The Gospel message forms the heart of Christianity. Over the decades, we have lost this message in the political yelling, pandering and concern over offending someone. Yet, as Christians, it really should be what people know us for. We should talk about it first, last and always. It is the Good News of God, and the only message the saves people from hell. Here are some scriptures which plainly convey the Gospel message.
1 Cor3.15 Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time.
John 3.16 – For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten child that whosoever believes in Him will not parish but have ever lasting life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
First, the Bible makes it clear that we have all separated ourselves from God through sin. As Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This important fact must be understood. Many find it difficult to comprehend in a day and age where most people consider themselves ‘good people.’ Most people I speak with say, “A loving God would never send me to hell! I’m not a bad person! I’ve done a few wrong things, but I’ve never murdered anyone or anything like that!”
Yet, by comparing ourselves with something like the ten commandments, we must admit that we have broken rules of ethics many times over. The Bible goes on to teach us that “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Sin separates us from God, and God is the source of all life. When we embrace sin, we basically tell God that we do not need Him. We walk away from His love, His forgiveness and His life. Death and hell, an eternity separated from God, are the natural results of this life attitude.
Without God’s intervention, we pave our own road to hell. Dead in sin, we face an eternity separated from the love and light of God. God must hold us accountable for our actions for He is a perfectly Holy judge. And, as such, He must hold us responsible for our transgressions. Yet, God does love us and desires that none should parish. Because of that love, He sent His Son to die in our place. Jesus came to earth in the form of a man, and lived through pains, tribulations and temptations as we do. Ultimately, Jesus took our sins upon His back, sacrificing His life through a very torturous method. His blood was spilled to wash the sins of all who believe upon Him. As John 3.16 so clearly spells out, whoever believes on Him will not parish, but will have everlasting life at His side. God will no longer count the sins of such people of faith.
This is the plot of Bible for me, as it were, or the heart of the matter. With little exception, most matters outside of this message are debatable for me, at best, but not worth castrating a brother for. For the most part, sticking to the above message alone separates us from most major religions. Jews, for example, do not believe Jesus was the messiah, and, therefore, did not die for our sins. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, and did not die on a cross for the sins of the world. The list goes on, but suffice to say, if you believe what the New Testament scriptures say above, you have a hard line division with just about every non-Christian faith out there. This should not surprise us. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the Father but by me!”
Ultimately, every one of us has to answer this question in life, “What will you do with Jesus?” Will you repent from your sin, lay down your wicked ways and follow Him? Alternatively, will you reject or ignore Him, insisting on living life your way? This serious decision carries with it the most serious of consequences for your soul.