Many do not realize that the Bible is actually “God’s Love Story” written for mankind, and it is filled with the glorious promise of hope along with a spectacularly triumphant ending! But it is up to each of us to choose that hope and our eternal destiny – for we are all born with an immortal spirit which lives on forever; the only question is where. Our spirit doesn’t die; only our fleshly body does, for we will one day shed this body made from dust. Therefore, we each have a free-will choice to make, which determines whether we will spend eternity with God in heaven or with Satan and the angels who sinned in hell.
This book presents the “good news” (Luke 2:10) of the Bible (the gospel “message of truth”) from start to finish – Genesis to Revelation. It also helps you understand how we got here in this fallen world today full of disease, death, war, murder, and other sinful behaviors that cause misery to the human race – humanity has fallen into sin by disobeying God. The good news is that Jesus “did not come [the first time] to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47) from sin, to be “the Light of the World” (John 8:12), and to rescue us from “the dominion of darkness” (Colossians 1:13) and bondage under sin, Satan, and death. For “just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12), another Man (Jesus) “gave His life for us” (1 John 3:16) to redeem (purchase) us back from sin: “for God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
BUT JUDGMENT DAY APPROACHES
The Bible tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:7) and that He is holy and righteous. But we also read that He is a God of justice and that He will bring all sin to judgment on the great Day of Judgment to come: “When the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire” (2 Thessalonians 1:7), i.e., He comes the second time. Jesus came to Earth the first time as a humble and sacrificial servant to save you from sin; when He returns, it will be in power and glory for judgment and to restore creation to a state of perfection – without sin, suffering, or death. Only those who are able to stand before God on that great Day righteous and blameless (i.e., not guilty of sin) will be granted eternal life with God in heaven. It is only through belief and faith in Christ that you can be declared righteous in the sight of God and saved to eternal life, if you so choose. This Day is also called the “Day of the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) and the “Day of Eternity” (2 Peter 3:18). On this great Day, God will judge all unrighteousness (sin) for all eternity, and all sin will be completely and finally eradicated from God’s creation.
On this Day, everyone will stand before God to give an account of themselves: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Nothing that has been done or whispered in secret will be hidden; in fact, “there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops” (Luke 12:2-3).
Those who stand righteous (blameless, morally pure, free from guilt or sin, declared “not guilty” of sin, justifiable) on that Day of Judgment will enter into eternal life in heaven (paradise) – for eternal life can only be found in the presence of God, who creates and sustains all life. Those who die in sin (through their own choice) will be banished to hell, which is a real literal place of “outer darkness” (Matthew 22:13), “away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9) where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13), with the memory of their (unforgiven) sins searing into their consciousness for all time. That is the torment of hell. Nothing sinful will be permitted to enter heaven in the presence of God when He restores His creation to righteousness.
This Day of Judgment will arrive when most are not expecting it – it will start just like any other normal day, but then just “like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2), without any further warning, it will be here. The only warning you will receive is from reading the Bible, reading books like this one, and listening to those who share the gospel “message of truth” with you (Ephesians 1:13). Be not deceived, for there are no more signs and wonders in the sky, nor signs in the stars and moon (astrology), nor any Bible prophecy remaining yet to be fulfilled before the arrival of this great and awesome Day of the Lord.
Like a charging grizzly, this Day of Judgment is rapidly approaching. And just like an encounter with a charging grizzly, the consequences will be eternally devastating for those who are unprepared for the encounter. If you were staring down a grizzly bear in a life-or-death situation, wouldn’t you want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on how to handle it? In an analogous fashion, this book gives you the truth of the gospel message, which will allow you to stand before God on that Day, righteous, blameless, and holy with your sins forgiven and justified to eternal life in heaven.
What a glorious day this will be for the saints (those who are in Christ), and what a terrifying day this will be for everyone else (the lost). Know that God in His infinite wisdom, love, mercy, and grace has provided a way for you to stand righteous before Him on that Day. The only way you can stand righteous before God is through the forgiveness of sin by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, “for there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6), and “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Furthermore, there is no “second chance” to accept Christ after death, for “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) – and your judgment will stand for eternity.
And contrary to what the world teaches, death is not your ending – you don’t disappear into nothingness; you are not “annihilated” after death. We read in Scripture that we are born with an immortal spirit that will live on even after the body dies. In fact, death is the doorway to eternity, when you put off this old self, this earthly vessel, your fleshly body (tent) with its corrupt (sinful) nature and inherit a new glorified eternal (immortal) body! It is written “that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked” (Acts 24:15). So, everyone who has ever lived will be raised immortal – those who died in righteousness will remain righteous for eternity (eternal life), and those who died in sin will remain sinful for eternity (eternal death). Your spiritual state, either righteous or sinful, is sealed at your death – again, there are no “second chances” to change it after you die.
