Many Gospel presentations make the Gospel about the person. The standard line to open the Gospel presentation is “God has a wonderful plan for your life.”
A recent Gospel presentation I saw stated the purpose of the Gospel as:
“He loves you and wants you to know him so he can fill you with peace and give you real life — forever. Since he planned for us to have peace and real life right now, why are so many people hurting or angry inside?”
So, Christ died on the cross so I could have peace and real life? Really?
Now, to clarify, God DOES want you to have peace with Him and He DOES want you to have new life–however, this is not why there is a Gospel.
When we bring people into Christianity on this sloppy foundation, they will be greatly confused when they learn other biblical doctrines.
If God merely wants me to have peace and a real life, why is there hell? Does God putting people in hell seem a just punishment for someone who merely refused God’s wonderful plan for their life?
Why all the blood of the cross if all God wants is for me to have peace? Can’t God just give peace? Why go through that suffering stuff?
Again, having peace with God, real life, and understanding the purpose of existence are all results of having the Gospel, but they are not the main point of the Gospel.
The main point of the Gospel is that we are sinners. Sin is anything that is not right, and since God is the definer of right, sin is anything that is against God. When we sin, we sin against God, we show Him we have no use for Him.
By rejecting God with our sin, God is moved with anger and wrath. How can one whom He created reject the One who created him? That is offensive. Ask any parent of a snot-nosed jerk kid what it feels like.
Here’s the real problem–God can’t just pretend your sin doesn’t exist. It is abomination with God to justify the wicked. God “will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”
Sin is a big deal. It’s the creation telling the Creator where to get off. The Creator, since He is righteous, can’t just have unrighteousness running amok in His creation. It is not right to justify (call right) what is not right. If God did this, then He would not be righteous and everything would fall apart.
How can God find a right way to make wrong people right is the real issue. Here’s how–God became flesh, He took upon Himself our sin and took it to the cross. His body was broken and His blood was shed for the remission of sins.
You cannot be made right with God on your own. The Gospel–the facts about Jesus Christ and His life, death, burial and resurrection–are there for us to place our faith in Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who partook of His fallen creation out of love and died with the sins of the world on Him. The Creator died for His creation because He loves what He made.
The Gospel does not exist so you can have a better purpose in life, or so you can have peace and a real life. No, it’s much deeper than that.
The Gospel exists so that the Creator can restore and redeem His creation that was messed up by creation’s rejection of their Creator. It’s way bigger than you and your little purpose-filled life.
Get a bigger glimpse of God, a bigger glimpse of His love, righteousness and mercy. Get a bigger glimpse of creation that exists beyond your eyeballs. Get a bigger glimpse of the Gospel.