The Simple Good News

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for your sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Ever wonder what in the world Christians mean when they talk about the “gospel of Jesus Christ?”  This “gospel” that they’re talking about is simply another way of saying “good news,” and it actually isn’t as complex, complicated, or confusing as you may think. Here’s a pretty simple explanation that should (hopefully) make a lot of sense to you:

Things started very well…

God created you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psa 139:13

God loves you more than you can imagine.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 1 Jn 4:9

God designed you to know him and enjoy a relationship with him.

And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. Jn 17:3

But suddenly things took a very bad turn...

At one point in your life, you started to sin against God (by not obeying his principles and commandments).

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Rom 3:23

Sin caused (and still causes) you to feel things like being sad, alone, troubled, frustrated, regretful, hollow, and guilty. Shame, confusion, grief and terror are not far behind. By the way, that’s not so much your conscience giving you trouble as it is the Holy Spirit getting your attention by convicting you of your sin.

But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And   when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. Jn 16:7-8

The results of your sin are such that you aren't enjoying God nor do you have a personal relationship with him. In a sense, you're living with a void in your life. A brilliant 17th century French theologian (and mathematician) once described your condition this way:

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”  Blaise Pascal

The reality is that you are trapped in a life of sin that you can’t get out of. Even though you have tried to do a lot of good to make up for the sin in your life, deep down you realize that you don’t have inner peace, clear direction, or true purpose. When you think about it, your life is not what you want it to be or know it could (or should) be.

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God. Isa 59:2

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Eph 2:8-9

Even worse (yes, that’s possible), the ultimate consequence of your sin is death… and then an eternity in hell.

For the wages of sin is death.... Rom 6:23a

There is a way to get back on the right path…

God loves you so much that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to save you by his death, burial, and resurrection. You can have forgiveness of your sins. There’s hope!

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  Jn 3:16

While others may tell you there are “many ways to the top of the mountain,” there is in truth only one way to experience forgiveness of sins, one way to find peace with God, and one way to heaven. The one way? Only through Jesus Christ.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. Jn 14:6

But only if you really want to.

Though forgiveness of sins and salvation is a free gift of God, you still need to play an active role in the process by receiving this free gift. To do that, you need to accept God’s love and grace by repenting of your sins and believing in Jesus Christ. This is in fact the defining and decisive moment of your life – a true game changer. Why wait? You can go to God in prayer right now. 

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.  Jn 1:12

Once you accept God’s gift of salvation, you begin a new life and find the blessings of joy, fulfillment, and value.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Cor 5:17

Once you get on the right path, here are the first couple of steps:

Once you have confessed your faith in Jesus Christ, you then need to be baptized.

Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2:37-38

After your baptism, you need to grow in your faith by learning more about God, yielding to his love, and surrendering to his truth so that your life will reflect his grace and glory.

Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Pt 3:18

Not Sure What to Pray?

Some people just aren't used to praying or simply don't know what to pray. That's okay. Here's a sample prayer that you can pray right now ...but only if you really want to and you really mean it: 

Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to you now confessing that I am a sinner (Rom 3:23). Right now, I repent of my sins (Mk 14:15). I believe that your Son Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins (Rom 5:8-9). I confess that Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior (Rom 10:9) and invite him into my life (Jn 1:12). I now receive the gift of eternal life (Jn 3:16). Please fill me with your Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) and help me live my life according to your Word (Jn 14:15). Thank you for saving me.  Amen.