I WANT YOU TO BE FULLY INFORMED
It is written: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). To get eternal life, we must look to the Holy Bible to tell us what we need to do to be saved on that Day so that we are not caught unaware or unprepared. The Holy Bible, the “word of life” (Philippians 2:16), declares to us the pure and accurate truth (knowledge) that saves us to eternal life – for God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4) so that no one is lost in judgment. So I am trying to leave no stone unturned in presenting the correct and complete gospel message to you.
You will read Who our hope is: “Jesus of Nazareth” – “the Christ of God,” the one “living and true God,” the Lord “our Savior.” Christ is not His last name – Christ means the “Messiah” or the “Anointed One” of God. And the “good news” part of the gospel is that through belief in Christ, you can stand holy and blameless before God on that Great Day of Judgment with your sins forgiven (pardoned) and receive eternal life. You can hear God pronounce a verdict of “not guilty” (of sin) for you, along with “well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21 ESV) – for it is God Who is both your Judge and your attorney! And Jesus Christ is God. How amazing is that!
While the gospel message proper is the hope that is found in Jesus Christ in the New Testament of the Bible, one must start all the way back at the beginning in Genesis, where the foundation of the Gospel message is laid, and we learn about God, His creation, humanity, sin, and the fall, and this fallen world we now find ourselves in. Indeed, Jesus was mentioned even in the very first chapters of the Bible (Genesis 3:15). If you don’t understand how we (mankind) got to the place where we needed a Savior (Jesus), you won’t fully appreciate what He did for you (and me). So, this book also starts at the very beginning (in Genesis) with information to help you understand how we “got here”: why we find ourselves today in this fallen world, rampant with disease, destruction, disasters, death, famines, wars, lying, cheating, stealing, murder, and other sinful behavior, and why we need a Savior. I then lead you through the gospel message as given in the New Testament.
GOD IS NOT A GOD OF CONFUSION
I want to spend a moment setting up the proper mental framework for you to evaluate the gospel message presented herein. You see, I didn’t believe in the Bible, or “faith,” or “religious” stuff myself either – for many years. I was trained as a scientist, a physicist. I needed to use logic, reason, and intellect, even when approaching the subject of Christianity. I didn’t think it (the Bible) could possibly be true or that it was supported by a vast ream of hard scientific data. However, by reading with an open mind what Christian scientists have to say on various topics (e.g., evolution, dinosaurs, carbon dating, etc.), I came to realize that there were other (very valid) scientific viewpoints than what I had been taught all my life from secular books, schools, and institutions – from preschool all the way on up through university level! It was then that I started to see how the lies I’d been told since childhood had programmed me for disbelief – in effect, I had been brainwashed (by man) from childhood against the truth of the Bible and against God. And I didn’t even realize it!
Contrary to many peoples’ beliefs, becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you abandon your reason, logic and intellect and “blindly believe” in faith in Jesus. God is a God of logic, wisdom, reason, and understanding, not a God of confusion (see Isaiah 1:18, Proverbs 3:19, Jeremiah 10:12, 1 Corinthians 14:33). God is not asking you to take a leap of faith in the dark about His Son Jesus Christ. In fact, much light has been given to you, so you can and should come to the decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior only after carefully evaluating all the facts, evidence (scientific, historical, archaeological, literary, etc.) and eyewitness testimony that is available. You do this just like any modern jury of law would in reaching a verdict.
Matthew Henry, a nonconformist minister and author in England from 1662-1714, writes: 
In fact, the evidence given in the Bible (and outside the Bible) supporting its inerrancy along with the reality of Jesus Christ (as God, resurrected from the dead) far supersedes the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden of proof level that would be required by a modern jury in a court of law to arrive at a consensus verdict, even in the most severe of capital punishment cases! It is by reviewing all available information that you then make an informed, logical, rational decision to accept Scripture as God’s Word and truth and to accept Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior if you so choose.
Like you almost surely do, I had literally hundreds of questions about the Bible and Christianity. But I confronted my questions and doubts head-on, with an open (but rational and logical) mind, and that is what I ask you to do. I cannot present all the evidence herein to try to convince you that the Bible and Christianity are true, but I can give you an overview of it and walk you through the main thread of the Bible so that you understand the big picture and the main questions of “why” and “Who” and “how.” The rest is up to you and God. There are links to resources on our website with more information on the scientific, historical, geological, archeological, and other evidence of biblical truth. Please research further anything you have questions or doubts about. Don’t let those questions and doubts discourage you from taking a serious look at what the Bible says. Dig into them; tackle them head-on — for it’s your own eternal life which is at stake here!
