21 - A Summary of the True Gospel

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
— 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

According to the Bible, a day is coming when many professing “Christians” will stand before Christ, declaring their faith in a Jesus that never existed, and a gospel that wasn’t true (Mt 7:21-23, Lk 13:24-25).  A person who “comes to Christ” by a false gospel has been deceived and will not experience a fruitful and joyful walk with the Lord, or eternal life.  Unless they hear the truth, they will have believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2).  If you responded to Christ through an incorrect gospel, or you came to Him for the wrong reasons, it’s not too late to hear the truth and to respond accordingly.

Here is a basic summary of what the Bible teaches about our need for salvation.  God created people (you) for His glory and pleasure (Isa 43:6-7, Rev 4:11), and to be in relationship with Him (Gen 1:27).  The Bible says God now restricts the length of man’s life on earth to a max of 120 years (Gen 6:3).  After we die, we will face God’s righteous judgment (Heb 9:27) for how we lived in the body (Rev 20:12). This judgment determines if we will spend eternity in heaven (a glorious paradise, made by God, for the supreme happiness of Himself and His children), or hell (a place of terrifying torment that was originally made for the devil and his fallen angels) (Mt 25:41).  God’s desire is that none of His elect end up in hell (2Pt 3:9).  He chooses us first (Mt 11:27), but we must exercise our free will to choose Him back, or to rebel against Him (Ex 32:26, Jos 24:15, Mat 23:37, Jn 7:17, 8:31-32, Acts 13:46).

When we were born, we were born alive in the flesh, but dead in our spirit to God (Jn 3:3, Eph 2:5).  The reason is because we have inherited a sinful nature through Adam and Eve (Gen 3:20, Rom 5:12).  We can see that we have chosen to sin by reviewing the Ten Commandments (Exo 20:1-17).  If we have ever broken one (and we all have), the Bible says we have broken all of them (Jam 2:10) and we are slaves to sin, deserving eternal death (Jn 8:34, Rom 6:16).  There is no human being who is not guilty of sin and deserving of eternal death and separation from God for all eternity. (Rom 3:10-12, 1John 1:10)

The acts of our sinful nature are obvious: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, sexual immorality, idolatry, occult activity, hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing.  The Bible emphatically warns that anyone who lives like this will not be able to go to heaven. (Gal 5:19-21)

This sinful nature separates us from God (Isa 59:2, Eph 2:12-14) because He is perfect and holy and cannot be in relationship with people that are impure (Deu 23:14, 2Cor 6:17).  If you remain a slave to your sin, you will die (and you have no idea when you will die) and you will remain separated from Him for all of eternity (Rom 6:23).  After you appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2Cor 5:10), you will be sent to a place called the lake of fire (hell) (Rev 20:15) for all of eternity, if your name is not found in the book of life.  This is the bad news, but here is the good news! 

In spite of the fact that man has repeatedly chosen what is right in his own eyes (Isa 53:6), sinning against God—He loves you and me so much that He created a way for our sins not to be counted against us (2Cor 5:19), and to restore eternal life, saving our souls from hell.  In an indescribable act of love, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, (Jn 3:16) to die a horrible death on the cross, shedding his blood, and raising Him back to life, to forgive us and justify us before God (Rom 5:8-9), making atonement for our sins (Rom 3:25), and cleansing us of all unrighteousness and guilt (Heb 10:22, 1Jn 1:9).  This is God’s one and only offer of salvation to the entire world.  There is no other way to God, or to heaven, but through His Son, Jesus (Jn 14:6, Acts 4:12).  He offers this to all who would believe in Him and receive Him by faith (Jn 1:12).   Jesus literally died on your behalf and has already paid your entire sin debt to God in full.  In order to receive this forgiveness for your sins, the Bible says you must do the following things by faith:

•          Believe and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. – Rom 10:9
•          Confess your sins to God. – Mk 1:5, 1Jn 1:9
•          Repent and bebaptized (Turn from your sin, and to God) – Mk 1:15, Mk 6:12, Lk 13:3, Acts 2:38,20:21
•          Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (Obedience) – Acts 26:20, Mt 3:10, 7:21, Lk 6:46, Jn 8:31-36, Jn 14:21, 15:1, 1Jn 3:6

This is only a summary. Other principles related to salvation and discipleship can be found in the teachings and INSIGHT sections of the daily devotional.