The word “gospel” literally meant “good news” in Greek and was what Jesus focused on when he taught and preached.
This is why all at Allesley Park Evangelical Church are committed to sharing the “gospel” with everyone around us, including our local community.
The following is a simple explanation.
The gospel, however, begins with some bad news. The left side of this picture represents all human beings, including you and me. The right side with the represents God. God is “holy,” which means that he is “pure.” But we have been separated from God because we have aspiritual disease. That spiritual disease is sometimes called “sin.” This spiritual disease leads us to act and think in ways that are contrary to God’s purity. For instance, we may lie, covet, gossip, belittle others. This spiritual disease is 100% fatal; itinevitably leads to spiritual death and finally, God’s judgment. This presents a problem for us—our spiritual disease separates us from a holy and pure God and will lead to God’s judgment.
Is religion the answer to this problem? The world already had many religions before Jesus Christ came into the world. If religion was the answer, why did the world need a saviour? Of course, it would be silly to say that people shouldn’t do things like praying, singing hymns and meeting together to worship. It is natural for Christians to express their faith to God and others – but these things do not make you a Christian or get you to heaven. The most that can be said is that they are an expression of your faith, provided they are practiced in a thoughtful and meaningful way.
Is good works the answer? Many will be happy to know that religion isn’t the answer. It’s now trendy to be disillusioned with formal religion – or any kind of religion! Why not just live a good life and do no harm to anyone?
The problem here is that we do harm people. There’s no point in fooling ourselves. We say things we regret, we do things we regret and we even feel guilty when certain thoughts cross our minds. If we are honest, we don’t even do our best. Anyone who thinks that they never miss the mark is generally regarded as proud and arrogant.
Some people are worse than others but the Bible says that we have all failed. Of course we can and do use terms like good and bad in a relative way. A person should aim to be ‘good’. But getting to heaven isn’t a matter of earning brownie points or doing a life-long driving test. If we could get to heaven by being good, there would be no need for a Saviour.
But God has a problem too because God still loves us and wants a relationship with us. God had to find a way to bridge this gap. So he sent his son Jesus to come to this earth. Now, because Jesus was the son of God, he did not have our spiritual disease and lived a pure life. He died on the cross and was buried to pay for all the wrong things we have done. But the story doesn’t end there because Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. By doing so, he conquered death once and for all and made it possible for us to receive spiritual health instead of disease and abundant life instead of death. Through Jesus and the cross, we now have access to God and the promise of spiritual health.
The signs of spiritual health are things like love, joy, peace, the certainty of eternal life with God, a relationship with God, and power— power not only within our soul but God’s power to change the world.To accept this spiritual health and cross over from death to life, we must repent. Repentance means a “change of heart:” a change of heart in recognizing our spiritual disease, a change of heart in recognizing Jesus’ ability to take that away, a change of heart in receiving spiritual health and abundant life, and a change of heart in claiming Jesus as the leader of your life.