What is The Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

Has anyone ever told you what the Gospel is?

Perhaps you have lost a loved one, and you look back with regret. You never mentioned that “you loved them”. It lingers in the mind, but it’s too late.

The Gospel is Good News to a fallen, broken world. A message of the love of Christ, who is the perfect Son of God for sinners, that’s all of us. ~ A loving personal call from God.

He loves all humanity, by creating and sustaining our lives. But He has a special love for those that will listen and respond to His call, turn from their sins and seek Him as their Lord and Saviour. They will be rescued from sin and given new life. We call this being born again or becoming a Christian. ~ A message of Good News which needs to be heard.

Today you are one day nearer to eternity, when you will stand before the Lord to give a personal account of your life’s thoughts, words, and deeds. Before then, you must know i) of God’s exclusive, free offer of salvation; ii) of how your soul can be right with God; and iii) that all who remain unrepentant must be punished by God, who unlike us is pure and Holy.

1. The Gospel is: Good news. “O Zion (His people), that brings good tidings (good news); lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; cry unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God” Isaiah 40:9. The gospel of Christ is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” Romans 1:16. “O taste and see that the Lord is good” Psalm 34:8.

Everything about this message is good. A contrast to this world, where the daily news is so often about disease, discrimination, and death; of sorrow, struggle, and strife. Sadly, these things are commonplace in this world that we live in, and we each contribute to this sad backdrop.

The Bible calls itself “The Gospel of peace” and “The Gospel of truth”. We don’t want to hear of war, or anger, envy, or of lies and fake news. We want to know things that are reliable, true and good.

2. The Gospel is: Exclusive and Eternal. Two bold claims to make. But The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes unto the Father but by Me” John 14:6. You cannot get more exclusive: no other way, truth, no other access to heaven but through Christ.

It is also an eternal Gospel. The One who rose from the dead offers to us eternal life. Before time began, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit agreed that the “problem of sin” could only be solved by God. So God sent His Son, who willingly came from eternity into time as a human being.

He lived a perfect life, so that we can be forgiven. The Holy Spirit now individually opens our hearts and eyes to understand and see our need.

3. The Gospel is: a call to: “Behold your God”. The Bible has a simple way of explaining profound things. We do not want to look to God, or listen.

But God in three words gives the solution. Look not to an impersonal spiritual force, but to The God that made you and can be known. The word “behold” means look carefully and intentionally: away from self, from every thought you might have that you can solve your problems.

Away from other sources of help, and from thinking that you have one percent goodness to give to God. ~ Look to Him alone.

We are all accountable: e.g. to parents, teachers and employers. To pay taxes and obey laws. But also morally to God. We will stand before Him one day to give account. Our problem is we have a backlog of sin. John Bunyan of Bedford called it a burden; we must bring the burden to God and ask Him to remove it: to cancel our massive mountain of moral debt.

4. The Gospel is: a call to look to Jesus Christ. The book of Isaiah, written 800 years before Christ, contains vivid, detailed prophecies about Christ. Isaiah looked into the future, seeing Christ in his mind’s eye.

Christ is an indisputable, historical fact. We cannot see Him today, with physical eyes. But tens of thousands of people heard Him speak and saw what He did, when He was a man. Also hundreds saw the resurrected Christ. ~ History shows us more evidence for Christ, than for Julius Caesar.

5. The Gospel is: a call to come to The Good Shepherd. We are like sheep who are always going astray, going this way and that, into the rocky outcrops, and getting lost. We are in constant danger. Our souls will not be gathered unless Christ, The Good Shepherd, comes and gathers us. “He shall gather the lambs with His arm, with His strong arm”.

This is Christ ‘s arm, who is strong to save, will gather and carry us to safety.

We cannot save ourselves from sin, or come into the fold by our efforts.

He needs to come and find us, rescue and gather us, then carry us home to Himself. This is a message about a Good Shepherd; the Shepherd who does everything for us. We must accept our need and that Christ alone can save us. I do nothing but repent, and then by faith as soon as I hear His voice calling me, trust the Good Shepherd.

He gathers, carries, feeds and leads the lambs. Simply put, The Gospel is the timeless call of the perfect Good Shepherd to lost sheep. He comes looking for us, and He promises to gather us, but only if we will hear Him and ask Him to. “He shall gently lend those that are with young”. He also gathers the youngest.

6. The Gospel: is a call to look to the Cross. Christ is not only the Good Shepherd, but the One who lay down His life for the sheep. The Good Shepherd became the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world on a rugged wooden cross. I cannot lay down my life to earn Heaven. He must do everything by bearing the awful and just punishment for my terrible sins.

