What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Then, he created man and woman upon the earth. The Bible, which is God’s revelation to mankind, teaches us:
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26-28
However, mankind rebelled against God by committing sin. The first man and woman sinned. Every human being who has ever lived, or will ever live has also sinned. God’s very nature demands justice. Therefore, man faces a penalty for his rebellion against God. That penalty is death. But it doesn’t stop with physical death of the bodies we live in now. There is a second death. The Bible calls that experience and that place by several names, including Gehenna, Tartarus, Hades, and even The Lake of Fire. Most English translations of the Bible simply substitute the name Hell for the first 3 names. In Matthew 25:46, Jesus called it a place of “eternal punishment”. What we know for sure of that place and that experience is that it is horrible. It is also described by Jesus as a “place of torment”.
Now we get to the good part! What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The word gospel is literally translated to English as “good news”. It is indeed good news! Many people make the mistake of viewing the gospel with contempt and hostility. But that is the wrong way to view it!
Imagine that you are driving down a road. You are happily minding your own business without a care in the world. Now imagine that another motorist flags you down and tells you with some urgency that you need to turn around, because just up ahead there is a bridge that has collapsed. How might you react to such a person? Would you thank him?
Of course you would. That person just gave you information that you used to take actions which saved your life. The gospel is information that you can use to save the life of your eternal spirit!
The good news is this. Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, came into this world and lived as a man. He was tempted just as we are, yet he lived a sinless life. Remember, God’s very nature demands justice for the rebellions of mankind. We all understand the need for justice when we feel we have been wronged. We understand the need for justice if someone steals our retirement savings, or murders a loved one. We understand the need for justice when someone rapes or murders a child. We understand the need for justice when a terrorist group flies planes into a tower. We understand the need for justice because we are made in the image of God. God’s nature demands justice.
However, God is full of mercy and grace. He has made a way for us to be pardoned from our sins. The way that he made, is through the sacrifice of his own Son. The Father allowed Jesus to give himself as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. He died on a cross. He took our sins upon himself on that cross. He conquered sin and death and the grave and hell! Since God had left all the sins committed before that point unpunished, Jesus went into the grave and preached to those in the grave for 3 days. Then, Jesus Christ, in the form of his physical body, rose from the dead after 3 days! He paid the price for our sins and he conquered death for us! We no longer have to face the penalty (eternal death) for our sins! The good news actually does not stop there. Jesus is going to return to the earth one day. He is going to do away with evil and set up his kingdom on the earth.
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21:3-4, ESV
What a glorious day that will be! However, not everyone will be there!
So, what's important to know and understand today is that the Father stands ready and willing to forgive you for everything you’ve ever done wrong. He stands ready to grant you a full pardon. It does not matter how terrible your sin is or was. He is willing to forgive.
But you must receive his sacrifice. You must recognize that there is nothing you can do to save yourself. You must humble yourself, and recognize your need for a savior. You must believe in Jesus Christ. You must have faith in the sacrifice he made for you as the only sufficient payment for the penalty of your sin. You must recognize everything he did for you. You must follow him. You must obey his commands. You must take up your cross. You must deny yourself.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
As one who is likely to be interested in investments, you can think of this whole topic in terms of risk. Even if you struggle with the concept of Gehenna (hell) and eternity, eternal torment, etc. Ask yourself this question. Don’t you feel pretty certain that your physical body will one day die? Isn’t the risk of what comes after physical death the biggest risk we all face? We know that we will die. We cannot see clearly what comes after that. Yet, we have these testimonies and claimed revelations from God that everyone who ever existed will meet one of two fates. One is wonderful beyond comprehension. One is terrible beyond comprehension. Doesn’t it make sense to spend as much time and effort as possible trying to understand and mitigate that risk?
So, my suggestion is to humble yourself right now. Get on your knees. I can personally testify that you will not begin a relationship with God from a position of pride and arrogance. The Bible also explicitly makes that claim:
At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!” – Matthew 11:25-26, NLT
"Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” - Mark 10:15, ESV
So, humble yourself like a child. Ask God to please give you the gift of faith in his Son. Ask him to save you from your sins. He will do it! He is faithful!
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13
His name is Jesus Christ! Call on him today!