A SUMMARY OF “THE GOSPEL”- GOD’S GOOD NEWS FOR ALL MANKIND
Acts 17:24a, 25b “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth… He gives to all life, breath, and all things.”
From the earliest parts of the Bible, it is clear that God is humanity’s benevolent Maker and Ruler. It is He who made us, and continues to sustain us with all that is necessary for our daily lives and existence.
Romans 3:10-11 “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.’”
Though God is justly deserving of our obedience, loyalty, and praise, all people have in some way failed to give that to Him consistently. From Adam & Eve’s disobedient acts in the Garden to the choices that mark our own lives today, we frequently fall short of God’s expectations. The Bible calls this lack of complicity “sin,” and because of our sin, we face its consequences.
OUR PENALTY FOR THIS REBELLION IS DEATH.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…”
Death is a reality we all face. The death spoken of here is not simply the end of our physical existence- as awful a prospect that might be. “Death” here also involves eternal separation from God- conscious and ongoing suffering, first in Hell and then the Lake of Fire.
Romans 5:6, 8 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly… But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
While each of us deserves to bear the consequences for our sins, God in His great mercy made it possible for us to be delivered from this awful penalty. Jesus- God The Son- took the consequences each one of us rightfully deserved on Himself. Through His grace, we can be saved from His just wrath for our rebellion.
Acts 16:31 “So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…’”
Acts 17:30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent…”
Because of God’s love, demonstrated through Jesus’ death, we can be forgiven of our sins. Because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, we can be assured of eternal life. What He expects from us is repentance: realizing the guilt each of us bears for our wrongdoing, and consciously turning from those actions- and faith: believing that Jesus died the death we deserved and rose again to provide us with direct access to God both now and throughout eternity. We need no longer be counted as enemies and rebels. In fact, God Himself commands that we not remain so. He calls for us to receive His Son, that we might be received as His sons and daughters.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…” John 1:12