The Gospel + nothing = truth

Please. Just give me the gospel and nothing else. Please don’t give me theatrics, and a light show and a sermon spoken with the smooth intonations of a perfectly polished Persuasive Speech.

Just the gospel. Only Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And RISEN.

Yes, we must not forget the resurrection without which we are still in our sins, according to the Apostle Paul.

The gospel is this: Jesus died, Jesus was buried, Jesus rose again.

THAT is the truth. THAT is what we are asked to believe in. THAT is what we are asked to put our faith in. THAT is the message that we are to “hear with faith” and be saved. Saved from hell. Yes, hell. Because you were given a choice.

Eternal life? Or eternal death? Your choice.

So, if you’re not into church with all of its exhibitionism, well then, not to worry. God didn’t ask you to put your faith in church. He’s asked you to trust in the gospel. The gospel plus nothing.

The gospel is a solution to a problem. The problem is spelled out in Genesis chapter 3 where we learn that Adam and Eve died spiritually. They were given a choice. And when they ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were deciding to reject God and His indwelling Spirit and to instead believe the words of Satan. God responded with mercy and, right then and there, He promised to send a man who would “crush the head of Satan.”

The Promised Messiah came. He was called Jesus. He was God in the flesh. He came to die to forgive all sin, and then He was buried for three days and three nights, and then he ROSE from the dead to offer His Holy Spirit. . . . THAT is the good news – the gospel!

It is good news because humanity needs the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives life, and we need to be made spiritually alive. We are all born “in Adam.” Dead in our sins. But Jesus came to save us, to offer good news, glad tidings, “the gospel,” through His death, burial and resurrection.

The gospel is good news. And is it not good of God (more good news!) that the only thing He requires of is to believe in the gospel?

. . . Cause the religious stuff is getting really irritating, don’t you think!?

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I have many other blog posts on the topic of “the gospel.” If you are interested, there is:

Christian Dream Interpretation — God shares the Gospel with a gay waiter — Part 1 of 3

Darren and Darryl were two gay guys that I once worked with at Café 66, the intracoastal restaurant located on the property of Pier 66, a fancy 4-star-hotel and resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They were both waiters. Darren was my best friend at that job, but Darryl didn’t like me at all.

Darren accepted me because he too was a Christian, but Darryl gave me these intense, scowling stares during our staff meetings in the kitchen. Other than the creepy looks, Darryl avoided me. Except for the day of his dream.

Disturbed by a dream he had the previous night, Darryl went from employee to employee asking their opinion. Finally, he approached me. He told me the dream and then asked if I had any idea what it meant. I was honest and said no.

I worked as the Administrative Assistant to the restaurant’s Executive Director, Steve Silverman. A highly polished and manicured Jewish man who had a legendary reputation for having his secretaries quit on him. After I got hired, I heard this phrase numerous times from employees all over the resort, “Oh, you are Steve’s new secretary? He’s awful to work for! You’re not gonna last long.”

However, I lasted a year and a half; I seem to have a knack for getting along with difficult people. I did quit, but it was to pursue my Biblical education in another state.

My office was down in the basement, but on the day of Darryl’s dream, I was up in Café 66 filling in for an absent hostess. After I told him I had no idea what his dream meant, I went back to my station at the hostess stand . . . and prayed.

I said hesitatingly, “God, if you want to give me the interpretation of his dream, you know, that would be cool.”

And then suddenly, with an almost physical sensation of something being dropped on my head, the meaning of the dream was downloaded into my brain. It was clear. And it was flippin’ cool! God was preaching the gospel to Darryl!

So, I sheepishly walk over to Darryl. . . “Umm, this has never happened to me before, but like, God totally gave me the interpretation of your dream.”

In his dream, Darryl was driving a car. In the passenger seat was a toilet bowl filled with poop; it was raining out, and the steering wheel was shuddering. There were other details that I don’t remember (this happened almost 30 years ago), but the basic message was this:  “Darryl, you have sin in your life, and you are trying to control your life with your own effort, but you are headed for destruction and therefore God wants to save you, and be the One who ‘drives’ your life.”

Darryl was thoughtful, but unsure. He said “okay, thanks,” and then I walked back to my station.

About an hour later, he came up to me and said, “I finally figured it out! I ate pizza late last night, and the pizza is what gave me the weird dream!”

“Oh. Okay, thanks,” I said. But, of course, I didn’t believe that for a minute; I knew that God had preached the good news to him through that dream, hoping to save him. Hoping to give Daryl new life and to begin a relationship with him.

I believe God occasionally speaks to us through our dreams. And I believe that God Himself gives the interpretation. I was thankful to be used by God to give Darryl this message about sin and salvation, about death and life. It is now 30 years later, and who knows, maybe by the time of this writing, Darryl has surrendered to God, and been reborn with the life of Jesus Christ.

To be continued . . . Part 2 here.

Written April 18, 2020