There is a plethora of bad teaching out there today. So many voices saying so many things about Jesus and the Bible. How do you know who to listen to and who to ignore? Trusted voices I’ve been quick to recommend in the past have proven to be unfaithful in recent years and are no longer proclaiming the simple truth of the Bible. The so-called “Prosperity Gospel” is spreading like wildfire with its focus on health, wealth, and success.
Progressive ideology is misleading people by the tens of thousands. The most popular churches and most popular preachers are teaching a gospel that is no gospel at all. With all this in mind, I think it’s important to restate what the gospel, the true gospel of Jesus Christ, really is.
The gospel begins with the bad news. There is a holy God in Heaven, the God who created all things seen and unseen. He is eternally good and perfect. God Himself is the only standard by which men should live and by which they will be judged. Therein lies the bad news. We can never measure up to God. We are imperfect, fallible, and stained by the sins of our disobedience. The punishment for sin is death (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). With our first sin, we sealed our fate. We fell short of the perfection of God and can no longer be in His presence. That is the bad news.
By the grace of God, the story does not end there. Sin against God demands a sacrifice, but none of us is worthy of providing such an atonement. In His love and to His glory, God provides a suitable sacrifice in His Son. Because of God’s unshakable, unwavering, and unstoppable love for us, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place. Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life, the life we are all called to live, and the life we all fail to live. But Jesus remained perfect throughout His life and then sacrificed Himself on a cross to bear the punishment of our sins and to cleanse us from them by the blood He shed.
The gospel gets even better. Jesus did not stay dead. He is the only person to ever raise Himself from the grave. When He defeated death, He made a way for everyone who accepts His gift of salvation and Lordship to live eternally with Him in God’s presence. That is the good news of the gospel. We all fall short of God’s standard. There is no way we can ever redeem ourselves. But Jesus died in our place to not only make us perfect to God by the covering of His blood, but to give us eternal life through His resurrection.
Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). There are many wide roads of religion, but there is only one narrow path to God, and that is through God’s only Son, Jesus (Matthew 7:13-14). Jesus did not come to make you healthy, happy, or rich in the way the world thinks of it. He came to give you something far more valuable than any of that. Jesus came to pay a debt we never could and provide a life we could never attain. Our part is to accept the gift offered by Christ, surrender our lives to Him, and love Him as our Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:36-37).
God is holy and we are not. Jesus paid the debt for our sins to redeem us from eternal damnation and provide the way to eternal life. That is the gospel. If who you are listening to makes it about anything else, turn them off and tune them out. The gospel is not about you or what it can give you on this earth. The gospel is all about Jesus and what He can give you for eternity if you will surrender to Him as Lord.