Question: "What is the gospel of Jesus Christ?"
Answer: The word gospel means “good news,” so the gospel of Christ is the good news of His coming to provide forgiveness of sins for all who will believe (Colossians 1:14; Romans 10:9). Since the first man’s sin, mankind has been under the condemnation of God (Romans 5:12). Because everyone breaks God’s perfect law by committing sin, everyone is guilty (Romans 3:23). The punishment for the crime of sin is physical death (Romans 6:23) and then an eternity spent in a place of punishment (Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:46). This eternal separation from God is also called the “second death” (Revelation 20:14–15).
The bad news that all are guilty of sin and condemned by God is countered by the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. God, because of His love for the world, has made a way for man to be forgiven of their sins (John 3:16). He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take the sins of mankind on Himself through death on a cross (1 Peter 2:24). In placing our sin on Christ, God ensured that all who will believe in the name of Jesus will be forgiven (Acts 10:43). Jesus’ resurrection guarantees the justification of all who believe (Romans 4:25).
The Bible specifies the content of the gospel message: “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time” (1 Corinthians 15:1–6). In this passage, Paul emphasizes the primacy of the gospel—it is of “first importance.” The gospel message contains two historical facts, both supported by Scripture: Christ’s death and His resurrection. Both those facts are bolstered by other proofs: Christ’s death is proved by His burial, and His resurrection is proved by the eyewitnesses.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that God provided the way for man to be freed from the penalty of sin (John 14:6; Romans 6:23). Everyone dies physically, but those who believe in Jesus Christ are promised a physical resurrection unto eternal life (John 11:23–26). Those who reject Christ will not only die physically but will undergo a “second death,” which the Bible describes as an eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:13–14). Jesus is the only One in whom salvation can be found (Acts 4:12).
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news anyone will ever hear, and what a person does with this news will determine where he or she spends eternity. God is calling you to choose life. Call on the name of the Lord and be saved (Romans 10:13).