Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Gospel Summarized

I'm teaching a class soon at Church on evangelism, and part of it is learning how to explain the Gospel message very simply in just a few minutes. I thought I'd put it up here. Let me know if you have any suggestions or if you find it helpful.

“What is Christianity all about in really simple terms?”

1. God created us to be with Him. The Bible teaches that God is good, and that He created everything that exists. He made people so that we could enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. He promised that if we lived His way, life would go well and He would fulfill all our needs.

2. We have rebelled against Him. The first man, Adam, decided to break that relationship with God. God told him not to eat one piece of fruit, but Adam didn’t trust God and ate it anyway. When he did that, he sinned. We all do that every day. When we lie, cheat, hurt other people, honor other things above God, and act selfishly we’re basically telling God that we don’t trust Him, and that our ways are better than His ways. Because we’ve rebelled against Him like this, the only thing left for us is eternal punishment.

3. Jesus paid our price of rebellion. But the great news is that God loves us even though we continually rebel against Him. So He came to Earth as a person, Jesus, to save us from ourselves. He paid our price of rebellion by being tortured and killed on a cross 2,000 years ago. He paid that price for all people, everywhere. He loves us so much that He died to bring us back into a relationship with God so that not only will we not be punished, but we’ll get to be His children again and experience life in the best way possible.

4. We can reject His love. But we can choose to reject that love. We can choose that we’d rather live whatever way we want to, or that we don’t believe it, or that we’ve got better things to do. If we do that, God will have to punish us. No matter if we ever seek God out or not, doing nothing is still rejecting His free gift. He wants to be with us, but there’s nothing He can do if we refuse His love.

5. We can accept His love. But we can also choose that we do need God, and that we want to accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. We can choose to trust in that sacrifice and trust that God knows what’s best for us. If we do that we can not only be forgiven for our rebellion, but we can then experience life in the most fulfilling way possible. This love is free for anyone who wants it, no matter what bad decisions they’ve made in their lives. It’s not about being a better person, but understanding that none of us are good people, and that only Jesus’ sacrifice can make us into good people. God loves us so much that He desperately wants us to accept His love, but we can also choose to reject it. He loves you very much, and He wants to be with you. He is wanting for you to choose Him.