I urge you to seriously contemplate the enormity of eternity. For we all are, each of us, rushing towards that great Day of Judgment, where we must stand before the Lord and give an account of ourselves. We can be saved from judgment and condemnation only through Jesus Christ. This is a matter of choosing eternal life or eternal death. We each have that choice to make (Joshua 24:15).
Always remember that we serve a God of love, who “is love” (1 John 4:8), “who is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9), “who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 4:4) and who “take[s] no pleasure at all in the death of the wicked, but rather [desires] that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11). It is God alone who is from eternity past to eternity future. You too can have eternal life offered by the “one living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9), the Lord Jesus Christ. He offers it as a gift to all, and to you – so “let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires, take the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22:17).
WHY “YET ANOTHER” GOSPEL BOOK
Scripture says that we are to worship the Lord “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24): meaning the Lord’s truth as given in Scripture itself, not man’s truth. So, if you are new to Christ and this gospel message, please realize that we are to approach God by and through His truth only as given in Scripture, not man-made opinions, schemes, or false teachings. It is very easy, especially for someone new to the gospel message, to be confused about which is which. For we’ve had centuries now (over 2,000 years!) of man-made false teachings, fanciful interpretations, catechisms, rites, rules, rituals, ceremonies, “traditions,” myths, wild-speculation, superstition, mysticism, fake prophecies, and a myriad of sectarian and denominational divisions (Gnosticism, Montanism, Manichaeism, Monasticism, Docetism, Arianism, Sabellianism, Paganism, Mysticism, Nestorianism, Pelagianism, Rationalism, Apollinarianism, Monophysitism, Eutychianism, Adoptionism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Reformed Protestantism, Arminianism, Calvinism, Adventism, Modernism, etc. ad nauseam’ism), and dozens upon dozens of false doctrines, false gospels, and theological systems and frameworks made up by man, committees and institutions all piled up one on top of another and masquerading as so-called “Christianity,” obfuscating the pure truth of the gospel “that was once for all time handed down to the saints” in Scripture. Whew!
Further compounding the situation is the absolutely staggering amount of noise generated by the secular world, with its God-denying media and institutions trying to drown out the gospel message and the name of Jesus altogether by creating even more false teachings which masquerade as science, but which are in reality fake science. We are being fed today fake news, fake science (e.g., The “Theory” of Evolution), fake entertainment (e.g., lip-synced performances, so-called “reality” but scripted TV), fake food (e.g., margarine, “meat substitutes”), fake body parts (e.g., vanity cosmetic surgery), fake economics (e.g., Keynesian Economics, debt as an asset), fake (and fraudulent) accounting (e.g., non-GAAP reporting, off-balance sheet items), fake money (e.g., fiat currencies), fake “religions,” fake prophecy and yes, even fake gospels (e.g., lukewarm, apostate so-called “Christianity”).
These false teachings are being shouted today 24/7/365 (i.e., nonstop) in blaring volume from both secular media sources as well as so-called “Christian” pulpits, broadcasts, books/authors, movies, publications, and even seminary schools. And we are gradually conditioned by repeated, frequent, and persistent marketing propaganda (for that is exactly what it is) to accept the fakes (the false teachings) as the real thing and even begin to believe them in place of the real. The exact same thing has happened to Christianity over the last 2000 years – we have been gradually trained and conditioned to accept and even believe that the fakes are the real thing, and in many cases, we cannot even tell the difference anymore!
This is a very sad state of affairs as very few today are even able to recognize true Christianity as defined in Scripture, and people are more confused today than ever before by all the false teachings as well as by seeing an almost endless stream of hypocritical pretenders proclaiming to be “Christians” parading before and all around them. Many today aren’t even sure who is a true Christian or what a true Christian church even looks like, nor how to truly accept Christ. Also, know that true Christianity isn’t achieved through the performance of “religious” rites, rituals, “traditions,” or ceremonies, nor does it live in a church building.
So, when I use “Christianity” in quotes, it’s because many groups and so-called “Christian” churches are “neglecting the commandment of God” and “teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” (Mark 7:7-8). They are not teaching the Christianity “that was once for all time handed down to the saints,” but the doctrines of their own opinions – for they have either added to, taken away from, or distorted what is written in Scripture. Some of these “Christian” groups are well-meaning but simply misguided, while others intend to deceive. Sadly, many who are lost or new to Christ simply give up when confronted with so many differing and conflicting teachings – which all claim to be true Christianity (but are not)!
