1 Corinthians 15:3-8 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
Creation. In creation God created everything very good.
Genesis 1:1, 31 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. . . . 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
We all have a sense of THE WAY IT “OUGHT TO BE.”
The Fall. But then came the Fall and everything became broken.
Everything we know in our lives is broken in some way. We say, This is “THE WAY IT IS.”
Everything is now broken. We want to get back to THE WAY IT OUGHT TO BE, but we can’t!
Several impulses inside us tell us, “WHAT IT CAN BE.” We’re trying to get back to the Garden.
- We all have a quest for spirituality.
- We all have a hunger for relationships.
- We all delight in beauty.
- We all long for justice.
We want all these things – THE WAY IT CAN BE – but we are stuck with THE WAY IT IS.
Redemption. We wonder what is wrong with our world? How can what is broken be fixed? The answer is found in Jesus. The good news of Jesus Christ is that everything that was lost in the Fall was redeemed at the Cross!
1 Peter 1:18-19 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life . . . , 19 but with the precious blood of Christ. . . .
Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We need to repent – by making a 180 degree change of direction from walking away from God and turning toward God! And we need to believe – by trusting Jesus Christ to save us!
Restoration. And one day everything will be fully restored – “THE WAY IT WILL BE ONE DAY.”
Revelation 21:1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
Until that time God invites us to join him in that restoration – “WHAT IT CAN BE.”
Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
It is what it is. . . . But, it’s not what it should be . . . can be . . . and one day will be.
That’s the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus – Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration.
“Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross in my place for my sins. I believe in you, and I open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life and make me the kind of person you want me to be.”
Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
1 John 5:12-13 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.