The Gospel – God’s Plan of Salvation!
If you died right
now, what's next?
This is inarguably the single most important question you can ask yourself.
We are alive for only a short time, and dead for sooo much longer!
George Washington was alive for 67 years but has been dead for 220
years (as of this writing). How much longer will he be dead?
Where you go depends on what you believe about something called
What is the Gospel? It's the Good News!
The word "gospel" literally means "good news". Before you can really understand
what's good about it, maybe first we should talk about some bad news.
If the Gospel is good news, what is the bad news?
It's sin, and the consequences of sin...
To put the bad news simply, we can look at some verses in the Bible.
3:23 we can read that everybody sins and falls short of God's perfection.
The word "sin" means to miss the mark. It's actually an archery
term. Think of the archer who sends forth his arrow and it falls short of the
target. Or maybe it lands a
little to the left or right of the bull’s eye. That's sinning. Without
hitting the center of the target you've missed the mark. When it comes to
missing God's mark, that sin has dire consequences...
1:15 says that sin brings forth death.
5:12 says that death passes to all men because they have sinned.
14:12 says there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof
is the way of death.
So, everybody sins, and sin brings forth death... But everybody dies, so
what's the big deal? Well, the death mentioned in these verses isn't talking
about the same death you're probably thinking about! The death of the soul is
what these verses are referring to.
10:28 says that our body and soul can die separately. It says the soul is
put to death in a place called Hell.
20:14-15 is talking about what happens at the end of time. It says Death
and Hell are cast into the lake of fire, and it calls that the second death.
It also says those who are not given eternal life are also cast into that
37:20 says the wicked shall perish. In case you're unsure what perish
means, it describes it as consuming away like smoke. Smoke vanishes away.
This happens in the lake of fire described in the verse above.
Well, you say
EVERYBODY sins – but I’m a good person!
First of all, the
bible says that nobody is good. Doing good things doesn’t make you a
good person. The punishment for
sin is death, regardless of how many good things you’ve done.
Imagine telling the
judge “Judge, I know I’ve done some bad things, but I’m a
good person. I help at the local
food kitchen, I give money to the poor, I give a tithe to the church, I don’t
drink, don’t smoke, don’t cuss. My good outweighs my bad 1000 to
A good judge would
say “I’m not judging you based on your good, I’m judging
you based on your crimes.”
you’re trying to bribe the judge!
Any judge worth his salt would see that.
Just look at the 10
commandments and realize that breaking even one part of the law makes you
guilty of sin.
1. THE LORD SHALL BE YOUR ONLY GOD
2. DON’T MAKE AN IMAGE, CALL IT GOD, AND WORSHIP
3. DON’T BLASPHEME GOD’S NAME
4. REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY
5. HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER
6. DON’T KILL
7. DON’T COMMIT ADULTRY
8. DON’T STEAL
9. DON’T BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST YOUR
10. DON’T COVET YOUR NEIGHBORS POSSESSIONS
In my experience,
most people violate most of these commandments!
“good person test”… see if you can pass and call yourself a
Lets look at number 9… I jump to this one because telling lies is
something most (all!) people have done and continue to do. Have you ever told
lies in your life? What does that
make you? Come on, now –
say it… it makes you a liar!
How many lies does a person have to tell to be called a liar? Would you call a liar a good person?
Number 8… Ever take anything that’s not yours
– no matter how small? A
pen? Money? Overcharge a client? Cheat on your taxes? Download music
from the internet that you didn’t pay for? That makes you a thief – and
most likely a lying thief. How
many things must a person steal to be called a thief?
Number 3… Have
you ever used God’s name as a cuss word? Yelled “JESUS CHRIST” in a
derogatory way? What about saying God D***? Or OMG? Using God’s name frivolously is
blaspheming his name. Would you
use your mother’s name that way?
Probably not, as it would be dishonoring to her. Most likely you’re now a lying
thief, and a blasphemer.
Number 5… Have you always honored your mother and
father? Ever lie to them to get
your way? Ever sneak out of the
house behind their backs? Ever
cheat with or without their knowledge?
All of these things are dishonoring to them. Your actions reflect on
them as honor and dishonor.
Number 7… Many people could say they don’t
commit adultery – but Jesus said that whoever looks at somebody to lust
after them commits adultery with them in his heart. God looks at our thoughts, not our
actions, to determine our guilt.
If you’ve ever lusted, you’ve broken this commandment as
well. How many acts of adultery
does it take to be called an adulterer?
So, at this point, if
you’re like most people, you’re not just a liar, not just a
thief, but a lying, thieving, blaspheming, dishonoring, adulterer at heart.
