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The Simple Gospel

Mark 6:7-13

In our last message, we left Jesus being completely rejected in his home town of Nazareth. The shocking last line of last week’s text was,

Mark 6:6 (NLT)
6 And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people.


The amazing unbelief of the people of Nazareth was the sign for Jesus to move on with the Good News to the other villages in the Galilee. Now today, as Jesus is going village to village and teaching the people, he is going to send out his Disciples to share the same message. We’ll call it – the simple Gospel.

What struck me about this text this week, is the simple Gospel that Jesus taught his Disciples to share.

Do you think that we, as a Christian culture, share the Gospel in the same way that Jesus and the Disciples did? I’m afraid, to a large extent, we’ve turned the simple Gospel that Jesus shared into a very different, me-centered gospel. The me-centered gospel is: Come to Jesus, and he will give you what you need. 

When we started presenting the Gospel message based on what people felt they needed, it implied that Jesus wanted to be part of their plan for their life. And it also implied that Jesus would fulfill a part of their life’s plan that was missing. The only problem is, you never see that in the Bible.

There are wonderful promises in this life that come through our salvation and through our abiding in Christ. In fact, there are over 250 separate promises in just the New Testament. But the simple Gospel message repeated over and over in the Bible is this: Repent of your sins - and turn to God for Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

All the promises in the Bible are true as we continue to live in Christ, but they are never used as motivation when Jesus, or the Disciples, proclaim the simple Gospel. The simple Gospel proclaimed by Jesus and the Disciples is always some form of this: Turn FROM your sin (repent) - And turn TO God for Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

So often, we begin our sharing of the Gospel by talking about a dozen different things – things we think might be important to the person we’re talking to. But often, the real issue, the life-changing message of the simple Gospel, never actually comes up. Maybe it’s because we are more focused on what we think that person needs than we are on the simple Gospel message.

What if we were to just look for a way to try to find a place in the conversation where we could say, "You know, the truth is, the Bible says we must all repent of our sins and turn to God for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ" because that really is the simple Gospel message.

When John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus, Matthew 3:2 says this was his message: 2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” (meaning in the person of Jesus Christ) and he says the same thing again in Matthew 3:11 and again in Matthew 4:17. And throughout the Gospels, including from Jesus, the message remained this simple: Repent of your sins and turn to God for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

In the very first sermon preached in the New Testament Church by the Apostle Peter in response to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in Acts Chapter 2, Acts 2:37 says this.

Acts 2:37 says (ESV)
37 Now when they heard this
(what Peter was saying) they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 

And then comes the simple Gospel at the end of the very first sermon of the New Testament Church.

Acts 2:38 (ESV)
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”


Thirteen times in the New Testament, this simple Gospel message is used: Repent of your sins and turn to God for salvation . . . and more times than we can count, the Bible makes it clear; God’s only method of salvation is Through Faith in Jesus Christ.

Do you think there’s a chance that us adjusting the Gospel message to imply that Jesus will give people something they feel they need, has back-fired? Because hasn’t it created Christians who are always looking for Jesus to give them something and then turning away when he doesn’t give them what they expect?

So, let me show you the simple Gospel in the first and the next to last verses of our text today.

Mark 6:7 & 12 (NLT)
7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits.
. . .
12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God.


This is the beginning of the followers of Christ, taking the simple Gospel to the world.
Let’s look closely at it again in Mark 6:7.

Mark 6:7 (NLT)
7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits.


Jesus called his Disciples to himself, and then he sent them out on his behalf to share the simple Gospel with everyone they met. And we also have been called to Jesus for salvation, and then sent out on his behalf with his authority to share the simple Gospel with people in our lives.

Repent of your sins and turn to God for Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

That is truly the Good News – straight from the Bible.

Again, back in Mark 6:7.

FIRST Jesus Calls us to Himself and THEN he sends us OUT – TWO-BY-TWO

Two-by-two is critical, isn’t it? In following Jesus, there are no solo missions.
Get the wordbymail phone app. Search No Solo Missions. Listen to why it’s so important we don’t try to follow Jesus alone.

In the Gospels, we never see Jesus send out the Disciples alone. We must link arms with fellow believers in order to follow Jesus and in order to be sent out by Jesus.

