The Everlasting Gospel

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:6-7 (AV)

The following post will discuss the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ under the biblical theme ‘the Everlasting Gospel.’ We find this unique term for the gospel in the Book of Revelation authored by the Apostle John.

This article will provide the reader with an adequate understanding of the biblical gospel, its implications, meaning and applications.

Introduction

Let us examine the words ‘everlasting’ and ‘gospel’ for a moment.

The word everlasting used in the Bible is translated from the Greek word ‘aionios’ which means, ‘perpetual, (also used of past time, or past and future as well), eternal, forever.’

Everlasting: (Source: Dictionary.com)

Adjective
1. lasting forever; eternal.
2. lasting or continuing for an indefinitely long time.
3. incessant; constantly recurring.

The word gospel used in the Bible is translated from the Greek word ‘euaggelion’ which means, ‘a good message or glad tidings.’

Gospel: (Source: Dictionary.com)

Noun
1. the teachings of Jesus and the apostles; the Christian revelation.

Now with the above definitions in mind, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God has been preached throughout the world for roughly two millennia, including prior announcement of it in prophetic anticipation. The purpose of this article is to briefly outline exactly what the gospel message is, as recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John assisted by further New Testament material contained in Holy Bible. Before the essential message is delivered here, it is important, that a number of things be noted first and some background must be explored.

Background

The Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:14 when speaking to His disciples about the various signs which would indicate the approaching time of His return,

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:14 (AV)

This verse indicates that the gospel will be thoroughly preached to every nation of the world as a witness to Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God, before the end of the world and current age as we know it arrives.

The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded His disciples to preach the gospel to all people in every nation in order for people to be saved and to become disciples of Him also. The Bible said in the Book of Mark:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16 (AV)

Also in the Gospel of Matthew it says:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 (AV)

These essential commands of Jesus are responsible for the widespread proliferation of the Christian gospel to the public and nations; therefore, the public preaching of the gospel and all efforts to this end are a core activity and identifying characteristic of the Christian faith and true Christian churches.

The Bible says in the Book of Revelation:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth. . . Revelation 14:6-7 (AV)

By this verse we can understand that there is only one true and everlasting gospel even to the extent that, according to prophecy, an appointed angel is commanded to preach and declare it to all the inhabitants of the earth at a future time.

It is written in the Book of Galatians 1:7-8:

. . . but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:7-8 (AV)

These verses here let us know that counterfeit gospels exist, which really are not gospels at all, and that those who preach these gospels are accursed (have been placed under a curse from God). Sadly, the fact is that this is the shocking reality that exists today.

Also in the Book of 2 Corinthians it is written:

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 2 Corinthians 11:4 (AV)

By this verse we can understand that it is possible for people to accept counterfeit gospels and continue to believe in them as if they are true. Therefore it is very important to know what the true gospel actually is so that a distinction can be made between the truth and what is false.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God

The gospel message has massive and far reaching implications for our modern society today in which the lines of truth concerning God and life are blurred, and also in which moral and ethical standards are frequently questioned, challenged and even dismissed.

As mentioned above, the Word of God concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been circulating for roughly two millennia. The gospel is closely interwoven with the historical development of the world as we know it. The western world was founded and established on Christian principles from one degree to another. The freedoms and liberties the west enjoys such as, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression, conscience and thought, have not always been freedoms humanity has enjoyed. As a matter of fact, there are many nations in the world today that do not experience these above freedoms and are typically nations which have not been built upon the Word of God or Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, a large body of evidence, historical and cultural, personal and collective, testifies to the impacting power of the gospel and the God’s Word upon the world.

The gospel message centers on the historical figure, a Hebrew Israelite named Jesus Christ, who is declared to be the Son of God. It includes events that took place in the first century A.D. in Jerusalem, Israel. The nation of Israel has inherited a long spiritual tradition dating back whereabouts of 2000 B.C. and the claim of the Jewish religious tradition is unique in that the God of Israel is considered to be the one true God and Creator of the entire universe–the heavens and the earth and all things contained in them.

The God of Israel, through biblical revelation and His divine action within the affairs and world of men, is considered to be the supreme governor of every seen and unseen force of the universe. He created all things and sustains all things by the word of His power. Throughout history He has overseen the affairs of every nation on earth and continues to do so today, whether or not this is consciously known to a particular nation.