I experienced many of these false teachings (both secular and “Christian”) firsthand as I began my own journey. This is why I believed “yet another” book explaining the gospel needed to be written. It’s time for a good dose of solid food – the truth of the New Testament Gospel as it was given to and practiced in the apostolic era (in the years just after Christ’s death). As it is written: “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all time handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). If you will, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness” of modern, liberal, corrupt, apostate, lukewarm, dead, pretend “Christianity”: “make straight” the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
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THE TRUE AND CORRECT GOSPEL
So as much as I wanted to only present the simple and true Word of God as given in Scripture, in the world we find ourselves today, I must not only teach you this truth, but I must also prepare you to face a dizzying array of false teachings, false doctrines, and dogmas invented by man. A good child of God must not only know the Word of God, but they must also know what is not the Word of God. After all, it was in this fashion that Satan deceived Eve, and then Adam, in the Garden of Eden, leading to the downfall of humanity (Genesis 3). So be not deceived…there will be many who try to trick you out of the path to eternal life!
A whole section of the book called “Beware the Wolves” addresses popular false teachings that are absolutely rampant and widespread today. The sad fact that it is also the longest section of the book shows you just how extensive and pervasive these false teachings really are. I am very direct in addressing the false teachings of man, and I hope you can respect that – I am doing it for your eternal good, so you are not deceived and “come short of” eternal life (Hebrews 4:1)! I give you the correct gospel straight up, without sugar-coating it, watering it down, or making liberal concessions. We are not trying to get doctrine “close enough” or “good enough” or “almost right” – the goal is to get it 100% exactly right in agreement with what is written in Scripture.
You will see as we go forward on the path to eternal life that you will have to fight off this massive avalanche of false teachings at each and every step of the way – first from the secular God-denying world which tries to stop you from believing in God altogether, and then even further, from the false so-called “Christian” churches trying to “trick” you out of your eternal salvation. Amazing! You will be confronted by false teachings, such as:
- You are saved by “faith alone/only,”
- That a Christian is “once saved, always saved” no matter what they do or how they subsequently live after accepting Christ,
- Calvinism (i.e., “Reformed” Protestantism) – a whole framework of false teachings from top to bottom (limited atonement, total depravity, perseverance of the saints, etc.),
- We are born in “original sin,”
- Saying the “the sinner’s prayer” (nowhere found in the Bible) at one time in your life somehow magically saves you to eternal life,
- Being baptized isn’t essential for salvation because it is a “good work” of man,
- And many others!
It is staggering and frustrating to see. But if you want eternal life, you must be a warrior in Christ and blast through every single one of them! Each of these false teachings seeks to turn you out of the path of truth or turn you away from Christ. They are snares and traps of man set up for you, orchestrated by Satan – the Devil, and “the ruler of this world.” You conquer them first by accepting Christ in truth and then by the power of Christ living in you, and you must never stop “growing in the grace and knowledge [understanding]” of the Lord Jesus Christ, each day of your life. Truth be told, writing this book has been hugely rewarding for me. If you want to learn something, read a book on it; but if you want to really understand something, write a book on it. Writing this book has helped me weed out any false beliefs I had.
My overall goal is that if someone has only a Bible and this book, that I have explained the gospel “message of truth” well enough to enable them to accept Christ and get all the way to eternal life. Therefore, the primary objectives of this book are threefold:
- Present the gospel message from start to finish (without false teachings) to those who have not yet heard it and to those who may have heard it but who have not yet come to believe in Christ. I hope this book helps you better understand the hope that can be found in the Lord Jesus Christ,
- Help the professing Christian who is not worshiping the Lord “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24) to identify any false teachings or false beliefs in their faith and return to the pure gospel message “that was once for all time handed down to the saints” (Jude 3:1) in New Testament Scripture, and
- Serve as a handbook of sorts to which the born-again Christian can refer to from time to time as they walk with Christ, and also use to explain the gospel message to others around them. Consequently, there is a fair amount of overlap among some of the chapters as I’ve designed each chapter so that it can also serve as a study guide that could be used separately; and, if you’re like me, it often helps to have something explained more than once, perhaps in a couple of different ways (Philippians 3:1). I also hope to help you to avoid making the same mistakes I made when starting out in faith by being a gullible baby Christian and succumbing to all sorts of false teachings.
