What Is the Gospel?

What is the gospel? Every Christian needs to be able to succinctly and sufficiently answer this question to anyone—it contains the very keys to eternal life.

Let me offer my answer:

The gospel is the good news that God saves sinners who repent and believe in Jesus.

I have this memorized. My two daughters, ages five and six right now, have this memorized. It comes out of our mouths instinctively with almost no effort. But memorizing a canned response is only the first part. You must be able to expound upon its meaning.

Pastor Emilio Ramos of Heritage Grace Community Church shares the gospel with student at the Univ. of North Texas.

Pastor Emilio Ramos of Heritage Grace Community Church shares the gospel with students at the University of North Texas.

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Will Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel Go to Hell?

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This is a commonly asked question:

Will those who have never heard the Gospel go to hell?

To help understand the issue, let’s explore a hypothetical scenario and then examine what Scripture has to say. (more…)

Pierced for Our Transgressions

On this day some 2,000 years ago, Jesus atoned for the sins of his people once and for all. It was a Good Friday.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (ESV)

Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
so shall he sprinkle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Please read this if you have never truly repented of your sins and put your faith in the Son of God alone for your salvation.

Jesus: “Stop Sinning Or Else”

Remember the story where Jesus healed the man by the pool of Bethesda? John 5:14 says:

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

Notice what Jesus did not say:

  • Do whatever makes you happy.
  • Live your best life now.
  • Think more positive thoughts.

Nope. Jesus essentially told the man to repent of his sins or experience divine judgment. Jesus did not ignore the man’s sins. He confronted them. It was the most loving thing Jesus could have done and we should do likewise.

Don’t Sell Short the Gospel

Here is a passage of Scripture that we’ve no doubt heard:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

The list is interesting. Thieves and adulterers. Greedy people and idolaters. Drunkards and homosexuals. I don’t think Paul is trying to equate any of these sins with each other– other than the fact that they are sins and they prevent access into God’s kingdom. And since homosexuality seems to be the popular topic these days, let me clarify. When looking at the issue of homosexuality being a sin, Paul is not just talking about underage male prostitutes as some liberals attempt to portray. The Greek term used here refers explicitly to the “active” and “passive” roles in the homosexual relationship. Men having sex with men is definitely sinful.

But if that’s all we preach, we are selling short the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (more…)

A Biblical Response to “Should We Be So Opinionated?”

While attempting to answer the difficult question, “Should We Be So Opinionated?“, the author asserted that Christians aren’t asked to defend the faith. Here’s the quote:

…making disciples isn’t about defending our faith (something were never asked to do)…

Scriptures most definitely affirm the Christian’s responsibility to defend our faith. Consider these passages: (more…)

The Five Solae of the Reformation

Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517.

Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517.

In honor of Reformation Day, I have provided a brief summary of what is commonly referred to as the five solae of the reformation.

Sola Scriptura

Latin for “Scripture alone.” It was one of the core tenets that distinguished the reformers from the Roman Catholic church. Sola Scriptura means that the Bible is the ultimate authority for matters of faith and Christian living. It also encompasses the belief that any believer is able to read and understand Scripture. These beliefs were in stark contrast with Catholicism which erroneously held that Scripture and church tradition had equal authority on the believer. The Roman Catholic church also held the view that only the clergy within the Catholic church could reliably interpret Scriptures. (more…)

Jesus Silent About Gays?

Non-sequitur. From Latin which literally means, “does not follow.” It’s a logical fallacy where one argues that “If A, then B must follow.” Sometimes, A does lead to B. For instance, if you jump off a 10-story building, you will fall and get seriously injured. It is possible to escape this outcome, but it is highly unlikely. This makes sense and is demonstrably true. (more…)

Four Passages on the Deity of Jesus

I listened to Dr. James White speak about Jehovah’s Witnesses (part 1, part 2). He talked about four great verses that undeniably speak to the divinity of Jesus Christ and how the New World Translation mangles these verses to conform to the Watchtower’s heretical views. I’ll list the verses below and let you follow the link above if you’re interested in Dr. White’s explanation. (more…)

Old Testament Titles of Jehovah Appropriated by Christ

In a comprehensive article about the deity of Christ, noted scholars F.F. Bruce and W.J. Martin pointed out some of the many titles that Jesus Christ uniquely shares with YHWH:

  • “First and Last”
  • The “I AM”
  • Author of Eternal Words
  • Light
  • Rock
  • Bridegroom
  • Shepherd
  • Forgiver of Sins
  • Redeemer
  • Savior/Author of Salvation
  • Co-Partner of Divine Glory
  • Judge

The PDF article can be found here.