This exclusive claim sets the God of Israel above all divine claimants of other cultural and religious traditions for two main reasons. Firstly, because God exclusively chose the nation of Israel to reveal His existence and divine revelation to; and secondly, because it was through their nation that He purposed to execute and complete specific plans instrumental to the world’s historical development, ultimate blessings and final purpose, all according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Because of this, the divine law regarding morality and human life set by the God of Israel is the universal standard which applies to the entire world and every nation, and every person within it, whether or not they acknowledge this to be true or not. This statement is proven by the fact the the Law and Word of God testifies to its own validity in that if it is followed and adhered to, blessings follow as it claims in itself; and if they are broken, curses follow as consequences, as it also claims in itself. Moreover, the revelation of the Word of God touches the very history and heart of humanity, proving itself to be the truth at the deep spiritual level, as well as the ground level.

The God of Israel has been unfolding history through His own plans and purposes according to the coming of His Kingdom; and continues to do so up to the present day and will do so furthermore into the future. The true events concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ are the centerpiece of history and contain the most important truths of life itself. Jesus Christ is the most important historical figure in the world, and His Gospel is the most important news bulletin in history. The Gospel of Jesus Christ concerns what He achieved on earth on behalf of God towards mankind and the implications of those achievements.

As mentioned earlier, the word gospel essentially means ‘good news’ or ‘good message’. Now if there is good news that means there must be some bad news to begin with. You must know the bad news first in order to understand why the good news is so good.

The Bad News

The bad news starts with what is called sin. We need to first define this word and then go to a few places in the Bible to explore it. There are two original languages used in the Bible, which are Hebrew and Greek. The language of the Jewish nation is called the Hebrew and the common language used in the time of Jesus was Koine (common) Greek.

The primary word for sin in the Hebrew language is ‘chata’ (khaw-taw), defined most appropriately as, ‘to miss, offend, or trespass.’ The Greek root word for sin is ‘hamartano’ which is most appropriately defined as, ‘to miss the mark, to err, fault, offend, trespass.’

Sin: (Dictionary.com)

Noun
1. Transgression of divine law.
2. Any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3. Any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc. ; great fault or offense.

Verb
4. To commit a sinful act.
5. To offend against a principle, standard, etc.

The above definition implies clearly the breaking of law or an offense. Sin is the breaking of the laws or commandments of God. The Ten Commandments of God are probably the most famous set of laws in existence. They are contained in the Old Testament portion of the Bible. The principles of God’s Ten Commandments are known to be the foundation of the practiced discipline of law used in western law court systems for centuries. These ten laws are God’s basic laws of morality and living, and expand out into hundreds of other laws in the Old Testament.

The Ten Commandments are summarized from Exodus 20:1-17:

  1. Thou shalt not have any other gods before Me (God).
  2. Thou shalt not make and worship any graven images (idols).
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. Honor thy mother and father.
  6. Thou shalt not murder.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness (lie).
  10. Thou shall not covet (lust for anything aggressively and greedily).

Israel and the immediate nations they had contact with were committing the above acts that God’s law condemns. Therefore, Israel was given the law in order to temporarily curb and cover their evil practices until God’s plan to deal with sin was implemented. The law also had a secondary function which was to distinguish Israel from the other nations around them who were committing evil practices. Because humanity chooses to do the things the law condemns, such as stealing, lying, committing murder etc., these and other laws were given to Israel in order for them (and wider humanity) to be able to consciously understand what sin is, and what righteous action God truly requires of us.

These commands express the basic laws of morality and humans are not supposed to break these laws, but rather avoid committing the acts that these laws condemn, and furthermore, do the things which are approved of them. The entire amount of laws given from God expands further under different divisions and numbers into the hundreds. Therefore, people who break these commandments and actively need to try and keep themselves from disobeying these commandments are under the condemnation of sin because they still do the things that the law of God condemns. For example, only a thief would have to keep the commandment not to steal; someone who is not a thief would not need to try keep this commandment because they actually do what is acceptable–respect other people’s property. These laws only apply to those committing sin–they only apply to sinners. They apply to unrighteous people, not righteous people–to those who do wrong, not those who do right (See Romans 8:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:8-11).

