The Gospel is “good news.” It is good news only to the degree that the bad news can be understood first.
The world is a messed-up place. It is not just our generation that notices this, but every generation has had to deal with their share of problems. Today is not really any worse than it was 100 years ago or 1000 years ago.
The good news is that God is fixing what is broken in every generation. This is called redemption. Redemption means to “buy back” or restore to a previous condition.
God is in the process of putting his messed up creation back in order. The Gospel is the good news that which was broken is being fixed.
But the brokenness had its genesis in us, mankind. God is different. He is perfect and demands perfection because of his character. In other words, as the Bible puts it, God is righteous. Our brokenness is due to choices that we have made. All of us have messed things up. This is called “sin.”
We have sinned through our selfishness, pride, hatred, and perversion of his creation. It is not the way it was supposed to be.
God allows us to reject him and suffer the consequences, but he also offers us hope. This hope is the Good news. It is the hope that God has not abandoned us. It is the hope for redemption.
God loves us in spite of our perversion of good. God loves us in spite of our rejection of him. He did not wait for us to live up to his standard, which can never happen, but he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago to live a life that we could not.
God the Son became man and never failed, was never perverted, and showed us who God is. Because Christ lived a sinless life, he could take the place of man, creating a new race . . . a redeemed race.
Christ was rejected and killed on a cross by man. But God allowed this so that Christ could take the punishment that man—that you and I—deserved. In doing this, he died instead of you. He took your penalty of death and separation from God on an execution cross.
But since he was God the Son and since he never sinned, he did not stay dead. On the third day he came back to life and proclaimed victory over all the death, perversion, sin, and penalties that man had afforded creation.
But this Good News does not apply to everyone. It is only for those who believe and trust in what Christ did for them. If you believe in him, you will have life. If you trust in him, not in yourself or your works, but in him alone, you will live forever with him witnessing and being a part of a redeemed creation.
One day Christ will come back to call into account all people. You can either stand on your own, giving account for your own sin or you can accept the free gift of salvation and stand with Christ. The bad news is that without Christ, you stand alone and hopeless. The Good News—the Gospel—is that you can stand with Christ full of hope.
– Michael Patton