God is the Creator of the universe and all that exists both in the visible and the invisible realms. God is self-existent and eternal. He has always been. There is none before Him. God exists in three persons. There are not three gods but one God who essentially exists in three distinct persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is Holy. There is none other like Him. No evil or sin is found in Him. God created the earth in which we live, and everything in it. The crowning episode of creation was the creation of human beings – the first man and woman. When God finished creating everything; He declared his creation good.
However, the first man and woman disobeyed God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The two believed the deceiver (who approached them in the garden of Eden in the form of a serpent) and went against the will of God. In doing this, they sinned against God. Their sin resulted in eternal consequences – they became eternally alienated from and at enmity with God. Because Adam and Eve sinned, their sin has been passed on throughout all mankind. This is because God cursed all humanity as a result of this single act of rebellion.
God is a just God. The sin committed against Him had inevitable consequences. God had determined that the fitting consequence of sin was death. Death means separation. In sinning against God, Adam and Eve were both spiritually and eventually physically separated from God. Their spiritual death means the Spirit of God (that had previously dwelt in them) had left them. They were no longer in communion with God. They could no longer know nor obey the will of God. This spiritual death was immediate, and it’s effect eternal. Their physical death was to happen later on, when they were old. These consequences (aging and death) have also been passed on to all mankind.
Everyone is born spiritually dead. Everyone is bound to face a physical death. This physical death, however, is not the end. This is because death is not the ultimate punishment for sin, but only a consequence of sin. God declared His wrath against sinners by vowing to eventually send sinners into an eternal state of pain and terror. This will be in a place called hell. Both the deceiver (Satan) and the deceived (rebellious angels and human beings) will be cast into this eternal lake of fire. They will suffer forever, and will never find relief. Their punishment will be eternal because they sinned against an eternal God. Their punishment will be just.
BUT God is also a merciful God. By His Grace, He has provided a way of escape from this ultimate consequence of sin. God’s love for the whole world is expressed in this act; that He sent his only begotten Son to bear the punishment of sin in place of fallen humanity. Jesus Christ, who is also fully God, became a human being and was born of a virgin. He lived and walked on the earth, preaching and teaching the good news of the salvation that He was about to purchase with His own life. He was crucified on a Roman Cross and He died, sinless, but as a sinner. After three days, He resurrected from the grave, defeating death and proving that He was indeed God. In dying on the Cross, Jesus took the penalty for sin. He, the eternal one suffered the penalty deserved by finite humanity. He was therefore a sufficient sacrifice for all men.
God now offers all men forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ. He makes an offer to everyone who will hear it; to exchange our former life of sin with Jesus’ life of holiness by believing in Jesus. The sin of everyone who accepts this substitution will never be counted against them, but against Christ. On the other hand, the holiness of Jesus Christ will be counted against this person. When God looks at such a person, He will not see the person’s sin, but His Son’s righteousness. Such a person will no longer be an enemy of God, but a child of God. All that God requires of us if we are to receive this benefit of Grace; is that we put our faith in Christ. This means that we must both believe that Jesus is God and that He died for our sins; and also that Jesus resurrected and is alive today. He is the eternal mediator between man and God.
Jesus, who ascended to be with His father, is coming back again. He is coming to be united with those who put their faith in His story and His person. When He returns, all humanity will be judged. Those who belong to God through Jesus Christ will be restored along with the rest of creation into a new era constituting of a new and perfect earth – heaven. Those who rejected the Gospel; i.e. those who disbelieved the above message and denied the person of Christ will be cast into hell for their eternal and deserved punishment. This, in so many words, is the message that matters.
This, in so many words, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Believe it or not.
I believe it. Do you?
In His service and for His glory,