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An Overview of Christianity

An Overview of the Gospel

Page Contents


If you have already visited the Basics of Christianity page, then you will have sufficient background for this page. If you have not yet been there, you may want to read it after this page, in order to get the 'bigger picture' and how it all works.


The word 'Gospel' means 'Good News.' The good news is that Jesus Christ died for you. That was the quick and simple statement. A more thorough statement follows.

God has a plan for people. Since people are not perfect, in fact they are sinful, there is a barrier between people and God. Since God is perfect, He requires perfection from those with whom He communicates and interacts. Jesus Christ was the perfect man who allows imperfect man access to perfect God. Jesus was man and God in one (see the Introduction page for more information about Jesus.)

God had a plan for people before Mary gave birth to Jesus. That plan required the sacrifices of animals to "cover" the sins of the people and allow a relationship with God. Without the burnt offering, sins were not forgiven. That was an continuous process. The sacrifices were never done, as the people never stopped being sinful. Christ came to this earth to be the permanent sacrifice, to die once and for all for the sin of the people. People are still sinful, but the blood that Christ bled when He was crucified is our ticket to a relationship with God. You do not need to offer a sacrifice. You do not need to work to earn anything spiritual. You do need to accept God's gift of Christ, and begin experiencing God's love for you (which already exists.)

John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"

Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"

Romans 5:8 - "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"

Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast"


These are various ice-breaker or eye-opener questions to encourage thinking about the afterlife. There are many different possible responses, so the secondary questions cover only a portion of them.
  • How many good works do you have to do to get into heaven?
    • Does one good deed let you into heaven?
    • Does one bad deed keep you out of heaven?
    • Have you really kept track?
  • Why should God let you into His heaven?
    • Do you think that God grades on a curve?
    • Does being better than someone else help your chances?
    • Does being worse than someone else hurt your chances?
  • If you were to die one minute from now, what would happen to your immortal soul?
Did your responses mostly deal with chances, guesses, and 'I-hope-so's? Is eternity not very important? If you live just for the moment, what happens when you run out of moments? God has promised that we can know what the future holds after death. I John 5:13 says "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." In Hebrews 13:5, God says the He will never leave you, nor forsake you. You may want to visit the Death page for more discussion about the afterlife (or is it the afterdeath?)


The following steps are between you and God. Other people may be present, but do not become a Christian to please someone else, do it to please God.
  • A. Admit you are a sinner and need God
  • B. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (that He died for you and rose from the dead)
  • C. Confess your sin and repent from it

Much of the time, it is at this point when a suggested prayer is given, for you to follow. To avoid "putting words in your mouth", it is left to you to compose your own prayer. Referring to the above steps of 'ABC' may help provide guidance as to the ingredients of the prayer. If you still do not know what to say, or if you want affirmation that your prayer was acceptable, contact someone you know who is a Christian or a pastor.
Steps to take after becoming a Christian :
  • Read the Bible (II Timothy 3:16-17)
    It contains all the information you need for living a life that obeys and honors God. Supplemental publications such as commentaries and study guides are good and can be quite helpful in understanding the Bible, but the focus needs to be on Scripture. An organized approach (topical, chronological, etc.) to reading the Bible is recommended. Arrange your own Bible-reading schedule, or use one of the already available ones. An Internet search for Bible reading schedule or Read through the Bible in a year listed many resources.
  • Pray to God (Colossians 4:2)
    He wants to hear from you. Thank Him for all the things which He has done for you. Request from Him that which you need and want. Remember that being a Christian involves a relationship with God, and relationships are not good without communication. Communication is a two-way thing, though, so the flip side of prayer is to listen to God. He may "speak" to you through His Word (the Bible, see the point above), through other people (pastors, etc.), or through circumstances or events in your life. Be alert for all of those, and any other ways in which He could communicate to you.
  • Attend a good church (Hebrews 10:25)
    A good church both believes in the Bible and teaches it. Attending a church and keeping in touch with fellow Christians can encourage and strengthen you spiritually, as you are getting started. Better yet, it is a place where you can help and serve others.
  • Witness for Christ (Acts 1:8)
    Witnessing is simply telling what has happened. Tell others what has happened to you. How has becoming a Christian changed your life? What makes you different from other people? Do not forget that there are different media available for use (speaking, writing, web pages, etc.)

More Information

The Gospel is central to Christianity, so many topics relate to it. It is important to understand who Jesus Christ is, and it is important to know the basics of Christianity, to have a foundation. But overall, remember that the source of truth and the wisdom that should guide you comes not from these pages, but from the Bible.

A very good page to read is the Four Spiritual Laws page. The Gospel presentation is available there in many different languages, over 100 of them at last count. Another site which may be of interest is the Christian Answers site. Highly recommended is the Chick Publications site. Jack T. Chick has been producing tracts and pamphlets for quite some time, and it is quality stuff. His presentation of the Gospel is found at this link .