The Christian Gospel

The Christian Gospel is the good news that is found in the Bible.  Christians believe that the bible is the inspired word of God (1).  While the bible was written by men they were led by God.  So God is the source of the bible and the purpose of his word is to reveal himself to us.    

 

Does God Exist?

 

Before we explore what God has revealed to man in the bible, let’s first look at this question: Is there a God?  The bible starts by presuming God’s existences, “in the beginning God created the Heavens and Earth” (2).  The bible tells us that God is the creator of all things (3).  Creation itself demonstrates the existence of God (4).

 

What God has revealed about himself?

 

Although we can not fully comprehend and know everything about God we can know the truths that he has revealed about himself in his word the bible, in reference to his nature and character.  The bible tells us that God is spirit (5) and that there is only one God (6). However this one being of God is made up of three person, the father, son and holy spirit.  The father is not the son, the son not the holy spirit and the holy spirit is not the father (7) and each divine persons is equal in essence and eternal (8).        

 

The Bad news?

 

The title of this pamphlet is the Christian Gospel.  The word gospel simple means ‘Good News’ but before we look at the Good News we need to first understand the Bad News of man’s position.  The bible tells us that mankind has violated his eternal law and that all have sinned (9), that’s what sin is. A violation of God’s commandments.

 

Some of the  commandments are;  You “shall not worship no other Gods” (10).  “You shall not commit adultery” (11).  Jesus expanded this commandment and said “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (12) and “you shall not steal” (13).  We have only looked at three of God’s commandments.  The bible summarises God’s commandments as “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and will all your mind” (14) and “you shall love your neighbour as yourself” (15).

 

If anyone is honest with themselves they would admit to breaking God’s Holy law.  This leaves man in rebellion to its creator. The Bible even describes our good deeds as “filthy rags” (16).

 

God is just and holy and because of his justice the bible tells us that all lairs, thieves, adulterers and sexual immorality will not inherit the kingdom of God (17).  The “wages of sin is death” (18).  Physical death as well as spiritual death.  The second death in the Bible is described as a “lake of fire” (19) and “everlasting punishment” (20).

 

The Good News?

 

However the Good News is that God has not left man in his fallen state.  God has shown his infinite love and mercy towards man. Man is not deserving of his love and mercy and God doesn’t owe man anything.  However God brought about man’s redemption through Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus Christ the second person of the divine godhead, who had existed from all eternity before the world was (21).  The creator of all things stepped into his own creation to bring about man’s redemption.  Jesus was not just a prophet and or a good teacher but was the God man (22).  He was the first sinless man (23).  He voluntarily laid down his own life (24) and died on a cross to pay the penalty for man.  However he was resurrected (25), defeating death and now offers a free gift of everlasting life (26).

 

Since man is in rebellion against God man can only be saved by grace through faith so that no man can boast (27).       

 

Response?

 

The bible calls you to confess Jesus with your mouth and believe in your heart that he was raised from the dead then you will be saved (28).  On the cross Jesus took the punishment that we deserves and if God has drawn you to himself and you turn to him in faith then the righteousness of Jesus Christ is accredited to your account (29).  

 

However believing means not just to confess with our mouths but to turn our whole lives over to him.  So pray a prayer of repentance asking God to forgive you for your sins and trust in Jesus Christ. God has promised that whoever calls upon his name will be saved (30).  

 

May we encourage you to:

 

  1. Find a modern translation of the bible and read it everyday.  The gospel of John specifically speaks on who Jesus is and his death and resurrection.
  2. Find yourself a good bible believing Church.  

 

If you would like a free pack of 12 Gospel tracts to enbale you to share the gospel with someone once a month for the next year then please send your postal details to tracts@christianapologetics.org.uk.  We promise not to put your details onto a mailing list.  click here to make a optional donation

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Timothy 3 : 16 – 17 & 2 Peter 1 : 20 – 21
  2. Genesis 1 : 1
  3. John 1 : 3 & Colossians 1 : 16
  4. Romans 1 : 18 – 23
  5. John 4 : 24
  6. Isaiah 43 : 10, Isaiah 44 : 6 – 8,  
  7. Christians refer to this as the trinity.  The bible identifies three divine persons father, son and holy spirit, Matthew 28 : 19
  8. John 5 : 18 & Colossians 2 : 9
  9. Romans 3 : 23
  10. Exodus 20 : 3
  11. Exodus 20: 14
  12. Matthew 5 : 27 – 28
  13. Exodus 20 : 13
  14. Matthew 22 : 37
  15. Matthew 22 : 39
  16. Isaiah 64 : 6
  17. 1 corthians 6 : 9 – 11
  18. Romans 6 : 23
  19. Revelation 20 : 14
  20. Matthew 25 : 46
  21. John 1 : 1 – 3 & John 17 : 3 – 5
  22. John 1 : 14.
  23. Hebrews 4 : 15
  24. John 10 : 18  
  25. Luke 24
  26. John 3 : 16
  27. Ephesians 2 : 8 – 9
  28. Romans 10 : 9
  29. Romans chapters 3 – 5
  30. Romans 10 : 13

Is Jesus a Created Being?

