What is ‘the gospel’ ? Most people have no idea of the answer, let alone the question. The late Dr. James Kennedy clearly explained the gospel (which means ‘good news’) in the following ~2 minute mp3.
Here are the points that Dr. Kennedy makes in answering the question:
- The problem
- God is holy (perfect in every possible way)
- We humans are sinful (our natures are corrupt, fallen, in opposition to God)
- The solution to the problem
- God should send us all to hell
- But God is also infinitely loving
- Instead of punishing us for our sin, he took our sin upon himself (imputed, he was punished in our place)
- He did this by coming to earth in bodily form as the God-man Jesus Christ
- God poured out his wrath for sin upon Jesus on the cross at Calvary
- Our problem
- Our sins are going to be punished by God
- They will either be punished, upon us, in hell, forever
- Or they will be punished upon Jesus Christ on the cross
- What should we do
- Abandon all trust in ourselves
- Repent (=turn away) from our sins
- Receive Jesus into our heart as saviour and Lord (= master) of all aspects of our lives
- Trust in Jesus, and inherit everlasting life!
Of course, the implications of Christian message are much more comprehensive than described above. If the above text really is true, then it changes everything. Meaning and purpose in life are suddenly objective rather than merely subjective. Right and wrong are suddenly grounded in God’s perfect nature (ontology) rather than in person-dependant thoughts and feelings (moral relativism). So many other things also change. One example is in science where the design that we all observe in nature (in both cosmology and biology) is no longer ‘apparent’ design as Richard Dawkins likes to say, but ‘real’ design.
In summary: Jesus changes everything.