In Christ’s life on earth, He had no disobedient, or selfish and impure thoughts. He did not look upon anyone else with pride, jealousy, or anger in His heart. He lived a perfect life. Pontius Pilate said of Christ: “I find in this mnn no wrong”. There were two men hung either side on the cross. One of the men testified “This man did nothing amiss”. Christ had lived a perfect life. He died a perfect death so that we can be forgiven, cleansed, and pardoned from sin and He rose again. “God commends His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”; the just Christ, for the unjust sinner.

7. The Gospel is: the dividing line for all eternity. When Christ was on the cross, one of the men who hung next to Him feared God and one would not. They both heard the same words of the Lord Jesus. They both mocked Him. But one heard His offer of forgiveness, and believed it and feared God. He trusted Christ as his Saviour, the other would have none of it. Which of these two are you like? Will you fear God in your heart and seek His forgiveness; and trust Him by faith, or will you push Him away? One thief heard: “Today you will be with me in paradise”, the other thief died in his sins.

Think carefully about this personal call. Come to Christ by praying, trusting by faith and repenting of all your sin. He promises to hear you and change your life for good.

Come and hear the Gospel, every Sunday at 6.30pm

Or join us on You Tube

Providence Baptist Chapel, Rothsay Rd, Bedford

www.providencechapel.org.uk

www.providencechapel.org.uk/youtube     

Social Media Meeting Slides

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

 

Social Media Young People’s Meeting

 

Here are the slides used for our Young People’s Meeting on Social Media, held on 22 May 2021

If you wish to find out more about the Gospel or would like to speak to the Pastor then please e mail on Pastor@providencechapel.org.uk

 

Pastor Oliver Wyncoll

www.providencechapel.org.uk

www.providencechapel.org.uk/youtube     

Searching for Meaning in Life

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

“Vanity of vanities; all is vanity”

Ecclesiastes 

Based on a message given at Providence Baptist ChapelBedford on 2 May 2021

 

Vanity of Vanities” is the famous phrase and timeless truth that was written by King Solomon some 3,000 years ago. What a bold statement to make. Without God, life has and can have no meaning. The big questions of life simply will not be answered. Questions like: Why am I here? What is life all about? Where am I going in life? Is there any purpose and meaning to life? Without God, our search for meaning will fail.

Human cells under a microscope

Many Scientists today tell us, in their opinion, we are just made up of billions of cells. Cells that are responding to predetermined rules, or algorithms. A predictable code, which has appeared by chance. Atoms and molecules that apparently behave predictably, because of chemical programming. Surely that cannot be!

What about human consciousness, our emotions, and feelings? What about our vast potential for creativity, our inner thoughts, and unique personalities? There must be more to life.

King Solomon

Solomon lived in 848BC and became king over ancient Israel at the age of just 12. History tells us that he was the wisest and richest person of his time. He knew three thousand proverbs and could recite them all. When visited by the Queen of Sheba (from Ethiopia), she was recorded as saying the “half had not been told her” about his wealth and glory. His conclusion about life is worthy of consideration. He concluded that life is empty and not merely one part of life, but all of it is ultimately vanity. The totality and completeness of life is all just a vapour.

Before coming to this wide-reaching conclusion, Solomon conducted a series of ultimately failed experiments. He used his extraordinary wealth, riches, and wisdom, to test his thesis thoroughly. He created, as it were, a chemistry laboratory of life and tried out various life experiments:

  1. Comedy and laughter. If only I can laugh, he thought. If only somebody would make me laugh and laugh and laugh. That would give me satisfaction and joy. Sadly, experience shows that often the clown is the most unhappy person.
  2. He turned to wine and to alcohol. This will relax me. A bit more, just a bit more, but a habit was formed and there was no lasting pleasure.
  3. He tried property, real estate, and DIY. Perhaps one more project, a bigger palace, an extension, that will do it.
  4. He turned to all kinds of entertainments, music, and drama. But they gave no ultimate pleasure, just a few hours of superficial fun.
  5. He developed many relationships, with hundreds of wives. Many try this still today, in our promiscuous Western society.
  6. He sought to build a reputation for himself to make a legacy. If only people will look at me and consider all that I have done and achieved.
  7. Finally, he got hold of everything his eyes lusted for. All the possessions he wanted to buy, and he did not hold back.

All of these experiments failed for Solomon, just like they do still today.

 

The Fairground of Life

There is a poem written by Rosemary Clooney, which analogizes the essence of Solomon’s experiment. It tells of a teenage girl who went to a fair, what John Bunyan called ‘Vanity Fair’.  She stayed too long and found out the reality of life. 

I wanted the music to play on forever,
Have I stayed too long at the fair?
I wanted the clown to be constantly clever
Have I stayed too long at the fair?

 I bought me blue ribbons to tie up my hair
But I couldn’t find anybody to care.
The merry-go-round is beginning to slow now.
Have I stayed too long at the fair?

