In Mark 1:15 Jesus commanded, "repent and believe in the gospel." But what is the true gospel?
The true gospel is the message Jesus taught. The word "gospel" is an old English word meaning "good news." This good news about Jesus is expressed clearly in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
Every person except Jesus has sinned (Romans 3:23), and this sin is deserving of death, which includes eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23). Through the death of Jesus on the cross, we have a perfect substitute for our sins. When we place our faith in Him, our sins are forgiven (1 John 2:12), and we receive power to live an abundant life now (John 10:10) in addition to eternal life in the future.
First Peter 1:8-9 also share what takes place in the life of the person changed by the gospel: "Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." Salvation provides a wonderful joy, one that will extend into eternity.
How do you know if you have believed in the true gospel Jesus taught? Romans 10:9 teaches, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Believing the true gospel includes accepting Jesus is Lord, the leader of your life, and that Jesus literally rose again from the dead. It is not based on good works we do, but on God's grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
If you are uncertain you have accepted the true gospel, you can settle your doubts right now. Are you willing to place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive this free gift of eternal life? If so, you can do it right now. There is no special prayer you must pray to do so. However, the following prayer is one you can use to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior:
"Dear God, I realize I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. Right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ as God's Son who died in my place (for my sins) and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life."
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