But, you say, nobody
is perfect – I’ve repented, I don’t do those things
Again, tell that to
the judge! Tell him “Yes, judge,
I did those things in the past, but I’ve changed. I’m sorry for them, I
don’t do them anymore.
I’ve turned a new leaf and I’m a good person NOW!”
What will the judge
say? “You should be sorry! And you’ll still pay for your
save you! Saying sorry doesn’t save you! Doing good doesn’t save you!
You’ve committed crimes and the price needs to be paid!
OK! I’m not a good
person… I’ve sinned!
But nobody wants to perish... I see the bad news! So now what's the good news?
The good news then, the gospel, is that even though we’re plainly
guilty, we can still escape this death!
6:23 describes it well:
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God offers us a free gift! The gift of everlasting life!
...how can you receive that gift? It's so simple! It's so easy for
some, but unfortunately for some it's so hard. Either way, it is still very simple.
The Bible makes it so plain over and over again - all that's required is belief. That's why Christians are called
Belief in what?
One of my favorite verses for this is Acts
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
saved, and thy house.
The context of this is found when reading Acts
16:16-40. Basically, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison unjustly.
While there an earthquake tore open the prison cells and their bonds were
loosened. The Roman jailer saw
that the prison had been opened and was about to kill himself, knowing that
the penalty to a jailer who lost prisoners is a worse fate than death. Paul
saw this and told him to not worry because they were all still there. This
impressed the jailer so much that he asked Paul how to be saved. Paul told him to believe on Jesus and
he'll be saved!
Note that Paul didn't say "believe and get baptized", or
"follow the commands of God", or "do good, and refrain from
evil". He made it clear that there is nothing he has to do except for
Also note the promise of "believe and you'll be saved" applied to
his house as well. If they believe, they will be saved also. It applies to
But that's only one spot in the whole Bible that mentions believing is the
only requirement. Are there others?
You bet! Another one of my favorites is Ephesians
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Faith is belief! We are saved through it. We are saved by God's grace,
because we have faith in Him! Note that baptism, or any other
"work", is not included as a stipulation. He didn't say make
sure your good works outweigh your bad works, or that you must make sure to
"try to do good things". Only "you are saved through
A note about faith:
let’s say you were going to have surgery performed on your eyes to
correct your vision. Having faith
in your surgeon means to believe he is who he says he is – the
best of the best. Having faith in
God is believing he is who he says he is – the one true God…
Probably the most popular Bible verse explains it well. John
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
I love this verse. It's so clear. It explains the who, what, where, when, and
why of salvation.
WHO is salvation for? This verse says "whosoever"! That's EVERYBODY
WHAT is Salvation from? This verse says it's from "perishing"! You
are saved from perishing and are instead given eternal life!
WHERE is salvation obtained? In the "world". It's everywhere. All
WHEN does salvation occur? This verse says "whosoever believeth...HAVE
everlasting life"! The moment you believe you have (present tense
- not "will have") everlasting life! You don't have to wait until
death to have everlasting life. As soon as you believe you are presently
given eternal life. Note that if you are given something that's
everlasting... can somebody take it from you? NO, if it could be taken then
it would be called "temporary" life, or "contingent"
life, or "potentially eternal" life! Most likely it would be called
“might have”, or “have a chance at having”.
WHY do you get it? Because God loves you, you believed in Jesus Christ (God's
son), and he gave it to you as a result!
HOW do you get it? You BELIEVE IN HIM! (...so simple!)
OK, what does "believe in Jesus" actually mean? What
specifically do I have to believe about him?
Certain things must be understood and believed in order to say you believe in
Jesus. However, to say that you have to know everything about him to be saved
is ludicrous. How could we know everything about a person? There are things
in your own life that you've forgotten, let alone the life of another person.
Even to say you have to know everything written in the bible about Jesus is
ludicrous. The Bible is a very large book and it's chock full of information
about Jesus. In fact, the entire Bible is written about him! If you have to
know and believe everything then nobody could be saved. People study the
Bible for a lifetime and still can't recall all of the things written in it.
If you could, why would you continue studying it?
In fact, there is a very interesting part of the bible that gives some
insight into what one has to believe. It's about a man known as "the
thief on the cross". When Jesus was being crucified there was another
person being crucified next to him. He was being crucified for his crimes,
while Jesus was being crucified for the sins of mankind.
The thief said something interesting. What he said can be read in Luke
23:39-43. He essentially said Jesus is innocent, he himself was guilty,
and Jesus was going to enter into his Kingdom when he dies. 3 very
interesting things that can be broken down.
1. Jesus Christ is God.
By saying "remember me when you enter your
kingdom" the thief was saying that Jesus had a kingdom in the afterlife.
Who has that except for God?
