The gospel, or "good news," begins with God. God, the Creator and sustainer of all there is, made mankind in His image and gave them a good law to follow. But, they rejected His rule by listening to the words of the serpent rather than trusting in God's goodness towards them. As a result of this first sin, death and disorder entered the creation that God had made good. Because God is holy, completely and utterly righteous and just in all his ways and deeds, the sin that mankind had committed separated them from Him, and condemned them to death on earth and eternal separation from Him in hell (see Genesis 1-3, and 1 Thessalonians 1:7b-10).
Because of the fall, each of us is now born with a fallen nature, and what we do by default is sin. This sin isn't always visible to us, or even to others, because it flows out from our hearts (see Matthew 15:18-20). What we most desire to do is sin, as we read in Isaiah 53:3b, "there is none who does good, not even one." We sin because we do not want to follow God's laws, even though we know them to be right and true (see Romans 1:19-21). As we've already seen, the Bible further confirms, "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 3:23).
But, ever since mankind rejected His rule and sinned, God has been working out a plan to redeem His people to Himself by sending His Son, Jesus, to live the perfect life, that we never could. Jesus always obeyed His Father's laws. When He was crucified, the Bible says that His death counted as payment for the sins of all who put their faith in Him ( see 2 Corinthians 5:21, Matthew 1:21). His death was not the end for Him. After three days, Jesus was raised from the dead, because it was not possible that death could hold Him any longer (see Acts 2:24).
Our response, in light of our need for a Savior, is to repent of our sins and put our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who lived a sinless life died on the cross on our behalf, and was raised from the dead on the third day.
The first part of our response is simply responding to God in prayer, perhaps like this:
Lord, I know that I'm not worthy to be accepted by you. I don't deserve your gift of eternal life.
I am guilty of rebelling against you and ignoring you. I need forgiveness.
Thank you for sending your Son to die for me that I may be forgiven.
Thank you that He rose from the dead to give me new life.
Please forgive me and change me, that I may live with Jesus as my ruler. Amen.
That's step one. After that, you need to begin to submit your life to King Jesus, and part of that commitment is coming under the authority of a local church that will encourage and pray for you as you grow. You need to be baptized in order to be obedient to Jesus. You need to begin practicing things like reading the Bible and praying, so that you can grow as a Christian.
These are all things that you can find help with in your local church.
Finally, you need to continue in the faith. Keep coming back to these truths about God's holiness, Man's sinfulness, Christ's perfect redemption, and the response of repentance and faith, again and again for the rest of your life. The journey doesn't end with a prayer, it only begins there.
If you are not yet ready to make this decision, know that there are only two options in life: living with God as your king or living with yourself as your king. One leads to eternal life, and the other leads to eternal destruction. There are only two ways to live, which one will you choose?
To see a multimedia presentation of the gospel in a similar format to that presented here, click here to see Two Ways To Live.
To connect with a pastor to talk more about what you've read here, go to our staff page and reach out to us.