 I wanted to live in a carnival city,
With laughter and love everywhere.
I wanted my friends to be thrilling and witty,
I wanted somebody to care.

I found my blue ribbons all shiny and blue,
But now I’ve discovered them no longer blue.
The merry-go-round is beginning to taunt me,
Have I stayed too long at the fair?

There is nothing to win and no one to want me.
Have I stayed too long at the fair?”

 

Vanity in Word Pictures

Life is vanity, Solomon says. The same Hebrew word for vanity is translated with many other contrasting English words. All of them are helpful descriptions of what Solomon had in mind. Life is like a breath. I can’t get hold of it. I know on a cold day you can see your breath, but there is no substance to it.  It is also a delusion. We delude ourselves with one more possession, one more night out, one more friendship, one more relationship, one more bottle. We are mistaken.

 

Vanity is called emptiness. Like a vessel that we thought would have something in it, but it turns out to be empty. It is also a fraud. We are deceived. It turns out to be just a failed promise. Like buying something on the internet, but it never arrived. The word is translated as futile or pointless and like idols. There was something there, I think I can see it. But it can’t hear, smell, or speak. It can’t move. It was nothing. It was useless. It is like a vapour. The kettle boils and we see what comes out, but we can’t touch it. Finally, vanity is translated as worthless. Life has no value without God.

 

God Has Given Life

Imagine you open a present. The present arrives and you decide for some reason you later regret to throw the envelope away that was attached to it. Your present gets mixed up with some other presents. it was wrapped up beautifully, but you have no idea who sent it to you. The envelope is gone. It contained both a letter from the one who gave you the present and the instructions for the gift. But you threw the envelope away. You don’t know who and why the special present was given. It could be from anybody.

God of course is the giver of life and your soul is the special gift. God’s gift to you only has a real meaning and purpose if you know who the giver is, if you know why He gave it to you.  When things go wrong with the gift, you need the instructions to put things right. Life without God is like a present with no giver to explain about it. It is abstract, meaningless, pointless and void of anything worthwhile.

Find the envelope (the Bible) with the Maker’s instructions and open it.  Learn what He is like and why He gave you a soul. Know what He has said to you. Inside He has written a love-letter.

 

The problem is that as soon as we open the present things have already gone wrong. We fail, we sin, we fall short of the glory of God. We develop twisted characters and veer from the best pathway for life. We need to go back to our Creator, who alone gives us the instructions, in His Word, open it and read it.

 

Remember your Creator while you are young

Life does not have to be like this. When Solomon’s experiments were over, he said “remember”. Remember thatyou have a Creator. Come before your Creator, ideally while you are young, or as soon as you hear the Creator calling you. “Remember, now, your Creator.” It doesn’t have to be meaningless and pointless.

 

Solomon also gave a warning. Be careful, because “the evil days will come”. The end years of life will draw near. Life’s experiments will fail.  You will say “I have no pleasure in my life as it is, without God, without my Creator. While the sun, nor the light, nor the moon or the stars, be not darkened nor the clouds return”. You will see the dark clouds do come down in life. Illness comes suddenly. The sunlight goes away. What seemed to be pleasure is gone. The music at the fair stops. The merry-go-round doesn’t go round anymore. Isn’t this an accurate picture of life without God?

Renzo Piano

If I gave you a book and you opened it, you would probably ask who is the author? If I showed you a wonderful painting, you would say, who is the artist? If you look at the tallest building in Europe, the Shard, you might ask who designed it. It did not just get there. It was designed by an Italian man called Renzo Piano. There is an architect, an artist, an author, somebody that wrote the software, and knows the JavaScript to code it. Of course, there is a Creator. Do you know your Creator? Have you remembered Him? Or have you been trying to forget Him?

We often see on the News, some actor or actress, or a popular musician, who has fame in their world. A rap artist with fifteen million social media followers but sadly dies suddenly. There does not seem to be an explanation for why the individual life has ended. No illness is mentioned. Then the inquest into the death comes out some weeks later. It becomes clear, yet again, that they tragically took their own lives. The fame and millions of followers were empty of meaning. Life was lived without God.

We also hear of people who grow up not knowing their mother or their father. They were brought up in a different home and family. At the age of 3 months or 3 years they were fostered or adopted. We feel for them. But sooner or later, when they get to 16 or so, their heart inevitably cannot wait any longer. They have a longing desire to re-connect with Mum or Dad. They cannot live not knowing who their father or mother is. So, they reach out, desiring to re-connect. “Who are my parents what are they like?” They cannot live without knowing. Wouldn’t you rather know your Creator? His purpose, reason, and explanation for life and the soul.

