The Gospel Message

The Reality

Our world and our own hearts are filled with discouragement, disappointment, frustration, confusion, and evil.  We are constantly searching for meaning and significance, and we fill our lives with all kinds of things to give us the peace we are lacking.  We deaden our pain with entertainment to escape.  We project a certain image to the world and pretend we are okay.

Few people have any clue as to what the real problem is.  Instead of thinking much about this void, most people just go on with their lives, trying to find some meaning in their jobs, families, friends, or recreation.  But people cannot escape the feeling of emptiness that haunts them day by day.

The Problem

We live in a world that defies explanation apart from God's Word, the Bible, and God tells us that our greatest problem is our sin.  Sin has brought all kinds of consequences, including the aching emptiness we experience.  But the most serious consequence is our separation and alienation from the God who has created us for himself.  We all experience guilt.  That is a good thing because it is our God-given monitor called the conscience telling us we have violated God's law.

The Remedy

The Gospel, God's good news, is his answer to our greatest need.  The gospel is actually bad news before it is good news.  God's Word teaches that everyone is born a sinner.  We don't think we are so bad because we compare ourselves to others and come out feeling pretty good about ourselves.  But this is a false standard.  God measures us by his perfect standard, his holy law, and on that basis we fail.  The Apostle Paul said in the book of Romans, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

We have broken God's law in our thoughts, our words, and in our deeds.  Because God is holy, he must punish sin.  We wouldn't consider a judge to be a person of integrity if they tuned a blind eye to grievous wrongdoing.  But God is not only holy, he is gracious and desires to forgive sin.  However, it must be on his terms.  God's only way of forgiveness is Jesus Christ.  He is God's answer to our greatest need.  Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  (John 14:6)  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God in the flesh, truly God and truly man; two natures in one person.

His perfectly lived life while on this Earth became the perfect sacrifice for sin.  God the Father accepted His shed blood as the only way for sin to be forgiven, the only way for us to be reconciled to God.  In his death on the cross, He took upon himself the punishment that our sins deserve.  The Lord Jesus Christ is the way to God.  In him is eternal life.  (John 17:3)

Other Paths?

Man people believe that it doesn't really matter what we believe as long as we follow our own hearts.  "Be true to yourself" and  "Be your most authentic self" are the themes we hear every day.  But if we think we are good, then God and the Gospel will be irrelevant to our lives.

Many believe we can do something to win God's favor.  We cannot.  The gap between us as sinners and a holy God is too great to be bridged by anything that we can do.  It all has to be done by God.  And it has - in sending his Son to die in the place of sinners for the punishment we deserve.  That is great news!

Christian faith is not about finding what I think is the "moral" thing to do.  It is not my subjectively deciding what is "my truth."  It is not hoping that by doing good, by living a moral life, then when I die, I will go to heaven.  There can be no true peace or happiness in that.

The Only Life of Meaning

Dear friend, you are not safe outside of Christ.  We all stand before God condemned for our sin.  Ever since the first man,Adam, chose to find his meaning and purpose without God, every one of us seeks to do the same.  Originally, we were created to have a relationship with him.  God alone is the source of meaning in life.  He alone can fill the emptiness and right the injustices. 

People don't understand the freedom the Gospel offers to them because they don't understand the bondage they are in to their sinful nature.  Will you continue to seek meaning and satisfaction in your life without God?  If you answer yes, you will one day enter the dread of what the Scripture calls "outer darkness", a place of eternal emptiness, because that is your chosen path in this present life.  If you answer no, acknowledge your sin, turn in faith to Christ for the forgiveness of sins and follow him, your life will begin to have freedom, satisfaction, hope, peace, and a sure identity.  And the benefits of knowing and resting in Christ will last through eternity.

Charles Spurgeon said that the person who clings to their own righteousness is like someone who grasps a millstone to prevent himself from sinking in a flood.  Only as we see the depth of our need and hopelessness will be begin to see Jesus Christ as precious, as an all-sufficient Savior.

As Tim Keller has said, "The Gospel is that we are more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe; yet at the very same time, we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope."  Do you see your greatest need?  And do you see your only hope?