What do Christians mean by 'the Gospel'? What is the big picture of the whole Bible?
Pastor Pete Hughes shares a summary of the Christian message in under three minutes on Youtube. See the clip, as transcribed below, at https://youtu.be/n6IImNzFMAg
"When a lot of people pick up the Bible, they freak out," Pete explains in the video for Yesheis UK. "Thinking 'This is massive, it's going to take me ages to read'. But the Bible at its simplest is a love story."
"Like any great love story there is a beginning, a middle and an end.
"The beginning is the story of creation where God creates the world, and as the pinnacle of that part of the story, He creates humanity in His image and likeness and places them in this garden called Eden - this garden of perfection. And there's no sin, there's no sickness, there's no suffering in this part of the story. Humanity are fully alive in perfect relationship with God.
But then sin enters the story and created order begins to unravel. And we descend into what Hughes calls 'decreation'.
Theologian Martin Luther defines sin as a "life turned in on itself," Pete notes. "Where everything revolves around you; your needs, your longings, your goals, your ambitions, your desires are all that really matters. It is all about looking after number one.
"And when you multiply that mindset by almost eight billion people on the planet, it explains some of the pain and the suffering and violence we see all around us.
"So God saw that pain and put a plan into motion to heal and restore things to how they were meant to be in the beginning. And that plan looked like God wrapping Himself in human flesh in the person of Jesus. The Creator stepping into Creation. And Jesus lived for us, and He died for our sins and He rose to new life to usher in a new order, recreation – a restored creation.
"Now at the end of the story in the book of Revelation, this guy called John has a vision of what the new order will look like. And he says in this new order there'll be no death, there'll be no grief, there'll be no crying and there'll be no pain. Which sounds a lot like the beginning right? Where there is no sin, no sickness and no suffering and humanity are fully alive and in perfect relationship with God.
"This is what our story is all about. And, what God is doing to all of created order, He wants to do in your life. To bring healing and restoration and lead you to the fullness of life you were made for.
"So the Gospel of Jesus is an invitation. Do you want that fullness of life? And, if you do, it's a free gift that is found in relationship with Him." If you want to become friends with Jesus and know Him personally, Pete offers to lead you in a simple prayer.
"Lord Jesus, thank you that You made me for fullness of life. I'm sorry for where everything became about me and was wrapped up in my own needs and longings. Thank you for the cross, that You forgive me all of my sin. Thank you that You rose to new life to fill me with resurrection life and to lead me towards fullness. I say yes to Your plans. Help me serve You all of my days. Amen."•