Good News

The good news (i.e., gospel) about Jesus Christ can be succinctly summarized as follows.

  1. God loves each of us deeply and wants to have a relationship with us.
  2. God wants to give us great gifts and an unimaginable future.
  3. Unfortunately, all of us are sinners and our sin has separated us from God.
  4. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice removes our sin and therefore our separation from God.
  5. All you have to do is believe, and it’s never too late and you can’t be too bad.
  6. Eternal life and other great gifts await those who believe.  Eternal life is a free gift.

Below I include supporting scriptures for each point above for those who would like to dig deeper, plus some additional points.

1.    Bottom line: God loves each of us deeply and wants to have a relationship with us.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate…  (Psalm 103:13)

Nothing in all creation [our fears, worries, death, calamity, distance…] will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Jesus Christ.  (Romans 8:39)

Since God’s love is revealed in Jesus Christ, then looking at Jesus’ life will teach us much about that love.  Among many things, Jesus was incredibly humble (Philippians 2:7 – He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave…); approachable (he associated with lepers, foreigners, tax collectors and prostitutes – people others considered beneath them); and a champion of the underdog (Matthew 5:5 – “Blessed are the meek… mournful… merciful…”).  Throughout the gospels we see him behaving with tremendous love, grace and compassion – at times moved to tears in front of others (for an example, see John 11:35).

The most remarkable thing is that the God who created the heavens and earth – where scientists can’t seem to find any limit to the breadth and richness of the universe or the complexity of matter on a quantum level – would become like those He created, endure their scorn and torture, and die so they might live.  The next time you get upset at someone for the slightest infraction, or can’t be bothered with the simplest act of service, consider Christ’s sacrifice.

2.    God wants to give us great gifts and an unimaginable future.

Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?  (Romans 8:32)

…our perishable bodies [will] be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.  (1 Corinthians 15:52-53)

Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die.  Our bodies… are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power.  …our heavenly bodies will be just like Christ’s.  (1 Corinthians 15:42-43,48;  2 Corinthians 5:1-10)

In the last days… all nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  All wars will stop, and military training will come to an end.  (Isaiah 2:2,4)  [God] will remove all weapons of war from the land… so that you can live in peace and safety.  (Hosea 2:18)  Quietness and confidence will fill the land forever.  (Isaiah 32:17)  …there will be nothing to fear.  (Micah 4:4)

…the home of God [will be] among his people!  He will live with them…  God himself…  He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  For the old world and its evils [will be] gone forever.  (Revelation 21:3-4)  (Also, Isaiah 35:10)

Isaiah 35:4-6  …He [Jesus] is coming to save you.” 5And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. 6The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert.

3.    Unfortunately, all of us are sinners and our sin has separated us from God.

…all people… are under the power of sin.  No one is good – not even one.  (Romans 3:9-12)

For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  (Romans 3:23)

When Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished from the Garden of Eden and separated from God.  (Genesis 4:23)  All people have been separated from true fellowship with God since.

Examples of man’s sinful nature can be found above in the Human Nature write up.

Have you ever badly wanted to do the right thing and didn’t?  Have you ever tried to change a bad behavior/habit only to immediately fall back into it?  The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans about this phenomenon nearly 2,000 years ago.  “…I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it.  Instead, I do the very thing I hate… When I want to do good, I don’t.  And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway… Oh, what a miserable person I am!  Who will free me from this life dominated by sin?  …the answer is in Jesus Christ.”  (Romans 7:15,19,24-25)

4.    Jesus Christ’s sacrifice removes our sin and therefore our separation from God.  It’s the only way.

We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.  And we can all be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.  Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty…  There is… only one way of being accepted by him.  He makes people right with him only by faith.  (Romans 3:22,24,30)

…we were restored to friendship with God by the death of His Son…  (Romans 5:10)

…overwhelming victory is ours (over troubles, trials, etc.) through Christ.  (Romans 8:37)

There is no other name [besides Christ’s] in all of heaven for people to call on to save them. (Acts 4:12)

Jesus said, “I am the way…  No one can come to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6)

5.    All you have to do is believe, and it’s never too late and you can’t be too bad.

What does God want us to do?  Jesus said, “This is what God wants you to do:  Believe in the one he has sent.”  (John 6:28-29)

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – and I [Paul] was the worst of them all.  But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.  Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.  (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Jesus said, “Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.  They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish.”  (John 11:25)

…our acquittal is not based on our good deeds.  It is based on our faith…  [God] makes people right with himself only by faith.  (Romans 3:27,30)

We live by faith, not by sight.  (2 Corinthians 5:5 – NIV translation)

What is faith?  It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.  It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.  (Hebrews 11:1)

Isaiah 1:8  “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I [the Lord] can remove it.”

… I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you…  By this gospel you are saved…  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, [and] that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…  (1 Corinthians 15:1-5)

Consider the parable of the workers in Matthew 20:1-16 for an example of how it’s never too late to believe.

Consider the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-31 for an example of how it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past.

6.    Eternal life and other great gifts await those who believe.  Eternal life is a free gift.

I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you.  (Ezekiel 36:26)

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into [a] place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.  (Romans 5:2)

…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)

“I assure you, anyone who believes in me already has eternal life.”  (John 6:47)

Some Additional Things To Consider

7.    While the world is a mess, and life and its trials are difficult, they serve a purpose.

Isaiah 38:16  Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to endure.  And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.  (Romans 5:3-4)

For our present troubles… produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever…  For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.  (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

… I was given a thorn in my flesh [i.e., a trial]… to torment me and keep me from getting proud.  … I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, “…My power works best in your weakness.”  … I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

… There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.  These trials are only to test your faith…  (1 Peter 1:4-7)

… don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad – because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering…  (1 Peter 4:12-14, 19)

Ecclesiastes 3:18  Then I realized that God allows people to continue in their sinful ways so he can test them.

8.    What’s the alternative to accepting Christ and serving others?

Being a selfish and uncaring?  Saying you won’t help others because others don’t?  It’s very simple.  You either live a life of love and caring for others, or you don’t.  Jesus Christ’s life was above deep love, compassion, service, etc.  Wouldn’t you rather your life be about this than the alternative?

Let love be your highest goal (1 Corinthians 14:1)

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.  The entire law is summed up in one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Galatians 5:6,14 – NIV)

9.     Pressures will abound around you to ignore this message.

Family members, friends, media and popular culture will ridicule your attempt to know Christ.  But what should you care?  It’s your life and future, not theirs.  Seize control of it.

10.   If you’re encouraged by what you’ve read and want to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, all you have to do is pray to him in your heart, admit your sinful nature, accept his sacrifice, and ask God to work with you to change and draw close to Him.