every creature [person]” (Mark:16:15). What response is required? Both the desperate question and uncomplicated answer are given to us: “What must I do to be saved?...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts:16:30-31). Neither religion, ritual, nor good works will avail—God calls us to simply believe. “For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians:2:8)—“whosoever believeth in him [will] not perish, but [has] everlasting life” (John:3:16).
It is the gospel alone that saves those who believe it. Nothing else will save. Therefore, we must preach the gospel. Paul said, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel” (1 Corinthians (:16). Sentimental appeals to “come to Jesus” or “make a decision for Christ” avail nothing if the gospel is not clearly explained and believed.
Many are attracted to Christ because of His admirable character, His noble martyrdom, or because He changes lives. If that is all they see in Christ, such converts have not believed the gospel and thus are not saved. This is the solemn teaching of Scripture (John:3:36).
Paul said that “the gospel of Christ…is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans:1:16). He also called it “the gospel…by which also ye are saved” (1 Corinthians:15:1-2); and “the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians:1:13). Clearly, from these and other scriptures, salvation comes only through believing the gospel. Christ told His disciples to go into “all the world, and preach the gospel” (Mark:16:15), a gospel that the Bible precisely defines.