Many cults like the Jehovah Witnesses deny the trinity.  The Watchtower and bible tract society teach that Jesus was a created being the first and direct creation of Jehovah and all other things were created through him.  I have had many street conversation with Jehovah Witnesses and when I ask them for a verse that says Jesus is a created being they often quote Colossians 1 : 15.

Colossians 1 : 15 – “He is the image of the invisible God,+ the firstborn of all creation” (New World Translation, Jehovah Witnesses own translation of the bible).

The Jehovah Witnesses understand firstborn to mean first created and then  all other things were made through him.

“God created Jesus before creating Adam. In fact, God created Jesus and then used him to make everything else, including the angels. That is why the Bible calls Jesus “the firstborn of all creation” by God.”​—  Taken from jw.org (https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20130301/when-jesus-created-why-son/#?insight[search_id]=3d0bb731-75e3-49b6-8fc7-fe1a1e888531&insight[search_result_index]=0)

However this is what firstborn means and is this how the original audience of Colossians would have understood it.  The book of Colossians was a epistle (letter) from Paul to the believers in Colosse (ch1 : 1 – 2). Paul was responding to some of the Gnostic teaching that was infiltrating the Church of Colosse.  This teaching was that Jesus was a demigod. The Jehovah witnesses interpretation of this verse would confirm this teaching not speak against it.

The term firstborn is used elsewhere in the scriptures and refers to authority instead of genealogical.  In Psalm 89 David is referred to as the firstborn.

“I have found David, my servant;

   with my holy oil I have anointed him,

21 so that my hand shall be established with him;

   my arm also shall strengthen him.

22 The enemy shall not outwit him;

   the wicked shall not humble him.

23 I will crush his foes before him

   and strike down those who hate him.

24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,

   and in my name shall his horn be exalted.

25 I will set his hand on the sea

   and his right hand on the rivers.

26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,

   my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

27 And I will make him the firstborn,

   the highest of the kings of the earth”. (Psalm 89 : 20 – 27, ESV, emphasis added.)  

However 1 Samuel 17 : 13 indicates that Eliab was the first born.  

“he three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.” (1 Samuel 17 : 13, ESV)

The term firstborn 1 Colossians 1 : 15 in the Greek language is not referring to birth but to kingship, authority and preeminence.  The first place in all things as the creator of all things. God assigned this title to David as it would be his lineage that the messiah would come.  (Matthew ch 1).

The bible clearly teaches that Jesus was the creator of all things and not a created being.  The bible identifies Jesus as Jehovah (Yahweh). An example of this can be seen in John chapter 12

John 12 is at the  end of jesus public ministry.

“The reason why they were not able to believe is that again Isaiah said:  “He has blinded their eyes and has made their hearts hard, so that they would not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts and turn around and I heal them.”  Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory, and he spoke about him. All the same, many even of the rulers actually put faith in him, but they would not acknowledge him because of the Pharisees, so that they would not be expelled from the synagogue; for they loved the glory of men even more than the glory of God” (John 12 : 39 – 43, New World Translation).  

Within these few verses there is a reference  to Isaiah 6:10 which in the New World Translation is referenced to in the footnotes.   

“Make the heart of this people unreceptive,+Make their ears unresponsive,+And paste their eyes together,So that they may not see with their eyesAnd hear with their ears,So that their heart may not understandAnd they may not turn back and be healed.” (Isaiah 6 : 10, New World Translation)

Isaiah 6 is a vision of Yahweh( Jehovah) in John he tributes this to Jesus.  Isaiah identifies Yahweh as the one sitting on the throne. However John identifies Jesus as the one sitting on the throne.  This is not a contradiction if the doctrine of the trinity is true.

      

 

Big Problems with the Big Bang

Man’s theories are not without its problems.   One of the biggest scientific problems with the big bang theory is that if it is true then it should of produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter.   Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. They are four states of matter solids, liquids, gases, plasma. The state of matter is about how the molecules and atoms are arranged.   Antimatter has the same mass as matter but each particle has the opposite charge of matter. Samuel Ting a leading advocate in the search of antimatter says “ At the beginning, equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created.  Now there seems to be only matter. There have been theoretical speculations about the disappearance of antimatter, but no experimental support”.  In the observational universe we have plenty of matter but no or little antimatter.

 

Another problem with the big bang theory is called the horizon problem.  The cosmic microwave background supposedly shows that the universe had a uniformed temperature before the light could of travelled there.  Even assuming the time scale of 15 billion years is accurate it still isn’t enough time for light to travel from one end of the universe to the other.  

