Summary: What is the Gospel? How are we to understand exactly what the Gospel is? =We can know scriptures, we can memorize verses, and we can tell people about the Bible, but what in essence is the basic message of the full Bible, cover to cover?
What is the Gospel? How are we to understand exactly what the Gospel is? =We can know scriptures, we can memorize verses, and we can tell people about the Bible, but what in essence is the basic message of the full Bible, cover to cover?
To me, we see a description of two basic issues. First, we have a problem. Second, we have a solution to that problem.
Let's dig into this. How are we as humans to understand this? We are biological life forms dreamt up by the mind of God. We gain certain pieces of knowledge, but as we grow into adulthood we are fundamentally apposed to God unless taught.
Let's start here: What does the word "Gospel" mean? The meaning of the word "Gospel" is "Good news." So maybe some of the preachers had you thinking it was bad news. But it's not. It's very very good news.
But to understand a solution to a problem, we have to first understand the problem. What is the problem? The problem is man's disconnection from God. Theologians call this the problem of sin.
Man kind went away from God, thousands of years ago, our ancestors did. They rejected the awesome presence of God, and decided to try to make it on their own. Now today we live in the wake of that.
Really it's not hard to see. There is corruption in every level of business and government and especially banking. We live in a time of war, disease, and death. Sometimes we can forget that as Americans though. We live in a sort of bubble, where we educate ourselves into sheer imbecility, in vain attempts to convince ourselves that "everything is fine and dandy." But it's not. Perhaps the most clear witness for the problem of sin and evil, is the fact that the people of the Earth have more than enough to go around as far as food, water, and shelter... Yet people by the hundreds of millions starve to death, live homeless, and have access to no clean water.
So it's clear there is a problem. I hope we can all see the problem. I was debating with a sociology major at the University of Wisconsin, and she just couldn't seem to see the problem. The UW is a high quality school. So I surprised. I confronted her with the facts. She just kept talking about how we need to reduce the population. Which isn't actually necessary at all. There are vast amounts of resources, that are being hoarded by the few, to the death of the many in countries like India, Pakistan, Tanzania, China, and so many others.
It makes me think that Malcom Muggeridge may have been correct when he wrote, “So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct.”? Malcolm Muggeridge, Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society
The problem stems back to the very first humans, Adam and Eve. The problem can be surmised as three separate issues that led to the fall of man. Unbelief in God, as the first humans trusted instead the tempter, and themselves. Satan had said, "Did God really say that?" He called into doubt the truth. Second, succumbing to pride and temptation to power, when Satan said to them, "You will be like God." Third, blaming others, and blaming God. When God asked Adam, "Did you eat from the tree which I told you not to?" What did Adam say? He replied, "The woman..." Dang, the woman. It's always somebody elses fault isn't it? When I got in trouble, it was society, it was conditions, it was the corrupt government, it was the bad laws, it was my parents, it was divorce, it was my friends, it was this, it was that. And by the time it's over, I was just a helpless victim, standing there, and they just did it to me. But I knew deep down that wasn't true. The problem starts with me, and my actions, on a daily basis. Not society. Not conditions. Not labor laws. Not drug laws. Me, and what I did. And who I think about before anyone else.. Me.