Why Did Jesus Have to be the Gospel?

(Part 2 of "What is the Gospel?" -- our youth group Sunday School lesson)

Everyone makes mistakes. We all make the same mistake when it comes to God, though.

Oh Hell
> Does the Bible warn humans of a fate in Hell?
o Some in the last day will hear Christ say, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Mat. 25:41).

o "Hell and destruction are never full" (Pro. 27:20, KJV)
> Hell will be full of the religious elite.
o Of the Jewish transgression of the Lord, the prophet declares, "Therefore Sheol {i.e., "Hell"} has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure, and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down..." (Isa. 5:14).

o The Pharisees seemed to be without hope, as well, for Jesus asks them how they will escape their sentence to Hell (Mat. 23:33).
> Hell will be full of entire cultures.
o In Matthew 11:23, Christ warns that the entire city of Capernaum will be brought down into Hell.
> Hell will be full of regular people.
o Jesus warns in the famous passage (a passage that many misinterpret) that it is better to dismember yourself to keep yourself pure than to have your whole body cast into Hell (Mat. 5:27-30). 

o Jesus wants us to fear God rather than man, for God can destroy both body and soul in Hell (Mat. 10:28).

o Let's not forget the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, wherein the rich man is tormented in the flames of Hell (cf. Luke 16:23).

o In the end-times, after the resurrection of the dead, those who are not found in the book of life in the final judgment will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:13-15). (This is not Hell but where Hell will end up)

o Revelation 21:7-8 states, "The one who conquers will have this heritage [the new heaven and the new earth], and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."  This is a fearful list, for liars as well as murders; cowards as well as fornicators; all go to Hell. 

o 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 warns that Jesus and His holy angels will return "in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might."

Would you like some good news?
We deserve Hell, and it seems that no person can save us.  Yet, the Good News is a Person… The Good News is God.  It is Jesus Christ,
[T]hough he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
-- Phil 2:6-11
He did not come for you to try to please Him...
> “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

> “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34).
... but He died for believers...
> “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).

> Jesus suffered and died “so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9).
... and sent His Spirit!
“ [Jesus speaking] ‘Behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. . . . John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now . . . You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you’ (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:5, 8). The Holy Spirit is the down payment, a guarantee of the fullness of joy we will know in the perfected fellowship with the Father and the Son in the age to come (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5). What makes the gospel good news in the end is the enjoyment of the glory of God in Christ. The Holy Spirit provides the present experience of that enjoyment.
-- John Piper, God is the Gospel, pp. 30-31
The Good News:
It is not an simple human that will save us, though He is in human form. It is God Himself who comes to save us!  He saves us from Hell and from life without God. This is why Christians are “saved from the wrath to come.”
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 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 15:1-4
What Has Happened to You?
You may believe you are saved when you are not. Jesus warns:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ (Mt 7:21-23).
Do you only assume you are saved? Don’t take that gamble.

If you are saved, let this truth fill you every day so you can develop a new appreciation for it. This is part of worship!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:16)
A better translation: “to everyone who is believing” – a state of active belief! This is not something you believe once, this is something you breathe, something you eat and drink. It is a daily substance!

Next time we will look at some objections to the Gospel, and after that answer the question of why people object to a message of Good News.

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