Christian Tract: What is the Good News?

What is the Good News?

Are you wondering what it means to be saved?


What is humanity's relation to God?

Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that "All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." (Romans 3:23).

This doesn't say that:

It does say that we, as human beings, have fallen short of the glory of God.

God hasn't separated Himself from us, we have separated ourselves from God. (See Luke 15:11-32)

Who is Jesus?

Let's ask first what Jesus did.

Jesus has shown us the glorious purpose God has for us and how we can attain it.

God's Son has all the brightness of God's own glory and is like him in every way. (Hebrews 1:3) What does it mean to surrender my life to Christ?

The idea of surrendering control of one's life to someone else is very frightening to some. But what is it that God is actually asking of us? Think of someone standing by a high cliff. There is a choice to be free of the laws of nature and jump, or to accept them and take proper care. To choose life by surrender is not to give up anything good. One simply accepts the physical laws that exist and by which the universe runs. Accept them and live; reject them and die. It is the same thing with Christ's moral laws: accept and live or reject and die.

Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. (Deuteronomy 30:15)

What does it mean to live a Christ-like life?

Jesus said that the most important commandment of the law was: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. . . . The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, 'Love others as much as you love yourself.'"

The Bible also teaches that we must put this love into action (1 John 4:20,21).

Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it. (1 John 3:18)

What about heaven and hell?

For many people the point of Christianity or any religion is to assure one's place in another world. But there is much more to following Jesus than that. Jesus showed as a good way of life here and now! The Bible tells us about an eternal reward and eternal punishment, but what it tells us most about is following Jesus in this world.

By following Jesus in this life we are preparing to be in His presence for eternity. (See John 14:1-3)

What about doctrines? What about those theological terms? Do I need to believe specific things about God in order to be saved?

When Jesus was asked a question about this very topic he responded by using an illustration about a shepherd separating sheep from goats. He said of the ones who would be accepted into the kingdom: "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." (Matthew 25:31-46)

What is repentance?

Repentance means "to turn away." If we find we are going the wrong direction, we will not be able to get where we are going no matter how fast we go. In fact, we might be considered foolish for not slowing down. If we want to accomplish our goals we need to be unafraid of acknowledging when we are going in the wrong direction. This is why Ezekiel tells the Israelites that God doesn't want anyone to die. "I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live." (Ezekiel 33:11,12) And this is followed with a promise: "And remind them that when wicked people stop sinning, their past sins will be completely forgiven, and they won't be punished."

Justification and Sanctification are both gifts through the cross
Both justification and sanctification are God's gifts resulting from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

What is justification?

God promises that when we repent, or turn to the right path he will accept us, we will be right with him (1 John 1:9). This is what many Christians call being saved.

What is sanctification?

Once one is on the right path, one needs to continue on that path. This is why James points out that ". . . faith that doesn't do anything is . . . dead!" (James 2:26) The Christian life is a continuing process.

Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. (Philippians 4:7)

What should I do?

  1. Pray and accept the message God has sent you through Jesus.
  2. Determine to turn from the things that keep you away from God's full purpose for your life.
  3. Find a group of Christians who believe in living the love of Jesus on a daily basis and join with them for worship and action.
  4. Look for ways to make your world better.
  5. Read your Bible, listening for the voice of God as you do.

You know God's laws, and it isn't impossible to obey them. . . . Today I'm giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. . . . On the other hand, you might choose to disobey the LORD and reject him. So I'm warning you that if you bow down and worship other gods, you won't have long to live. (Deuteronomy 30:11-18 selected)

Using God's Good News for You!

Parts of the text of this pamphlet are available in an outreach tract called God's Good News for You! available from Energion Publications. To use that pamphlet:

Salvation Prayer

Dear Father in Heaven,

I admit that I have sinned and fallen short of Your glorious purpose for me.

I acknowledge Jesus as Your Son and my Lord and Savior. I accept the message of love You sent through Him.

I turn from my sins and ask to be brought back to Your plan for me.

I surrender my life to You.

I ask You to fill me with Your Spirit so that I can live a Christ-like life.

In Jesus' name,

Amen


All scripture quotations taken from the Contemporary English Version, Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society.

Copyright © 2004, Henry E. Neufeld
Rev. 1.0

Taken from the Participatory Study Series