What are the 5 Gospel Symbols?

The history of 5 symbols traces back to West Monroe, Louisiana. Decades ago there was a pastor named Bill Smith, who drew 5 symbols on a napkin to share Jesus with Phil Robertson (The Blind Movie & Duck Dynasty).

As Phil recounts the story on the Unashamed Podcast, he remembers responding, “It sounds to good to be true.” Pastor Bill Smith then said, “It is too good, but it is true.”

Phil Robertson still preaches at WFR Church every Sunday in Monroe, Louisiana. He, Jase, and Al Robertson have amassed a giant following on the Unashamed Podcast (which are nicknamed Unashamed Nation) in the last few years. On the podcast they share stories, then get into some great Bible study discussions. The latest about “The Kingdom” has been a largely popular “theological” discussion.

Across generations, the 5 symbols been used by various individuals, churches, and organizations to represent Christ’s journey, relay His teachings, and expand His teachings. WFRChurch uses the symbols in their own logo and signage.

Many have drawn them on teaching boards, etched them onto the surfaces of Holy books, incorporated them into carpentry, imprinted them onto their bodies as tatoos, and discussed them in writings.

In one of the podcast episodes Al and Phil discussed the 5 Gospel Symbols using a t-shirt I was blessed to be able to create, with the proceeds going to the One Kingdom ministry. (see shirt below featured on the Unashamed podcast). We are starting up Missions fundraising efforts again for One Kingdom and Wings of Promise. 100% of proceeds from merch here goes to One Kingdom ministry. 100% of proceeds from these 5 Gospel Symbols shirts and other merch(tree camo edition) go directly to Wings of Promise missions.

5 Gospel Symbols Printable Cards (to share the gospel)

The last couple of years I have heard several of the Unashamed podcast followers ask about 5 Gospel Symbols cards for witnessing. Several people in the Unashamed Nation facebook group have asked what the symbols mean and how to use them for witnessing.

Most recently I had a witnessing opportunity a few days after coming home from a Nicaragua missionary trip. I was blessed to be able to speak with a homeless gentleman, feed him, and share Jesus. I even sent him home with a paperback Bible from church. But I wished I had used the 5 Gospel Symbols because they make so much sense and are easy to use when sharing the gospel.

Since that meeting with the homeless gentleman, I decided to create some Printable 5 Gospel Symbols cards that you can print on regular or cardstock paper. These are Free printable cards, and all I ask is that you use them to Share the Gospel. And if you don’t mind, share the templates with your friends. God Bless and enjoy!

Right click and save the template below, then print in portrait mode on 8.5″ x 11″ paper

How are the 5 Gospel Symbols Used?

Personalities such as Bill Smith, the Robertson family, Mac and Mary Owen, and many more embraced these symbols even before they became mainstream. Lately, these symbols have found their way onto accessories, clothing, and other items, offering new avenues to spread the message of Jesus Christ.

Many of the Unashamed Nation has tattoed the 5 Symbols on their arms, created stickers for their cars, had custom jewelry made, and much more. These 5 symbols are a great way to share the gospel and a great way to start conversations.

Whether through a brief explanation, a casual chat, the birth of a connection, or structured teachings, these five symbols create an easy way to tell the most powerful story of good news in history.

On the Unashamed Podcast, Jase Robertson talks about how he’s used the 5 symbols many times in his own conversations with people, including drawing the symbols on his restaurant check when he goes out to eat.

The universality of the 5 symbols transcends boundaries of language, culture, age, and religious sects, which has turned them into one of the most visual representations of the Gospel story.

Their straightforwardness often piques curiosity, prompting the question, “What do those symbols mean?” They pave the way for deeper conversations.

What Do the 5 Gospel Symbols Mean?

Many might already be familiar with the meaning behind these symbols.

Bible Studies

But what do the gospel symbols mean?

He Came. He Died. He Arose. He Ascended. He Will Return.

It’s the good news of Jesus Christ in a simple, graphic representation that anyone can explain and easy to understand.

I’d like to dive deeper into the two downward arrows that frame the narrative. They remind us: The symbols direct us towards Christ, who in turn, guides us towards the Father. They are inseparable.

The Divine’s essence is about descent. The physical embodiment of God was a step in His revelation to humanity. However, even before that momentous event, He descended to commune with Adam and Eve. He manifested in the form of elemental forces, resonating both in tumultuous roars and hushed whispers. His intent was always to connect, to guide, to illuminate.

Whether atop mountains or within valleys, He descended. And, in the most profound act of love, the Divine Word took human form. The central three symbols chronicle the ensuing journey. Yet, even after Christ’s departure, the Holy Spirit, another divine manifestation, remained.

The final downward arrow is a hopeful reminder: He Will Return. And His return will be magnificent, bringing forth all of heaven, uniting it with a renewed earth, allowing God to reside with us for eternity.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the former heaven and earth had vanished, and the sea was no more. I glimpsed the Holy City, the renewed Jerusalem, descending from God out of heaven, adorned like a bride ready for her groom. A voice thundered from the throne, declaring, ‘Behold! The abode of God is now amidst humans, and He will reside with them. They will be His kin, and God will be their guiding light and protector. Tears, death, sorrow, anguish – all these former things will cease to be.'” (Inspired by Revelation 21:1-4).

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Bryan E. Robinson

Bryan E. Robinson is a U.S. Army veteran and founder of Scriptures.blog, 316Tees.com, and ChristianQuotes.info. Bryan is a spiritual warrior whose goal is to get God’s Word in front of as many people as possible through digital channels.