“We live in a culture that is full of mixed messages…sadly, within the church there seems to be mixed messages too.” This quote comes from Blue Ridge’s new Associate Pastor, Theron St. John, and he is right on the money with that statement. We do live in a world full of mixed messages. That’s no surprise. We are used to that. But when we come to church we expect to hear the one message that isn’t mixed, confused, or watered down.
I am talking about the gospel!
What is the gospel? I am glad you asked. This word is common in our society. There are gospel singers, gospel songs, and gospel preachers, but do you actually know what the Gospel is? If someone asked you, “Hey, what is the message your church believes?” Would you answer, “We believe the gospel” and then tell them what the content of that message?
I hope so, but if not, let me help equip you. For this article I want to simply answer the question: what is the gospel? This way you can share it with your friends so they can be saved. And if you are not a Christian, I am writing these things that you might believe.
First of all, the Gospel begins with God. “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” (Gen.1:1). The eternal, self-existing, all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly wise and holy God decided to create. And He created all things—the sun, moon, stars, Earth, land, sky, oceans, vegetation, sea creatures, land animals, and birds of the sky were all created by “the word of the Lord” (Ps. 33:6). But, the Lord’s most important creation was man whom God created “in His own image” (Gen. 1:27). Creation’s crowning jewel—mankind—was made in the image of God to reflect His glory to His perfect creation. All of this was a work of God, and “it was very good” (Gen. 1:27).
However, all of this changed. Man, who was created in God’s image, rebelled against His creator (Gen. 3). The first man and woman willfully disobeyed the direct commands of God, therefore, sin entered the world for the first time and death was the result of sin (Rom.5:12). God’s perfect world was altered because of man’s choice. This is why we see death, disease, and suffering in the world today. It is not because God doesn’t care. Bad things happen because man sinned, and continues to sin, against a good and loving God. Therefore, all men deserve death (Rom. 6:23), because all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). God would be completely righteous and just if He sent every man to Hell for the sin they have committed against Him. He is that good and holy (Rev.4:8), and we are that depraved and sinful (Rom.3:10-18).
But, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Because we sinned, God has sent us a Savior (Jn.3:16). Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a man (Jn. 1:14). He lived a perfect life. Where Adam failed, Christ succeeded (Rom. 5:12-21). Jesus was perfect (Heb. 4:15), and though He was without sin, Christ “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). He died for everyone who would ever turn from their sin and trust in Him. As Peter puts it, Jesus “suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). How do we know this is true? Because “God raised [Jesus] from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts.2:24). Jesus conquered death through His death and resurrection.
And here is the good news. This is why they call it the Gospel. If you repent, literally forsake your life of sin, whatever that sin may be, and trust Jesus Christ, you will be saved. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9). You can be confident in Christ because “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). The Word of God promises that “Whoever believes in him is not condemned.” That’s great news! “But whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn. 3:18). There are gospel promises (eternal life) and gospel warning (eternal death). You choose!
My Christian friends, this is the Gospel. Share it with your unbelieving friends, family members, and co-workers. (Mt. 28:18-20; Acts. 1:8). If you are not a Christian, let me encourage you to believe in Jesus Christ. Trust Him and you will be saved. If you have done so, then join a good Bible teaching church. Get in touch with other Christians and begin to follow Christ in your daily life.