Jacob Wright wrote the following on Facebook, and I asked for permission to share it.
The worst way to evangelize is to ask someone that “if they died tonight do they know they would go to heaven.” The reason is because it’s not the gospel. It has nothing to with the gospel or the kingdom. Jesus and the disciples never once said “Repent so you can go to heaven when you die” or anything of the sort. Rather, it was “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was this-world focused.
The gospel is about the kingdom being unveiled on earth within us and through us. The gospel is being invited out of alienation of mind and into the life that has burst forth on the world in Christ. The gospel is about separation being declared a lie in the incarnation, and sin and death and the powers of injustice and oppression being overcome in the cross and resurrection. Yes, the gospel is the prophetic announcement that the powers of empire and oppression have seen their day and are coming to an end with the enthronement of the worlds new King.
The gospel is about the invitation to join the new community of people, called the church, the manifestation of Christ’s body, who seek to demonstrate in their intimacy with the Father, the reign of the King in self-giving love towards one another, and passion for righteousness, justice, and peace in the world. And all of this is heading towards the resurrection and restoration of creation. The gospel is “glad tidings of great joy for all people”.
The gospel is not about going to heaven when you die. I am calling all well-intentioned evangelists to stop using this anti-gospel tactic and to get on track with what the gospel is and adjust their language accordingly!