Understand the true Gospel

The Gospel is all about the nearness of the kingdom of God in and through Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1, 14-15). The kingdom of God is a time in the future when God will rule once again as the rightful owner of all creation. It will be a time of peace, joy and righteousness. There will be no more pain, sin or death. God will be with us and we will be with Him forever in the new heavens and new earth (Rev 21). The good news is that this future time has now come near in and through Jesus Christ. In other words, God is about to take over the world, and He has sent His Son to announce it and to start implementing it through the people who will believe in Him. The time is near.

It has come near in two ways. First, it has now come near in terms of our personal experience. People can now experience the rule of God in their lives by believing in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. It is through Him that God is manifesting His rule upon the earth (Matt 28:19-20). He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, so all authority has been given to Him to rule the universe! By believing in Him, people are born again and they can now “see” or experience the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Through Him they are now members of His household and heirs of the kingdom of God.

But the kingdom of God is not yet here in its actual form. There is still evil and death. But the time is coming soon, and Jesus said it is near, when everything will be put under His feet (1 Cor 15). This is the second aspect of the “nearness” of the kingdom of God in and through Jesus Christ. Time is running out. The Lord’s second coming to usher in His actual rule upon all creation is about to come.  The Bible calls this “the day of the Lord.” This day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5). This is the reason why the Gospel must be proclaimed, so that everyone who hears may believe, and so that by believing, they will be saved and not suffer God’s wrath anymore.

So Jesus Christ is the Good News for all of us. Why? He came to solve the biggest problem we all have — our separation from God because of our sin and rebellion against His rule! You see, all of us have sinned and will continue to sin no matter what we do (Rom 3:23). That creates the biggest problem of all — separation! Separation is called “death” in the Bible.  It has to do with being separated from God and His kingdom for all eternity.

The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Death is not just dying. It’s experiencing eternal separation from God forever, outside of His kingdom. In other words, you are going to hell unless you believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. More than that, dying is also experiencing death in the here and now. The apostle Paul says that people who are living in sin are already dead, which means that they are already experiencing the wrath of God in their lives even now (Rom 1:18; Eph 2:1-3). Death will always characterize our lives — relationships, finances, families, etc. — because of sin.

The trouble is, while in this body, we will always be tempted to sin and we will always sin. So we will always suffer the consequences of sin. This creates an unsolvable problem as expressed by Paul in Rom 7:14-25. We cannot change our nature, because our nature is to sin. Unless our nature is changed, we will always sin, and death will always be the main characteristic of our lives.

Jesus Christ solves this by first dying for our sins. He pays for it completely (see Rom 6:10). Death is the payment for sin, so He gives His life as a ransom for all of us. He died on the cross for our sins. Second, by believing in Him, He joins us with Him in His death and resurrection. We experience spiritual rebirth — dying and rising again with Him –through His power and grace (see Rom 6:1-4). Thus we are set free from the power of sin once and for all. Therefore, we are no longer slaves to sin; we are no longer obligated to obey our sinful desires. We can now live righteous lives through Him!

The time will come when He will renew all things. When this happens, He will also renew or transform our physical bodies, so that we will no longer be tempted to sin. The presence of sin will be done away with once and for all! This is indeed Good News for all of us! To God be the glory!

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