Humanity as a whole has broken these laws. It is written in the Book of Romans:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10-12 (AV)

This tells us that all of humanity has sinned. It is also written in the Book of 1 John:

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4 (AV)

This shows us we all have sinned against God’s law, as sin is defined as transgression or the breaking of God’s law. You will know which of God’s laws you have broken before. If you have lied even once, you have sinned and broken God’s law. If you have stolen something even once, you have sinned and broken God’s law. If you have dishonored your mother or father even once, you have sinned and broken God’s law. If you have worshiped gods of other religions or idols even once, you have sinned and broken God’s law. If you have taken God’s name in vain even once, you have sinned and broken God’s law. You get the picture. It is important to know that these are not the only things that are considered sinful. There are lists of other forms of sinful behavior in the Bible, which are very important.

Sin is not only restricted to the act of breaking the commandments, but also extends to the motives and intentions of the heart. Sin makes slaves of those who practice it. This is evident in the wicked and sinful state of current global society, and the self-destructive patterns of life so many people practice and have even died in. Sin not only destroys those who practice it but harms others also. Sin brings death to societies, destroys families and relationships, and those who are trapped in deep-seated patterns of sin such as various kinds of addictions are literally enslaved to their sins. If you have sinned even once you are in bondage to sin and death.

Sin & Death

The punishment for breaking the laws of God is the death penalty. There are two sides to this coin. Humans were not originally designed to have temporal lives but to live in immortality; however, because the first created humans Adam and Eve broke the one commandment that God gave them, sin entered into the world, and along with it, physical death was introduced into the world and spread to all humanity–that is why we must proceed through life and then die at some point (See Genesis 3; Romans 5).

Adam and Eve we all know were the first humans that God had created at the beginning of creation. They were perfect in all their creation, free of all sin and also walking in perfect relationship with God the Father. They were given one commandment by God to abide by before the introduction of God’s law the Ten Commandments. The commandment was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which God had created. They were abiding by this commandment until Eve was tempted by the devil or Satan, a malignant evil spirit who is responsible for all rebellion, corruption and evil which plagues the human race. Satan had persuaded Eve to eat of the tree God commanded to be left alone. And in her falling for the temptation, she ate of the tree and gave also to Adam to eat.

This was the first act of sin, and as a result Adam and Eve were separated from God and expelled from paradise, the Garden of Eden. Through this one sin, Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world, forfeited their perfection and became the first sinners, handing down this legacy of death to all generations following. Therefore, sin has deeper roots than we think, has influenced the entire human race and is the cause for death as we understand it. The Bible says in the Book of Romans:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12 (AV)

We know the inescapable fact of life is that we all must die a physical death one day. But there is also what the Bible calls the second death. Sin was not only the root cause of physical death, but also the cause of the second death, which is spiritual death. The second death is described as being cast into a burning lake of fire and brimstone (Rev 21:8) in separation from God forever. God is Holy and righteous and takes no pleasure in sin and wickedness. His anger and wrath is reserved for those who practice such things. God being a God of justice must pass the penalty or sentence upon sinners, they must be judged and receive the reward of punishment they deserve.

Therefore, humanity, having broken the laws of God, must face the divine justice, one way or another. All the world will be judged by God for every sinful and wicked action committed, right down to every word and every intention of the heart. Humanity, apart from God, faces the death penalty of physical and spiritual death in God’s prison called hell; all this for our sin. This is the bad news.

There is no deal we can cut with God to escape this judgment. No amount of good deeds or trips to church on Sunday will help us. It is written in Isaiah 59:1-2:

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2 (AV)

Our sin causes us to be in separation from God and we need to be reconciled to Him.

God has appointed a day for judgment, and count it a certainty that all people will stand before Him and give an account of their lives. It is written in Hebrews 9:27:

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Acts 17:30-31 (AV)

The day of resurrection and judgment is appointed. This is the day in which God will raise all from the grave and reward each according to their works. There is no hiding from God, or concealing the things that have been done in this life–He knows all things and sees all things. This is bad news for sinners; however, there is good news following.

The Gospel – The Good News

It is written in Psalms 145:8:

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psalms 145:8 (AV)

God does not desire that anyone should perish in hell; this is not the intention of God for humanity, but rather the sentence for those who would break the law of God without view of ever doing what is right. He does not take pleasure in the death of anyone, but rather that they would receive life and live. Because God is loving and compassionate by nature, He has expressed mercy and grace towards humanity in providing a way for us to be forgiven for breaking His laws and for the wicked things we have done in our sinfulness.