I have attempted to present the “message of truth” in a methodical manner, building “line upon line” and “precept upon precept” (Isaiah 28:10 ESV), for that is how we are to learn. I ask you to forgive any deficiencies in literary style or prose as I am not a trained or professional writer; I am just an average guy trying to explain the gospel message to you as best I can.
For those who are new to the Bible, God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the gospel message of hope, I have tried not to assume much prior knowledge. I have tried to lead you step by step from the very beginning. For those who have already accepted Christ, I hope that this book serves to refresh your love of Christ and also helps you correct any false beliefs or interpretations that you may have which are not in agreement with Scripture.
It is also important to understand what the purpose of this book is not; it is not the purpose of this book to:
- Convince you that there is a God (i.e., that God exists),
- Convince you that the Holy Bible is inerrant (without error) and true and that it is indeed the Word of God,
- Convince you that the first chapters of creation in Genesis are true,
- Convince you that Jesus Christ was a real person. However, I do show you what Scripture says about Jesus (e.g., who He was and is – remember He still lives!) and that He did, in fact, claim to be God, despite the claims of modern liberals and skeptics,
- Be an apologetics work for Christianity – I’m simply going to state the truth that is given in Scripture,
- Be a complete rebuttal for the myriad false teachings you will encounter; I’m simply trying to provide awareness of the false teachings, along with enough information about them, so you are not deceived.
It is also not possible in a book of this size to go into all the nuances of faith and Christian doctrine – the main objective is to give you an accurate and truthful saving knowledge of the gospel message itself. Besides, it is by your own continued study of the Word that you will “grow in the grace and knowledge [understanding] of the Lord” (2 Peter 3:18) and “press on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1) as a Christian.
THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND ACTIVE
Please remember that my words are only the non-inspired words of a mere man – Scripture is the full and final authority on all matters. Indeed, it is not my words that give power, life, and authority to this book; it is the Scripture verses themselves. So, please do not skip over the verses I’ve included in each chapter – for it is they which have the power of life! At the risk of making the book lengthier, I have included the full text for all Bible verses; I did this because some readers may not have a Bible handy when reading this book. Similarly, I’ve included more verses in each chapter than you might first think necessary; I’ve done this for two reasons:
- As mentioned, many who are reading this book may not have a Bible, and,
- One must consider what Scripture has to say in aggregate on any topic (Psalm 119:160) to avoid false teachings and false doctrines, which arise when one picks and chooses some verses and ignores others on any particular topic.
In some verses, I have added comments in brackets [e.g., words here]. I have done this simply to help with context and reading. I’m not adding to Scripture, but I’m clarifying some things at times because the verses are being used without the full contextual setting in which they appear in the Bible. I am doing this only to help with understanding. You will also find that many verses pertain to and are repeated across multiple chapters. These repetitions have been done purposely to make the respective chapters complete within themselves. Please also realize that Scripture is multi-faceted, whereby the same verse applies to multiple topics, hence another reason for the repetition.
Thank God we have the wonderful writings of prior saints and servants of God available to us today, so we may learn from, build on and stand upon them. From this standpoint, we are the most blessed generation in history, having come after many wonderful saints (and martyrs) before us, and it is wise to learn from them (Romans 15:4). Those of us who are living at a time and place with abundant access to God’s Word and freedom to be a Christian should at the very least be diligent enough in our own studies to get the gospel “message of truth” correct and free from false teachings – those who face tribulation, persecution and even death in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ deserve no less from us.
It’s an honor, a privilege, and a blessing to write a book like this. I’m very grateful for being given the opportunity to do it and for His unbelievable slowness to anger, His lovingkindness, and His seemingly endless patience with me. At some particular times, you realize the full weight, authority, and power of the Living Word, which you are being asked to handle and represent – it can be quite emotional. For the Word of God is “living, active and sharper than a two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12) – yes, it is alive! It is the power of eternal life.
THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE AWAITS
And lastly, we should greatly heed the warning that is given to us in Scripture that there comes a time when God will no longer strive to reach those who have hardened their hearts beyond the point of no return:
Yes, today, this very day that you are reading this sentence, is the day of (your) salvation – should you so choose. Do not keep putting it off, for you may not get tomorrow. While the patience of God is massive in waiting for people everywhere to repent and turn to Him, it will not last forever:
May God richly bless you with wisdom and understanding of the “message of truth.” And may you choose to walk each day towards eternal life with God and His Christ Jesus. Amen.
– In Jesus Christ, R. John Anderson