The Gospel is more than just a scandal. It's an offense to every culture that has come. And it will continue to be an offense for many centuries to come. But say what you must, it is incredibly good news to the person who has come to the end of themselves.
John wrote what would arguably be the most famous verse in the Bible: John 3:16. It is so, because it captures the heart of the Author and His love letter in one easy to understand sentence. It doesn't take a professor to interpret or a scholar to unpack it's truth. It's simple. God loved. Jesus came. Men believe. Eternal life is gifted. John expresses the ease in which one is rescued from eternal condemnation: Believe in God's one and only Son.
But that should cause one to stop and ask a question, though. What does it mean to believe in Jesus? What exactly are we to believe about Jesus that grants the gift of eternal life to the believer? Let me summarize for you:
Many don't like the idea of an all knowing, all powerful and all present God who gives life and sustains life and that without Him, nothing would exist. He is righteous and He is holy. He is perfect in every way. He exists outside of time. He sees all and knows everything about everyone. Like it or not, He is God of all. Including you boet!
We are unholy. We are unable to save ourselves; if we indeed even believe there is an actual after life. We are rebels to the core. We are lost in our sins. We are worshippers of ourselves. We live to please ourselves. We are unable to please Him or know Him. We don't desire Him on any level. We are lost. Our destination is damnation. And the truth is, it's a just sentence.
Because of this, we are in desperate need of a savior.
Side note: A good doctor doesn't just give a sick man medicine. A good doctor whips out the x-rays. He displays pictures of the disease. He doesn't hold back. He calls a spade a spade and gives the sick man a blunt, open and honest diagnosis of how bad he really is, to the point where the sick man is almost begging for the remedy. The reason why men don't desire God's remedy (JESUS) is because they aren't aware of how sick they really are.
Jesus is God's remedy to a sick and dying world. He came to seek and save the lost. Jesus paid the penalty of every lost man's sin for all of time. He died for you! He took the full brunt of God's wrath towards sin upon Himself. He reconciled God to the world on the cross. He, who knew no sin, became sin, so that through Him, many would become the righteousness of God. He is the only way to God. He is the only remedy to a lost and dying world.
The Holy Spirit downloads this amazing truth in such incredible revelation: God is holy. I am unholy. I need saving. Jesus made it possible for me to be saved. That's the message. The invitation is simple: BELIEVE. Church attendance is not a prerequisite. Neither is obeying the commandments or praying every day. "Quit smoking! Stop using foul language! Stop watching Internet porn!" is all good advice. But it's not the good news. Jesus is the good news. He lived the life we couldn't live. He died the death we all deserved to die in order to give us a salvation we could never earn. Grace is given to those who don't deserve it. That's you my friend! And so man's response is simple: just believe. Unwrap the gift and say thanks.
The Gospel is an affront to every culture. Lost men don't like to be told they are sustained by a Creator. Lost men don't like the idea of being told that they are not good enough. Lost men don't like the idea of being told that they need help. And even those who believe in a God somewhere up there, they don't like the idea that Jesus is the only way to Him. And when they cross that bridge, the thought that we owe Him no debt or payment in any form for this eternal gift is a scandal amongst them that actually belong to Jesus' family. It's too good to be true. But it's good because it is true.
I will never stop enjoying this truth which I believe we've only scratched the surface of understanding.