God had planned, before the foundation of the world, to deliver the world from sin and corruption by sending His Son Jesus Christ. Through His foreknowledge of all events, God knew humans would fall into sin through our first ancestors Adam and Eve at the instigation of the enemy Satan and in abuse of their free will. Because of God’s great love for us, He planned to save us by sending Jesus to sacrifice His life for us and save us.

Jesus is known as the ‘Messiah’, the ‘Christ’, that meaning ‘anointed one’ and is understood to be the ‘second Adam’ who would not break God’s commandments like the first Adam, but rather, keep them perfectly. The Jewish nation was waiting for a Saviour, an ‘anointed one’ (that is, one who would be endued with divine power and authority), whom God would send to deliver their nation from their afflictions. Jesus Christ was sent to be the Saviour, not only of the Jewish nation, but of the whole world.

God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for the sinners so that they could be saved from their sins and from the judgment they deserve.

It is written in Romans 5:6-8:

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8 (AV)

God in His mercy has demonstrated His compassionate love toward us in the act of sending His Son into the world to die for us, so that we could have life.

Jesus walked the earth for 33 years. The last three and a half of which He was commissioned to preach the good news–the gospel–that people could be saved from sin and judgment. Jesus Christ is the salvation of God personified, embodied, manifested, demonstrated and completed.

The Birth Of Jesus

In order to understand the gospel message more clearly we have to explore the key events of the gospel narrative in chronological order.

It started with His miraculous birth from a virgin called Mary. This virgin birth was intended to be a sign of His coming. The Prophet Isaiah foretold the birth of Jesus roughly 700 years earlier. Isaiah 7:14 says:

Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (AV)

Immanuel means, ‘God with us’. Jesus’ birth and purpose was foretold throughout the history of Israel, which is why they were an important nation to the future purposes of God. This birth is one major sign confirming that He is who the Bible says He is (See Luke 1).

John the Baptist & Repentance

Fast forwarding, when it came time for Jesus to start preaching the gospel, a man named John the Baptist came preaching ahead of Him and baptizing the people of Israel with water in order to prepare them for the arrival of the Messiah. John preached a message of repentance. This word repentance is important to understand and is crucial in understanding the gospel.

The Greek words for repentance are ‘metanoeo’ defined as: ‘to think differently, reconsider, feel compunction (guilt or regret)’.

Repent: (Dictionary.com)

Verb
1. To feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc.
2. To feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better; be penitent.
3. To remember or regard with self-reproach or contrition.
4. To feel sorry for; regret.

John the Baptist preached repentance to the people of Israel in order to turn them away from their sins so that they would change their ways and do what is right instead of sinning against God’s law. The above Dictionary.com definitions 1 and 2 capture the entire idea of repentance accurately because they emphasize both remorse and the necessary change John’s message communicated (See Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-5; Luke 3:3-18).

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God

Jesus came after John continuing the repentance message as part of the gospel but also furthermore preaching the Kingdom of God. Jesus said in Mark 1:15:

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15 (AV)

The Kingdom of God in its basic sense is God’s established kingdom in the earth through Jesus Christ as King, and His body the church. This is a spiritual kingdom with visible manifestation and operation on earth. The Kingdom of God is where God reigns supreme inside the hearts of believers by His Spirit, with all believers being united as members of this kingdom operating on earth through His church. The Kingdom of God is destined for full manifestation and rule finding its completion in Jesus’ coming supreme reign on earth.

Jesus chose twelve disciples to join Him in His ministry and gained other followers along the way. Jesus with His disciples preached and taught the gospel throughout the cities of Israel while performing many miracles, healings, signs and wonders. His teaching and miracles gained Him much recognition from the people and also caught the attention of the leaders of the Jewish religious system of the time. The leaders were skeptical of His teachings and the manner in which He performed His miracles and healings because they perceived them to be in conflict with their religion. They were also troubled because many people were beginning to believe in Him, and little did those leaders know He was the One their religion taught about–the Saviour they were waiting for. They often tried to persecute Him and kill Him for what He was saying and doing and it eventually boiled to the point where they plotted His assassination.

