I believe that the gospel is simple, yet profound. That it can be understood by a child, yet studied by theological scholars for generations upon generations of lifetimes and still remain mysterious. The gospel is this: God, who is three persons in one (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit), created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them out of His outpouring of love. He knew before all time all things. He knew that we would choose to be god over ourselves. He knew that we would fall and need His love and forgiveness. He knew no one could measure up to His Holy, perfect standards. He knew that the punishment for sin was death- completely separated from Him for forever. Which is why He predestined Himself as God the Son, JESUS, to come to this earth as a baby- fully God and also fully human- to save us and redeem us to Himself. Jesus lived on this earth and never sinned. He performed miracles, healed many, defied our natural limits, and gave Himself up willingly to die, although He was innocent, for all the sins we have ever committed. But death cannot hold our God down; for Jesus arose from death three days later, paraded around to let all know that He had overcome, and then was taken up before people's eyes into Heaven. (Spoiler alert: He's also coming back again to fully redeem this whole Earth from sin's hold).
For if we accept this truth: that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life -John 3:16 and if we allow this truth to penetrate our hearts, souls, and minds, Jesus Christ will become our Savior. And that's it. We are saved. God sees His perfect Son. He sees Himself- Holy and whole- because of Jesus' shed blood that covers the wrong we have done, the wrong we are doing, and the wrong that we will do. We are redeemed. Restored. A child of God.
Once we accept this gift that God has given us, we are now free to live this life in preparation for eternity. We are free to bask in God's unaltered grace. We are free to gather all of the knowledge and wisdom and strength and spiritual blessings that God so freely gives those who seek and fear Him. We are free to dive deep into Him; into His WORD, into the living, breathing, and active Bible. The moment we accept Jesus into our hearts, the Holy Spirit, God Himself, rushes in and lives inside of us. We are, therefore, helped by God for the rest of our lives and directed in the way we should go. The Holy Spirit utters within us prayers and desires that we aren't even aware we need or want. The Holy Spirit gives us a tangible, tingly feeling of God and whispers into our lives ever-so-wisely as we walk this earth.
The creator of the heavens and the earth loves us, He sees us. He sees our joy, feels our pain, hears each and every prayer. In fact, He loves us even before we accept Him, even if we never do. Even if we were to hate Him or to not believe in Him, He lavishes His love on us equally. He created us. He formed us in our mother's womb. He knew our name before He created the world. He is GOD, yet He knows the number of hairs on our head. Oh, how He loves us and delights in us deeply.
The catch is; even when we know this- I mean- when we really let it penetrate our heart, mind, and soul- we will still fail. We can never be perfect while we live on this earth. But God knows that. And Jesus' sacrifice wasn't just a 'you get one chance to get this right'. It was, instead, a 'I got this right for once and for all'. We are still under the weight of sin, but in Jesus, we are no longer under the power of sin.
About that spoiler alert from earlier, God's plan isn't quite over yet. We aren't quite there. We live in the already but not quite yet. The ending of this sinful world hasn't came yet, but it will. And oh, my friends, it's going to be glorious! For then there will be no more weeping or tears or pain or suffering, but there will be rejoicing and praises and laughter and joy and love and peace as we live and walk and be in the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit forever.
God is utterly, in all ways, in every minuscule aspect, and at all times completely, entirely, unimaginably better than we could ever fathom or expect. And that fact is worth pursuing and yearning and living for.
Let's all get ready to gather in the unaltered grace and Holy presence of our Lord and God for the rest of eternity. It's going to be good.