I watched a good movie called Time Changer this summer. It was stodgy and slow, but I like stodgy and slow. It was set in 1900 and was about a junior seminary professor who writes a book saying that in some cases it is all right to preach living a good life without using Jesus as a moral absolute. A senior professor of the seminary objects to that section in the book and urges the young seminarian to use his secret time machine to go 100 years into the future to see where his beliefs will lead. He arrives in 2000 horrified to experience the cold and pale thing Christianity has become.
What I liked about the end was a scene where he is getting ready to return to the past. He says goodbye to a laundromat caretaker he had met, and gives him a bible. He says the following to the laundromat guy, named Eddie:
“Jesus is coming back soon to set up His earthly kingdom. The requirement, though, to enter this kingdom, is that we must be absolutely perfect, without sin.
Well, that leaves me out of that party.
No one is without sin, Eddie. Not one! All of us face eternal judgment and separation from God. This is why we must accept Jesus Christ into our life as Lord. He is the only one who lived a perfect life, and thus became the substitute for our sins.
For me, too?
Yes, for you too Eddie. He rose from the dead, proving He was God. And He wants to save us from the penalty of our sins, and give us eternal life. But we must first individually receive Him. This is what it means to believe in Jesus.
I never heard it explained so simple, preacher.
God wants us to be reconciled to Himself. So much so that He gave His only so to die for us. It’s all in the bible. I pray that you will consider what I’m saying.”
That is the Gospel. Here are some few scriptures that are proof texts for this Gospel:
Jesus and His kingdom: Revelation 20:4, Daniel 7:13-14, Zechariah 14:8-11
Requirements for entry: John 3:5, John 3:3, Titus 3:5
No one is without sin: Romans 3:10
We all face judgment: 2 Corinthians 5:10, Hebrews 9:27, Romans 2:16, Acts 10:42
Jesus is sinless: 1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5, Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus is our substitute: Isaiah 53:4-6
He died for all: John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” and John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” 1 John 2:2, “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Jesus’ resurrection: Acts 13:33, Romans 1:4
Believe and you shall be saved: Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9
It’s all in the bible: 2 Timothy 3:16
Why was a sacrifice necessary? Why was it necessary that blood had to have been shed? The Gospel is that we believe Jesus the son of God is fully God and fully man, manifested in the flesh, who came to earth to seek and save the lost. He died on the cross, shedding His blood as the perfect, sinless sacrifice. He was buried and resurrected by the power of God three days later. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Leviticus 17:11 says “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ ” Hebrews 9:22 says “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
I do not know why God set it up that the blood is the life, and is the mechanism for atonement, but it is so because we are told that by His word. God had to pour out His wrath for sin upon Jesus, whose shed blood was payment for the sins of the world. There had to be a sacrifice and it had to be pure. Jesus is sinless, and was therefore acceptable to God as that sacrifice. Jesus took on all the sins of the world AND all God’s wrath for it. He took our place so we do not have to endure God’s wrath, unless a person rejects Jesus. Then they are subject to wrath! Forever!!
That’s the Gospel. Please believe it. Your soul depends on it.