Jesus taught that it was necessary for the people to repent and turn away from their sins, while at the same time providing them the very power to effect that change. Jesus healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, restored hearing to the deaf and performed many other astonishing miracles over the course of His ministry under the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing the reality of the Kingdom of God here on earth. He preached and taught about following God, the righteousness of God, the Holy Spirit, love for God and neighbour, the fear of God, obedience to God, the judgment of God, heaven and hell and many more things throughout His ministry.

Controversy & Crucifixion

Jesus also taught some very controversial and highly sensitive things which attracted negative attention from the religious and secular authorities of His day. This ultimately led to His death and crucifixion.

Firstly, Jesus claimed to have the authority to forgive sins. This was controversial because the religious system of the time knew that God was the only One who had the authority to forgive sins. In Jesus doing this He was basically claiming to hold equal status with God as well as the authority and power of God.

Secondly, Jesus claimed that He was the Son of God. This term Son of God caused much controversy because at that time, for Jesus to make such a claim, it meant that He had elevated Himself to equal status with God, claiming that God was His very own Father. Jesus said in John 10:30:

I and my Father are one. John 10:30 (AV)

In both of the above claims, Jesus was basically saying that He was God Himself. This is the main reason why they sought to assassinate Him.

Jesus knew that He was supposed to die for the sins of the world and that the assassination attempt would succeed. He predicted this for the third time in Luke 18:31-33:

Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. Luke 18:31-33 (AV)

He knew He would be innocently condemned and suffer ultimately to death. He willingly did this in obedience to God, for the sake of saving our lives.

After being arrested by the Jewish authorities, He was handed over to the Roman government as He predicted, and was humiliated, spat upon, beaten, scourged, had a crown of thorns pressed into his head and innocently sentenced to death by crucifixion.

What exactly is crucifixion?

Encyclopedia Britannica explains crucifixion in the following manner:

There were various methods of performing the execution. Usually, the condemned man, after being whipped, or “scourged,” dragged the crossbeam of his cross to the place of punishment, where the upright shaft was already fixed in the ground. Stripped of his clothing either then or earlier at his scourging, he was bound fast with outstretched arms to the crossbeam or nailed firmly to it through the wrists. The crossbeam was then raised high against the upright shaft and made fast to it about 9 to 12 feet (approximately 3 metres) from the ground. Next, the feet were tightly bound or nailed to the upright shaft. . . . Over the criminal’s head was placed a notice stating his name and his crime. Death, apparently caused by exhaustion or by heart failure, could be hastened by shattering the legs (crurifragium) with an iron club, so that shock and asphyxiation soon ended his life . . . (Source)

Jesus & His Sacrifice

Jesus died in this manner for the sins of the world. He was crucified for all humanity, so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to God by giving Himself as a sacrifice.

What is a sacrifice? Why is it so important? Let us explore it briefly.

Divine sacrifice is something that has become more and more foreign to the modern mindset. Because the justice of God is infinite and must be served, crimes against His law must be punished. We now understand that the penalty for breaking the laws of God or sinning against God is death, as it has been described in our exploration of the nature of sin earlier on. Adding to this, the divine law requires that sin be payed for more specifically with the blood of the criminal of perpetrator. Nevertheless, because God’s nature is forgiving and merciful, He designed a system of substitution to deal with the penalty of our sins.

In the Old Testament times, the law of God provided instructions of how to substitute animals on behalf of humans to pay the penalty of their sins; this is called animal sacrifice. The sacrifice provided what is called ‘atonement’, meaning, to become ‘at one’ with God, or reconciled to God. In other words, the death and blood of animals was to be regularly used as a substitute for the death and blood of humans who had broken the law of God, in order to bring them back into a right relationship with God once they had sinned, and in light of ongoing sinfulness.

The Old Testament system of animal sacrifice as substitution was only a temporary solution until God’s more perfect and permanent system of sacrifice was to arrive. The other problem was that animal sacrifice could only deal with atonement in the temporal sense in this life, not in the eternal sense. What we needed was not a temporary atonement that the death and blood of animals could provide covering us only against divine justice in this life, but an eternal atonement covering us from the second death, the eternal penalty of hell and separation form God. This eternal atonement was given to us in the death and blood of Jesus Christ.