Abundant Life

In John chapter 10, The Lord Jesus is speaking about life, its meaning and purpose. He says, “the thief comes to steal”. He wants to steal your life; this is referring to Satan. He wants to ruin your life so that it has no potential meaning and purpose. He wants to destroy your life. But Christ says, I am come from Heaven to this earth of sin, this earth of emptiness. “I am come that they might have life”. There is no life in our souls without God, as Lord and Saviour. It will be empty, futile, meaningless. But Christ says “I am come” to fill up your empty vessel. Fill it until it with abundant life.

Christ says, I am come to give you the reason I made you. You are living your life completely differently to the way I want you to live. You have gone this way and you have gone that way. I am come so that you can be reconciled with me. When the merry-go-round stops in life, then you will see it has just been a Vanity Fair. It won’t give you pleasure, meaning, purpose, you were looking for.

The testimony and experience of true Christians is this: it is not that we found life. It is not that we worked it out. It is not that we were intelligent. Christ calls us as The Good Shepherd. He comes to find the lost sheep. He says, this is the way you come to Me. “I am the door”.  I am not a thief. I never came to make your life poorer. I never came to make your life more restricted or be a kill joy. I am come that you may have abundant life. 

What a contrast this is to Satan’s way. He wants to rob you of lasting joy. He wants you to have no confidence in God. But Christ has come to give real life. Do not travel through life scratching around on the surface, looking for meaning. “Remember your Creator.” He designed you and gave you a soul. Your soul cannot be satisfied with all these other things, only by Him.

Fear God and obey Him” were Solomon’s final words. God’s command is for us to go and seek Him and to ask for this new and abundant life. He will give it to you. He will fill up your life and it will over-flow, with joy and peace. You will know forgiveness of sin and all your guilt taken away. Do not wait till the music stops. Don’t wait for the carnival of life to end.  Come to Jesus Christ. There can be meaning, and purpose in our lives. But only if you will seek the Lord by coming in repentance and faith.

If you wish to find out more about the Gospel or would like to speak to the Pastor then please e mail on Pastor@providencechapel.org.uk

 

Pastor Oliver Wyncoll

www.providencechapel.org.uk

www.providencechapel.org.uk/youtube     

Sunday 11 April: Jesus Returns to Heaven

 

Please take a photo of your completed sheet and email to sundayschool@providencechapel.org.uk or send a WhatsApp to 07465 400 393.  Remember to include your name and age. 

If you don't have a printer...

We would still love to see you have watched this week’s lesson, so if you can’t print one of the worksheets above, please try as many questions from your age range below:

Suggested for ages 12+

Sunday 4 April: Jesus Risen From The Dead

 

Please take a photo of your completed sheet and email to sundayschool@providencechapel.org.uk or send a WhatsApp to 07465 400 393.  Remember to include your name and age. 

If you don't have a printer...

We would still love to see you have watched this week’s lesson, so if you can’t print one of the worksheets above, please try as many questions from your age range below:

Suggested for ages 12+

Sunday 28 March: Jesus Died on a Cross

 

Please take a photo of your completed sheet and email to sundayschool@providencechapel.org.uk or send a WhatsApp to 07465 400 393.  Remember to include your name and age. 

If you don't have a printer...

We would still love to see you have watched this week’s lesson, so if you can’t print one of the worksheets above, please try as many questions from your age range below:

Suggested for ages 12+

Sunday 21 March: Jesus on Trial

 

Please take a photo of your completed sheet and email to sundayschool@providencechapel.org.uk or send a WhatsApp to 07465 400 393.  Remember to include your name and age. 

If you don't have a printer...

We would still love to see you have watched this week’s lesson, so if you can’t print one of the worksheets above, please try as many questions from your age range below:

Suggested for ages 12+

Sunday 14 March: Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem & The Man Who Betrayed Jesus

 

Please take a photo of your completed sheet and email to sundayschool@providencechapel.org.uk or send a WhatsApp to 07465 400 393.  Remember to include your name and age. 

If you don't have a printer...

We would still love to see you have watched this week’s lesson, so if you can’t print one of the worksheets above, please try as many questions from your age range below:

Suggested for ages 12+

Sunday 7 March: The Pearl of Great Price

Please download the worksheets for your age group:

 

Please take a photo of your completed sheet and email to sundayschool@providencechapel.org.uk or send a WhatsApp to 07465 400 393.  Remember to include your name and age. 

If you don't have a printer...

We would still love to see you have watched this week’s lesson, so if you can’t print one of the worksheets above, please try as many questions from your age range below:

Suggested for ages 12+

Sunday 28 February: Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy

 

Please take a photo of your completed sheet and email to sundayschool@providencechapel.org.uk or send a WhatsApp to 07465 400 393.  Remember to include your name and age. 

If you don't have a printer...

We would still love to see you have watched this week’s lesson, so if you can’t print one of the worksheets above, please try as many questions from your age range below:

Suggested for ages 12+