Gospel means “good news.” God’s wonderful plan of salvation for all mankind is God’s good news. When did the Lord begin to proclaim the plan of redemption from sin and death? Way back in the Garden of Eden.
Even when God was pronouncing the punishments, God told the serpent (picturing Satan), “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15 (CSB) This means Satan and mankind would fight each other. However, “He,” a Savior, would eventually give a death blow to Satan’s “head,” but Satan would also be permitted to strike the Savior – not knowing that Jesus’ death was part of God’s redemptive plan. Satan did not know that Jesus would be resurrected in power and glory.
A broader glimpse of the Gospel was given to Abraham. Apostle Paul explained in Galatians 3:8 (ESV), “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’” The Gospel promised to bless every single man, woman, and child – those alive and dead. The blessing foreshadowed a Savior. Only a Savior could bless the living as well as the dead (in the resurrection). Abraham exercised great faith in the promise when he obeyed God’s command to sacrifice his son, Isaac, the promised seed. Abraham’s actions demonstrated his belief in God’s promise to resurrect Isaac and everyone!
When Jesus was born, He began to invite disciples to accept forgiveness through His sacrifice, to follow Him in sacrifice and self-denial, and to open the door to a heavenly reward. “…through the blood of Jesus — he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh).” (Hebrews 10:19,20 CSB) Jesus did not forget all the promised earthly blessings given to Israel and mankind, but His focus was to establish the church class. Galatians 3:29 ESV, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
Christ, the promised seed, is comprised of both head (Jesus) and body (faithful Christians). “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12 NLT) Since the earthly blessings are to flow from the whole Christ, all the faithful must receive their heavenly resurrection before Christ fully begins His reign to bless “all the families of the earth.”
Jesus preached the whole Gospel of salvation.“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NASB). This Gospel extends to all – whether they believe it now or in the earthly resurrection. All those who choose to obey God’s righteous laws will have eternal life. Those who do not love righteousness will die the second death.