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The Gospel of Jesus Christ

After 20 years of studying church history and around 30 years of watching the fruit of various Christian Gospels and doctrines in America, here's the Gospel that I can confidently tell you will work. It will put you in fellowship with God Almighty and cause you to walk in the peace, righteousness, and joy that the Gospel promises (Rom. 14:17).

Note: Since writing this page, I have written a booklet, The Apostles' Gospel, and a short book, Rebuilding the Foundations, which talk about the Gospel and what it means to live a Christian life. Because my name is unique (Paul Pavao), it is easy to search my books online or order them at a bookstore.

The Gospel

Since writing this several years ago, I have learned that what I have written here is not the Gospel, but a proper response to the Gospel. I met an author named Matthew Bryan, who has carefully traced the word "gospel" through the Scriptures. The only message in the Scripture that is called "gospel" is the proclamation of the kingdom of God.

Matthew's book, Forgotten Gospel, lays a careful foundation for the Gospel of the Kingdom in the Old Testament, explains how the Jews would have understood Jesus' teaching about the kingdom, and shows the centrality of the message that Jesus is King in the apostles' preaching and letters.

If you want to understand the Gospel, I recommend Forgotten Gospel first and foremost.

"One of the most important books I have read in the last 30 years."—Mike Smith, lead pastor of Victory Church in Memphis.

"I'm excited about the implications of the gospel of the kingdom, and I have challenged many pastors to wrestle with Bryan's claims."—Paul Dyar, Territorial Overseer for Church of God (Cleveland, TN).

Jesus Christ is worth everything. Come to him, forsake everything and everyone else, and abandon yourself to his will.

Or don't.

Then you can pretend to be a Christian, or you can just wonder why Christianity produces no power, no love, no unity, and no noticeable change in life.

Part II of the Gospel: The Church

But if we come to Paul with these questions in mind — the questions about how human beings come into a living and saving relationship with the living and saving God ... The message about Jesus and his cross and resurrection — 'the gospel', in terms of our previous chapters — is announced to them; through this means, God works by his Spirit upon their hearts; as a result, they come to believe the message; they join the Christian community through baptism, and begin to share in its common life and its common way of life. That is how people come into relationship with the living God. (N.T. Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said [1997] p. 116-117)

In the first century, everyone understood that those who believed and were baptized were added to the church (Acts 2:47). They also knew that the church was that collection of people over there who didn't care about anything in this world at all, only that their lives would please their Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

You, however, live in a terrible century. Finding a church like I just described is nigh on impossible. (I wrote this page at least 15 years ago. In 2023, it is not as hard. Many larger churches have small groups, called cell groups, life groups, or micro/small churches, and sometimes, by the grace of God, one can find a group like I described right here in the USA.)

May God grant you to create one or find one.

There is nothing the devil fears worse than that there would be a church. Even if we don't understand that the gates of hell can't prevail against the church (Matt. 16:18) or that the church is the very household of God and the pillar and support of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15), the devil certainly knows.

Not seeing persecution?

Bring disciples together and you will.

What modern Christians don't seem to know, even the ones that know they must wholly devote themselves to Jesus Christ, is that they can't do it alone. The fact is that the Scriptures teach that if you are not exhorted daily, then you are in danger of being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13).

Paul Pavao baptizing Roy PavaoI was privileged to baptize my own father in 2007.

Look that verse up if you don't know it already.

It is not true that Jesus and your Bible are enough. According to the Bible, you need the church. You need the daily exhortation of your brothers and sisters.

And your brothers and sisters are those who put the will of Jesus Christ first.

Everyone else just wishes they were Christians. They'll never make it to the end, they'll never be persecuted, and they'll never be any danger to the devil.

Sorry, but that's the teaching of Jesus Christ himself (Luke 14:26-33). If you don't forsake everything you cannot be his disciple.

What Do I Mean by All This?

I often get asked what I mean when I talk about forsaking everything for Christ. Most of the time, the person asking is simply offended at the very idea. They are not looking for an answer to their question; they are looking for a way out.

If the thought of forsaking everything for Christ offends you, then be offended. Go away angry or sad. Let people know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ irritates you.

This page is not written for you. This page is written for those that want to ask questions and wrestle with the words of Christ so that they might obey them, not ignore them.

Above I have written nothing but the words of Christ. If you object to them or my saying them, then you object to Christ. You have rejected him. Know that you have.

On the other hand, if you recognize those as the words of Christ, and you really have questions, then I am happy to answer them.

This is my answer ...

I'm not asking you to hold to my definition of what it means to forsake everything. If nothing matters to you but doing the will of Jesus Christ and his Father, then you can answer that question yourself.

You will be able to answer it even better when you're with others who love Jesus and obey him as you do. Even by yourself, though, you can expect the Holy Spirit to give you—a person who lives to do his will—guidance in how to live a life that is separate from the world without being isolated from it.

Finding a Church

I'm sorry this will sound so judgmental. It is not my fault that modern Christianity has invented a new version of church, nothing like the one we find in the Book of Acts, nor like the early churches I write about on this site. That new version of church includes both disciples and those who are barely interested in doing the will of our Father in heaven.

You may be in such a church. You may truly love God. You may be a disciple. God may show you mercy as you attend the "Christian club" of which you are a part.

I hope, however, that you will be rescued from your current situation so that you can experience true fellowship—the unity that can only be bestowed by God's Spirit—with other disciples.

For those of you that are already looking for how to be in fellowship with other disciples, but you're not finding it, I recommend praying, diligently and in faith.

You can also contact me (see navigation menu). I can't promise that I know people in your area, but at the start of 2024, we (friends and I) are trying to gather people online both to encourage one another and to help one another find in-person, ongoing fellowship. As one person I know said, people who are "one anothering."

I also wrote a page called "How to Find a Church" that may help. 

As the psalmist wrote:

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for disciples to live together in unity ... for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, even life forevermore. (Ps. 133:1,3)

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