The Gospel (Literally, the Good News)
Let’s boil down the Bible to its main point: It is written in hopes to save your soul for eternity, extended by God as a free gift to be received by faith in the Lord Jesus, who paid the price for all sin at the cross of Calvary. Sin is the barrier that keeps us from a perfect God and even the “smallest” sin is enough to keep you separate from God forever. Death is the payment for sin, so either God makes you pay for your own sin with eternal death in the Lake of Fire, or someone else takes your place instead, which no one else is able to do because they have their own sin to pay for.
But there is good news! There is a man who did not sin and offered to take your place in death, going to the cross to pay for it! His name is Jesus, the Christ! if you ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you of your sin and put your trust in His work, making Him your Lord and Savior, you will be saved, your sin will never be remembered by God as Jesus paid for the wage of sin by His death (the barrier to God is gone), and you will have eternal life, starting now while you are still alive and going well past this mortal body into eternity!
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Roman 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 10:8-13 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
There are no magic words. Just speak to God as if He were a man right next to you and ask Him of these things by faith and sincerity (that is prayer, by the way), and He will give it freely to you, along with His Holy Spirit which will never leave or forsake you. All God wanted was fellowship with you and to walk alongside you all this time!
Yes, it is that simple. The Gospel is meant to be simple and salvation is meant to be received as a gift from God, which He freely gives to whomsoever wants to believe and obtain salvation! It is so simple, a child can receive it, yet so profound that the God of the Universe wants fellowship with you, it will astound you for eternity! God wants your heart, not your money, not your church attendance, not your devotion to a denomination or priesthood, not your memorization of Bible verses, not anything else!
God reached me through a brave military chaplain that told me how evil the world is, to which I agreed, as there are some really messed up people out there. Then he told me God so loved the world that He sent His Son to die in our place so that whosoever believes and asks for His forgiveness of sin, you will be forgiven and receive eternal life!
The chaplain then brought it back to me and said “Deep down, you know you’re just as messed up as the rest of this evil world. But if you repent, ask God to forgive you, and receive Him into your heart, you will have eternal life!” As a bitter man who hated the world and done some things that still make me feel ashamed to this day, I realized in my bitterness, I was just as messed up as those I considered evil.
If God can forgive a person like me and, on top of that, give me a place in heaven, and CHOOSE to live and walk beside me with His Holy Spirit, then I wanted to serve this God forever and tell others how to be saved in such a simple way! So one Sunday in October 2002, I gave my life to Christ and now I extend the same invitation to anyone willing to receive it.
I pray that you receive it as well!
-Gerardo “Gerry” Rivera