The Foolishness of the Gospel

By   •   January 20, 2011

The plan of redemption unfolded as Almighty God sent His Son to earth on a mission to die, to “give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, NIV). And not simply to die, but to die on a cross in punishment for our sins so that we might be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life.

To many, that sounds like nonsense. But the Bible says, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

I preach a simple Gospel, a message that some say is not sophisticated enough for today’s world. They wonder how the actions of a Man who lived 2,000 years ago could have any impact on their life today.

The truth of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection appears as foolishness to them. But for those who believe—those who freely admit they are sinners in need of a Savior—the Gospel is “the power of God for … salvation” (Romans 1:16). It’s that simple.

For more than 60 years, our calling at BGEA has been to “preach the Gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17). Wherever I go, whether to a modern city in Europe or Asia, or a rural village in Africa or South America, I always proclaim Jesus Christ as “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

When the Gospel is preached, it has power. The power is not in the preacher or because of the persuasive eloquence of his message, but rather that “God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

There is only one thing powerful enough to transform hearts and lives from the inside out and to deliver us from the penalty and power of sin—it is the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus described the process in radical terms: “You must be born again” (John 3:7, NKJV). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).

That’s the message our self-centered world desperately needs to hear.

Our mission at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is to proclaim the life-changing power of the Gospel everywhere we can and in every way we can.

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  1. Broken hearted mom in NC says:

    I come to God broken hearted and distraught. I raised two daughters, teaching them about God from infants. They both were saved and have read the Bible growing up. I feel I was a great mother and always loved both my girls. They are now 19 and 21. Both have recently informed me that they have choosen to be non-believers. I feel so hurt by this. I fear the end result of this behavior for them both. The outside influences and company they keep has contributed to them turning away from God. Im praying daily, and trying to make it through the day):

  2. Lisa says:

    Sterling, I am sorry you feel the Gospel is nonsense. I will pray for you. God Bless

  3. sarah says:

    My oldest daughter has proclaimed that she is an athiest. When she was two years old, I was in the middle of experiancing what major depression was. I would pray to God, and I would ask her if she wanted to pray too, and she said no. She said God is mean! While she and her sisters were growing up, I was not a good mom. I was ill all the time it seemed. My middle and youngest children believe in God. I'm not as sick as I was years ago. My oldest daughter was baptized when she was young. She has a problem with religion, and all what religions lead people to do. She believes in civil rights. She is a good person and is a nurse for hospice.years ago, I started praying for her. Since then she has had relationships fall apart. Whenever I pray for her it seems that things happen. Maybe God is removing layers from her to find the real her. She knows about when she told me that God is mean. When I go to pray for her I think, I dont want anything to happen to her. I have to quit thinking that I have control that God only has. I feel so messed up about Who God is and what he does for us. No wonder she has problems, look at me. Please help set me on the right path to God.

  4. Andrea says:

    I am so impressed to see all the things that the BGEA is doing and I am uplifted by all they teach. They saved me and they continue to save. I was approached to have a bible study in my home and I accepted happily and now I am excited to help others to find their Savior Jesus and He will change their lives. I pray I will help someone find Christ and I am grateful that the BGEA has done so much for me and others. Praise God for the BGEA.

  5. sterling says:

    It is nonsense !! As Bill Maher says I don't know what is true and what is not but I don't have to invent stories to prove it.

  6. Emmanuel says:

    GOOD eye opener

  7. Dave Ferguson says:

    Olivia, you will never know for sure but everyone you speak with may have gotten saved due to the seed you planted in them so long ago. God spoke us into existence and his word is powerful. if you are speaking while being filled with the Holy Spirit, then you are speaking his words and if you are saved then you are speaking for him through you.

  8. ANGELIKA says:


  9. angelika says:

    Good article.

  10. Olivia Belk says:

    I am a christian and I do speak to some people about Christ, that is not enough for me. I do not know if I really touched a life, I don't see what God has done to the people I have spoken to. I never really asked them if they accept Christ as Lord and Savior, I never spoke to them again. This year I want to see the fruit of the spirit of someone Jesus has touched by using me going about it in the right way. Pray that God use me to minister to a lost soul in 2011 and keep up with them. Pray for me and my husband for strength and healing. We continue to do God's will.God Bless you Sis. Olivia Belk