Q. I was wondering if you could answer my question about religion. I am aware of a Higher Figure that laid out an archaic book that has been translated from several different languages and has been thoroughly disorganized to a point where people can no longer agree on what it says. I know some people say there’s a message called the gospel, or good news, contained in this book . Can you explain in simple terms what the gospel message is?
A. I agree with you that man has done a good job of making religion seem complicated, but God made it simple. It doesn’t matter which translation of the Bible you read or what language you read it in. They all agree on four basic things.
1. There is a God who created you and will judge you according your behavior (Romans 1:18-20).
2. Knowing you couldn’t possibly survive such a judgment, He sent His Son to save you from the penalty set to be levied against you (Colossians 2:13-14).
3. His Son died in your place and then rose again to prove that His death was sufficient to pay this penalty in full (1 Cor. 15:3-4, Romans 10:9-10).
4. Everyone who believes the Son of God died for them will not perish but will have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Every legitimate translation states these things clearly. To receive salvation all you have to do is believe them and ask in faith to be saved (Romans 10:13). If you do that you’ll inherit eternal life. And that’s not all. God will also send His Holy Spirit to you guarantee this and to help you clear up all the confusion so you can understand His book (John 16:13, 1 Cor. 2:14). That’s the simple Gospel.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).