 

Inflation theory has been developed as a rescue device to fix some of the problems with the big bang theory.  However it is only a theoretical theory and has no observational support. There was a discovery of a signal called the bicep signal that was supposedly observational support for inflation.  However after a more detailed analysis it was thought that the signal was stardust as a result of a supernova. See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/us/a-speck-of-interstellar-dust-rebuts-a-big-bang-theory.html?_r=0 for further information.         

Can We Really Fit Millions Of Years Into The Bible

Can we really fit millions or billions of years into the bible.

Even if we could interpret the word day as a thousand years in Genesis chapter one we would still have a  problems syncing it with man’s origins as the order of creation is completely different.

The big bang theory says the world began with the stars but the creation account says these didn’t come  till day four. There is no one point in the creation ordered that matches big bang model.

The big bang theory isn’t just a theory about the past but also of the future. According to the theory the universe will continue to expand and as a result the universe will end up in a state called heat death.  This happens as a result of all usable energy has been used up.

However the bible offers hope and  promises that God will bring judgement and that he will create a new heaven and a new earth.

 

Revelations 21:1 “now i saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea” (NKJV).

Understand Genesis Chapter 1 and 2

Genesis chapters 1 and 2

Genesis chapter one gives us a brief chronological order of the creation week. Genesis chapter two is a

more detailed look into the sixth day. It is not two separate creation accounts.

Genesis like the rest of the Old testament was originally written in biblical Hebrew. Therefore we are going

to look at this as a piece of Hebrew literacy. Like any form of communication we need to look at what the

original author intended.

There are some Christians that say this is poetry and figurative and therefore not literal history. Recently I

have heard teaching that Genesis chapter one is a Hebrew hymn. However when we look at the Hebrew

language and the Hebrew verbs used, it is more inline with Hebrew historic narrative rather than poetry.

In Genesis 1 the first verb bara (create) is perfect while the following verbs are imperfect.

 

Hebrew poetry uses what is called parallelisms which we can see many examples of in poetry books of the bible such as Psalms. This is where the lines of two or more verses are directly related to each other.

An example of this is Psalm 19 : 1 – 2, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows  His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge”. The second line repeats the first having the same meaning but in different words. However this is rarely found in Genesis 1 – 11. Meaning that the book of Genesis was written as historic narrative and not as poetry.

Genesis Chapter one starts of saying “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the  earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw

the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day,  and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”  If you look at the chapter as a whole, it is clear that we are talking about six literal days. That’s six 24 hour days. We are told that the first day God created the heavens, earth. That it was created in darkness  and god created the light. God divided the darkness and the light. He called the light day and the darkness night. The first day is concluded with evening and morning, the first day. This is repeated for the remaining six days.

The Hebrew word for day is “Yom”. Just like the english word day, Yom has many meanings. For example  where going on holiday in 7 days times. This means 7 24 hour days. But if I said back in my day we didn’t  have computers. In this context the word day doesn’t mean a literal 24 hour day. Context defines meaning.  So let’s look at the hebrew word Yom in its context and see if we can define its meaning.

The word Yom appears in the old testament about 2303 times. Outside of Genesis chapter one the word  yom appears with a number 359 times and always means a literal day. It appears 23 times with evening or  morning and always means a literal day. It appears with the word night 53 times and always means a literal day. So when does the word yom mean a literal 24 hours? When it appears with a number, evening,  morning or night.

Now let’s look at Genesis chapter one:

  • Genesis 1 : 5 evening, morning, number day.
  • Genesis 1 : 8, evening, morning, number day.
  • Genesis 1 : 13 evening, morning, number day.
  • Genesis 1 : 19 evening, morning, number day.
  • Genesis 1 : 23 evening, morning, number day.
  • Genesis 1 : 31 evening, morning, number day.

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.”

(Hebrew 11: 30,NIV)

We wouldn’t try to argue that the army marched around the wall for thousands of years because it is  obviously it is referring to seven 24 hour days. When we read the Genesis account naturally with the  separation of morning and evening and numbered days it is always obvious it is referring to 6 literal 24  hour days.

Some people say how can you have a day if the sun wasn’t made until day four. Scientifically a day is based upon the rotation of the earth. So to have a day we need a rotating earth and a light source to give us morning and evening. Genesis 1 : 3 Then God said. “let there be light” and there was light”. So God created a light before the Sun. Revelation 21:23 says “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it for the glory of God illuminated it. The lamb is its light”. This verse tells us that when the new  heaven and new earth is created the sun will not be needed.

The only reason to not take Genesis literally is to fit the evolutionary worldview of billions of years into the

bible. However I would challenges us not to bring outside ideas into the bible but shape our worldview from the bible.