10:30-33 Jesus says "I and the Father are one." Just looking at
the Jews' response to this and other statements made by Jesus show they
thought he was being blasphemous. They said he was calling himself
8:58 he says that "before Abraham was born, I AM!" I AM is the name
God gave himself, and Abraham is their ancestor that died a couple thousand
years before Jesus was born.
1:1,14 it says the Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt
among us. That's referring to Jesus Christ.
20:28-31 Thomas calls Jesus "My Lord and my God", and Jesus
doesn't argue with him - in fact, he encourages him. It then says that
everything Jesus did that was written was to show the reader that Jesus
Christ is the son of God!
19:10 an angel tells John that only God is worthy of worship, and there
are multiple instances of people worshiping Jesus and he never stops them.
All of this is important because of the second reason in this list. Jesus
laid down his life for us. Only a sinless God could do this for us. If he wasn’t sinless, his death
would pay only for his own sins.
Believing in Jesus means believing he is God.
2. We are sinners, but Jesus laid down his life for us
The thief knew that he was guilty, and that Jesus
was innocent. He declared it. He asked for his mercy. He was asking for
Jesus' death to take the place of his own. He was declaring that Jesus had
the authority to save him.
10:11 he says "He gives his life for us."
53 is about Jesus Christ. It's a prophecy that was written hundreds of
years before Jesus was born.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did
esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes
we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own
way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
I think this a beautiful chapter of the Bible. It's very poetic, but
still literal. God laid on Jesus the iniquity, or the sin, of every
human being. That means whether or not you want to accept it, Jesus
was PUNISHED, he DIED, for your sins, and for mine. He literally died
Jesus says his blood will be shed for the sins of many in Matthew
I don't want that to go without saying that just because Jesus died for all
people, that doesn't mean everybody will be saved from death. As you
can see from the other information on this page, you MUST believe. The
fact that Jesus died for us all just points to the truth that ANY and EVERY
person has the opportunity to believe, and his sins will already be paid for.
Jesus does not have to die again, it's already finished.
3. God raised Jesus from the dead.
This is commonly known as the resurrection. The resurrection is how Christ
saved us. The thief implied that Jesus death wasn't the end! He knew he would
take hold of his Kingdom after his bodily death.
A verse mentioned above says
…if you believe that God has raised him from the dead, you will be
Are you willing to believe these things about Jesus? If you are at all
doubting in your belief, please ask God to reveal himself to you!
Peter 3:8 says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that
all should come to repentance. That includes you! Repentance is just an
acknowledgment of your lack of belief in the finished work of Jesus, and
turning from it by believing in the truth about Jesus Christ. The
entire book of John doesn't even mention repentance. It only speaks about belief. Repentance for the unbeliever is
So I can
“believe” and never repent?
You said repentance doesn’t save you! Can I continue living the same way and
just trust Jesus?
the rubber meets the road. Think
about what it really means to believe in something. Take the parachute as an example. You’re in an airplane 30,000
feet up. The pilot says the
engines have stopped working. He
hands you a parachute and jumps out.
What do you do? You
certainly don’t trust in yourself – you don’t flap your
arms and believe you’ll make it!
You trust in your parachute!
But to go a bit
deeper: you don’t just trust your parachute, you PUT IT ON! If you don’t put on your
parachute, do you REALLY trust in it?
You need to put on
Jesus! If you don’t put him
on, do you REALLY believe in him?
The faith in Jesus requires action to prove itself. The action isn’t what saves you,
it’s the faith. The faith
is made known through the action.
When you believe in
Jesus and put him on, you can expect to see radical changes in your
life. You’ll no longer want
to live in your sins – you’ll want to live for God. You’ll see other people living
in the state you were in and want to reach out to them with the good news!
You’ll see the hurt and suffering in the world and want to help
ministries around the world in Jesus’ name! Maybe it’s donating time, maybe
it’s donating money…
You should expect to
see the fruits of the spirit be made manifest in your life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – all works of
God’s spirit that he works through you. If you don’t have these,
ask for them!
If you have trouble
believing any of this, please visit the topics page
to read more and see evidence for it.
next? I believe, I’ve
repented, I have a desire to please God… but now what?
The Bible tells us to
1. Preach the gospel to all creatures, and 2. Make disciples of all nations.
You can consider
these things your mission! Go
preach the gospel to everybody, become a disciple, and disciple others. A disciple is a learner, or student. Start reading your bible (I suggest
starting in the book
of John) so you can learn more about God. You can download a Bible App on your
phone, (I always suggest the King James Version (KJV)).
I would also suggest
looking for a church that believes the Bible (surprisingly some churches
don’t!), and preaches the truths from the Bible.
Feel free to reach
out to us using the address on the contacts page for any reason.
This is the right
frame. I'm not sure what I'll do with it right now, but it seems like
it could come in handy for something.