Gospel in About 3 Minutes

(God, Sin, Jesus, and Salvation. Leaves off larger context. Mobile version here.)

The Bible is the Word of God. He uses it to tell us what we need to know. You can actually get the core message in just three verses:

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
"Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away." (Acts 3:19)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
You need context to understand what it means and why it matters. So, here's a little bit of context.

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things..." (Revelation 4:11)

God is an everlasting being of limitless power, knowledge, and reach. He made everything, needs nothing. He does what pleases Him. The Word of God, or Bible, says He created us to show who He is and be worshipped by us. He originally gave us a perfect world, or Paradise. He required we love Him first, then each other like ourselves. If we obeyed, He'd keep us in Paradise with Him forever. What happened?

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned" (Romans 5:12)

God's creation betrayed Him (i.e. sinned) by turning to evil, esp selfishness. God took away their immortality and perfect world. Without His help, the world and people in it are full of brokenness: problems in the world, pain inside of us, and endless fake solutions the world offers. We keep struggling no matter what we do. Even those that seem happy keep trying to fill (taps heart) something they know is missing.

Instead of turning to Him, people just did more evil: refusing to seek God; helping others less; using others for sex and money; lying, stealing, and physical/mental abuse. Even if He loves us, a just God must punish our sin. The everlasting God said He'd do it forever in a place, Hell, He describes as a lake of fire. It's endless pain without a single thing we enjoy. In His mercy, God wants to redeem us and restore our brokenness. His nature requires justice, though. He must punish the sin but save the sinner. For hundreds of years, He had His few followers prophecy in detail about how He'd solve the problem and through whom. We were to look for and embrace this person.

"He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken." (Isaiah 25:8)

Then, He came. The Spirit of God took flesh in the form of a Son, Jesus Christ. He is fully God and man. He limited Himself to be like us to set an example, living and struggling among us. Unlike us, He lived in perfect obedience and selflessness, serving God and others. He proved who He was by fulfilling every prophetic detail and doing miracles like raising the dead. He preached repentence: turning away from sin and back to God. Some followed Him. Others beat, tortured, and killed God's only Son. For His perfect obedience, God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day and gave Him authority over everything.

"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous (or holy) man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners (or enemies of God), Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8)

Thing is, that tragedy was God's plan. God knew we were undeserving, ungrateful people evil in so many ways. He still loved us so much He sent His innocent, perfect Son to die in our place. It was substitution: our sins were put on Jesus so His death could be our punishment; His perfect life could earn a standing before God for us we couldn't earn ourselves. It's like Jesus taking the bullet for us or servign our prison sentence. Then, making a path for us to get where He is and offering to help every step of the way.

He'll eventually judge every person, alive and dead, for their actions. If we follow Him, He'll replace our brokenness with His peace, bring us back to God, use us to His glory, and eventually give us eternal life in heaven with Him. This is His salvation, or offer to save us.

If you do, He gives you the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to transform you to be more like Jesus Christ every day, serve Him, and better love others. You'll face suffering serving God in an evil world, maybe even death.

Upon death or Jesus returning to Earth, we all get judged for what we said and did with our time. Those who trusted in, served, and sacrificed for Him will be greatly rewarded since His sacrifice already covered their sins. All who rejected Him are already condemned since they'll be judged for their sins. The choice is simple: Him and His undeserved blessings; a life of sin and punishment it earns for us. We endure the consequences of that choice forever. Please, choose wisely.

This is the Good News of Jesus Christ. That God promised to save everyone who follows Jesus.

Jesus Says "Follow Me:" Here's How To

If you want to be saved, you have to surrender your life to Him. You can start by talking to Him, or praying. Here's what you believe, tell Him, and do:

1. You believe in God, that Jesus was God in the flesh, that He died for your sins, God raised Him from the dead, and will raise all who follow Him, too.

2. Confess you're an unworthy sinner who deserves justice for your sins. That this salvation is a gift you don't deserve.

3. Tell God you'll try to repent of your sins. That you'll turn your life around to follow Him instead.

4. Tell God you accept Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. You surrender everything to Him. You will now live for and in obedience to God's Word.

5. Tell God you know He saves all who have faith in and try to follow Him. Tell Him you know by faith He heard you and is entering your life now. Thank Him for saving you. Ask Him to help you with the next steps.

If you really meant it, you're now a Christian. You can know this because God Himself calls us to Him, Jesus' sheep hear His voice, our faith is itself a gift He helps with, and those that truly believe receive the Holy Spirit. To help you and boost your confidence, God gives us His Spirit to reside in us, begin transforming us from within to be more like Christ Himself, and work inside and outside of our lives to help us accomplish God's plan for us. Although not exactly knowledge or a feeling, His Spirit will tell you deep inside that He's with you thick and thin. Like I said, though, you know because the Word of God said He helped you get here in the first place. :)

You will need to spend time with God daily, studying His Word and praying, to grow as a believer. Get a study Bible with notes that help you understand His Word better. Join a local church with strong focus on His Word and holy living. They'll help you and give you opportunities to serve Him and others. The more you follow Him, the more persecution you'll endure in a world that hates God and righteousness. His Spirit will help you endure it to the end. When you're tested, just putting our Lord Jesus Christ first since He is worth it no matter what it cost. Remember also He'll reward us forever for every sacrifice or Christ-like deed we do in this life if our hearts stay focused on loving Him and others.