And then, we see here, Jesus gave them authority – specifically, authority over evil spirits. I love this because, truly, our battle is a spiritual battle and all our victories are spiritual victories.

2 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.


Salvation and the growth of God’s Kingdom are supernatural things, and if we start using the world’s ways to talk people into receiving Christ, then the world will just respond by talking them out of following Christ.

But the simple Gospel is a supernatural thing. It’s a supernatural thing that has divine power to destroy strongholds in people’s lives.

Repent – Turn to God – Truly receive Jesus Christ by faith, and supernatural things will begin to happen.

Next, in Mark 6:8-9, Jesus made sure that the Disciples would remain completely dependent on God. They were on a supernatural mission (as we are), and they had to learn to trust God’s supernatural provision (as we do). Look at Mark 6:8-9.

Mark 6:8-9 (NLT)
8 He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money.
9 He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes.


Nothing but a walking stick and sandals? No food – no overnight bag – no money – no extra shirt. Why? Because with none of these normal supplies, they would have to learn to depend on the supernatural provision of God. They would have to learn to be directed, just as Jesus was directed by listening to God and responding in obedience.

Every branch of the military has a final event that tests the recruit’s ability to make it in the real world of battle.

In the Navy, it’s a twelve-hour event called Battle Stations, designed to put the recruits under extreme pressure and make them perform well under stress for an extended period of time. In the Marines, it’s called The Crucible. It’s a fifty-four-hour event with food and sleep deprivation and forty-five miles of hiking. It’s designed to ensure that the recruit is ready physically, mentally and morally for what lies ahead for them.

And I think these final-event, military training exercises best explain why Jesus did this with his Disciples. This was their final test. Would they take the simple Gospel to the world and depend on the supernatural provision of God?

When we join Jesus Christ on his mission, we join a spiritual battle for the souls of this world. I believe Jesus is preparing his first recruits here for the real-world battle. Preparing them to depend on the supernatural leading of God and the supernatural provision of God, and to prepare them to continue Christ’s mission on earth.

And so, what about the people you will meet as you go to share the simple Gospel with the world? Jesus has two instructions for you; the first one is in Mark 6:10.

Mark 6:10 (NLT)
10 “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town.


This seems like an odd requirement, doesn’t it? But what if God has a reason for you to stay in that first house he brought you to until his work through you is done there?
How many times do we see the Apostle Paul staying with someone when he comes into town and then leaves with a house church that started in that person’s house, or at least is being led by that person?

What if that place that God has led you is right where God wants you for as long as he wants you there? And what if that person you want to move away from is the person God wants you to witness to and disciple for as long as God has you there?

I believe God is saying, “Trust me.” When God puts you in a place, stay there as long as God has you there. Let God work right where he’s put you. Grow Where You’re Planted (another great message on the wordbymail phone app), because you never know what God is going to do right where he’s put you.

But…

There is so often a “but” isn’t there? Look at Mark 6:11.

Mark 6:11 (NLT)
11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”


That’s pretty serious, right? But isn’t that what Jesus just did in his own home town of Nazareth?

Last week, we talked about extreme unbelief, and you and I don’t want anyone to be that hardened in their unbelief – it’s very painful. But it does happen, and we have to be prepared for it.

Finally, here’s the main point, the Most Important Point (MIP).

To join Jesus in his mission to save the world (literally), we must embrace the simple Gospel. And we must embrace sharing it with the people Jesus sends us to. Again, let’s look at Mark 6:12.

Mark 6:12 (NLT)
12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God.


We have only one message because Jesus had only one message.

Repent (which means turn from) of your sins - and turn to God for Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

And the Disciples went with compassion for the people and the power of God flowing through them.

Mark 6:13 (NLT)
13 And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.


The compassion was shown in the power of God toward the people in casting out demons and healing many sick people. But the message remained the simple Gospel. Repent of your sin and turn to God for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:18 says The Message of the Cross is the POWER of GOD to those who are being saved.

These people received the Message of the Cross, the simple Gospel, and they saw the power of God change their lives.

Guys, we must learn to fully embrace the simple Gospel.

Repent of your sins - and turn to God for Salvation – through faith in Christ Alone.

When you talk to your friends, your family, those you know, try to get to the simple Gospel message. It is the power of God that will bring salvation, healing, and transformation to you and to those you share the simple Gospel with.