Only a perfect sacrifice and perfect blood could atone for sin in the eternal sense. Therefore, God’s perfect system of atonement was to allow His perfect Son to become a sacrifice for us that we might live. Jesus died on a cross taking our place and punishment in substitution for us. He died so that we could have new life in peace with God in righteousness and holiness. He died so that we would not have to suffer the second death but rather, have eternal life in immortality with God. Because Jesus gave His life over willingly, sacrificing it for us, it is now possible for us to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins, pardoned from the penalty of the second death in hell, and now live a new life born again into a loving relationship with God.

Without Jesus’ sacrifice, there would be no avenue for humanity to be reconciled to God. Jesus has taken our death sentence, suffering in our place, so that we would not have to receive the punishment we deserve, but rather, be pardoned, forgiven, and given eternal life. This is the gift of God, which God in His loving grace offers to us all.

The Resurrection

After the crucifixion, Jesus’ body was then recovered and He was buried in a tomb which was then sealed shut. As mentioned earlier, Jesus predicted that He would rise again from death three days later and that is exactly what happened. Jesus said in John 10:17-18:

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. John 10:17-18 (AV)

Jesus was not forced to give up His life. He gave it willingly as the obedient Son of God and died knowing that it was in His power not only to give His life, but also to rise again from the grave. His followers buried Him in a tomb, and in fulfillment of His words He was raised from death three days later. Death was unable to hold Jesus because He lived a perfect life, He did not sin even once, He never broke the commandments of God, He kept the law of God perfectly.

Jesus triumphed over death. Because Jesus lived a life free of sin, death could not lay absolute claim over Him because sin is what ultimately qualifies someone for death. Because Jesus rose again from death, He has now abolished the death penalty that sin requires. In other words, because Jesus has conquered death, through Him we also can conquer death’s ultimate hold on us by following Him into eternal life. Jesus was taken up into heaven following His resurrection, demonstrating to us that there is life after death in the Kingdom of God and Heaven.

The resurrection is God’s way of showing us that there is new and eternal life in a loving relationship with Him through Jesus, as it is written in the Book of Romans:

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:4-6 (AV)

The resurrection is symbolic of the hope of eternal life and provides us with a model of how God will raise all people from the grave at the last day and bring them into judgment. It also empowers us to a new way of life in freedom from the bondage of sin, bringing us under the grace and power of God.

Because Jesus has risen from the grave we can be assured that there is life after death and eternal judgment to consider, that the gift of eternal life is secured through Jesus’ sacrifice, and that we can receive new life transformation in relationship with God, and live in a way which pleases Him. The resurrection gives us a sure sign of God’s power and intention for us, that we may have new and eternal life, forgiven and loved in His Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ Lives

It is written in Hebrews 1:1-3:

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Hebrews 1:3 (AV)

Jesus lives. He is seated at the right hand of God and is the only mediator between God and men to reconcile men to God in peace. Jesus is how we get to know God by relationship and the One who has done the work of purging or cleansing us from sin.

It is written in 1 Corinthians 15:4-7:

. . . that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:4-7 (AV)

Jesus was seen alive by hundreds of eyewitness after His death as He continued certain activities, further directing His church to action through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus lives. He is going to return to judge the world in righteousness. The Book of 2 Thessalonians speaks about the coming day in which:

. . . the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 (AV)

Jesus came the first time for salvation, and He is coming the second time for judgment.

In the Book of John it says:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 (AV)

The gospel truth concerning forgiveness of sin is only found in Jesus Christ. Release from the bondage of sin and death is only found in Jesus Christ. Salvation from the wrath of God is only found in Jesus Christ. The only way to make peace in reconciliation with God and receive eternal life is through Jesus Christ. Jesus died for all and rose again so that we can be saved, inherit eternal life, and enter heaven.

What Now?

In the Book of John Jesus said something very important to a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious teacher who was interested in Jesus’ teachings:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 (AV)

We all need to be born again. Being born again means we must be reborn into new spiritual life by the Spirit of God. This means we must have a complete supernatural transformation take place changing our lives forever, becoming what is called a new creation in Christ. This causes us to live a new life in freedom from the bondage and power of sin, living in righteousness and holiness by the Spirit of God. This is done through the Word of God and by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will come into a person’s life, teaching them and demonstrating the new way of life in Christ, providing all the power and ability to do so. All people must be born again or we will not be saved and die in our sins.

We have all sinned against God and because of that we deserve death in hell. But God being gracious and loving, and because He particularly loves us very much, He does not want us to perish, but He freely offers us the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ as the Bible says in the Book of Romans:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Romans 3:23 (AV)

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 (AV)

It was purely by His gracious kindness that God had provided a way of salvation to the world, considering the sinfulness of humanity and His legal grounds to execute judgment upon sinners. God has laid out the path, and we all must now put our faith and trust in Jesus, and by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, keep the commandments necessary to walk that path.

How Do We Get Saved?

We are saved by grace through faith. Let us examine the word ‘grace’ for a moment.

The greek word for grace used in the Bible is ‘charis’ which means, ‘graciousness, benefit, favour, gift’.

It is written in Ephesians 2:8-9:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (AV)

God by His grace has given us salvation in Jesus. It is a free gift we must accept by faith, believing in Jesus and the gospel. We must sincerely and in truth, believe and have faith in Jesus to be saved. To have true faith is to believe from the heart that Jesus died for us on the cross and rose again so that we can be forgiven, born again and saved, being pardoned from our death sentence as He has taken our punishment. This free gift is yours and mine upon faith. This is the Everlasting Gospel.

Salvation also begins with repentance. To come to faith we must through the grace of God repent of the sin we have committed in our lives in breaking God’s commandments and holy law. We must now by the help of God turn away from all wickedness and the course of life in sin we are currently practicing, and turn to Jesus and follow Him and His ways. This is the evidence of having real faith. After this we purpose to follow the teachings of Jesus and obey His commandments by His grace and Spirit. Repentance and faith is needed to be saved.

Once a person has repented, believed the gospel and placed their faith and trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God will come into their life beginning the transformation, and they will know and experience life with God personally. It is written in Matthew 3:11 that Jesus:

. . . shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Matthew 3:11 (AV)

The Bible said that Jesus will baptize His people with the Holy Spirit and fire. In other words, Jesus will plunge us new believers into His Spirit and effect the new spiritual life in them which is likened to a fire in intensity, as if the new life burns within them causing serious supernatural change and movement. Jesus leads us to experience the supernatural transforming power of God as the Holy Spirit will come to us and change our lives completely and forever. All of these realities are sealed to us under the promises of God.

The Bible said in the Book of Luke:

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49 (AV)

And in the Book of Acts:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8 (AV)

The gift of Holy Spirit has been promised to each believer from God the Father, as the Spirit is referred to as ‘the promise of the Father’. He will teach us the way of all truth and supernaturally empower us to live this life now for the purposes of God. The Holy Spirit will speak what Jesus Himself wants us to know and understand. He will then help and lead us by His supernatural power and presence into the life God has planned for us as children of God and witnesses to Him and His truth.

As we believe in Jesus and have been born again, we must follow Him and obey Him by keeping His commandments and let Him be the central focus of our lives from now on. Being baptized in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a command that must now be obeyed to express true obedience and faith as a sign and symbol of repentance and faith. This can be done through other believers or at a local church.

One Faith Gospel Ministries encourages all people to make their peace with God through the gospel. It is written in Romans 10:13:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 (AV)

Search the Bible, call out to God and let His grace lead the way of salvation through Jesus Christ.

If you would like to become a child of God and receive the free gift of salvation, you can receive it right now by making a confession of faith. The Bible says in Romans 10:9:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:19 (AV)

This verse tells us that we must make a faith confession of Christ, truly believing in Him by faith from the heart. If this is your time to believe, pray this prayer out loud or in your heart:

Our Heavenly Father,

I thank You that you love me, and that You have sent Your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for me. Father, I repent of my sins and breaking Your law, and now ask for Your forgiveness and grace through Jesus. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and rose again from the grave that I might receive eternal life. I now put my faith and trust in Him. Father I ask You now for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and for the power and ability to live for Jesus. Father I thank You for Your grace, forgiveness and love, and for eternal life. I pray in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, Amen.

Please see our Contact & Info page or simply email us at info@ofgministries.com with any questions about salvation and other topics, or if you would like further support in your new born again life. Please feel free to read the other OFG Ministries articles to gain more understanding about Jesus, the church and the Christian life. We pray the Lord bless you and introduce you to newness of life in Christ Jesus according to the Everlasting Gospel.

(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 2 Corinthians 6:2 (AV)

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