The True Gospel
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
God wants to give every man and woman eternal life in His kingdom, a life filled with exciting and rewarding accomplishment in ruling this universe forever, a life filled with joy and happiness. But for that eternal life to be happy, we must cooperate with each other as a team and as a family and love each other and submit to God's rule forever. God will not have rebels in His kingdom who will cause trouble and misery for themselves and others for all eternity.
So before God will give any person eternal life, God must first train and test that person in His way of life, the way of give, of love, of outgoing concern for the good of others, and of believing, trusting, and obeying God. That way of life is defined by Godís spiritual law. And God has designed and implemented a plan for man's salvation that will give every person who has ever lived an opportunity to learn that way of life. But each of us must make his or her choice.
Those who choose to believe and obey God and follow His instructions will, after a physical life of training, practice, and testing in God's law and way of life, be given eternal life in God's kingdom. Those who reject that opportunity will pay the penalty of eternal death and will never be in that kingdom. That choice is yours and mine.
This physical life is the testing and training ground. We are near the end of the 6,000 year age of man, an age in which man is permitted to rule himself under Satan's influence. This is a time when God is allowing man to write a lesson in history of death, destruction, and suffering, which come as a result of sin. God will soon send Jesus Christ back to this earth to establish God's government over the earth and teach mankind obedience to God's law, which will result in peace and happiness all over the earth for 1,000 years. Mankind will be able to compare the history of the suffering in the 6,000 year age of man with the 1,000 year period under the rule of the kingdom of God, and mankind will be able to see that God's way is best.
The United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are all descended from Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob, and are part of Israel. In the millennium, God will establish Israel as the model nation to set the right example for the rest of the nations of the earth to follow, but in order for that to happen, we must repent of our sinful ways and turn to God and obedience to His commandments. To prepare us and bring us to repentance, God will punish our nations in the great tribulation just prior to the return of Christ. That punishment is just ahead, if we don't repent. But even if our nations do not repent, there is hope for the individual who repents that God may spare him from the worst of the punishment and protect him during the tribulation.
To repent we need to turn to the God of the Bible, learn to live by every word of God, believe what God says, and obey His commandments. We have to keep the weekly Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset and learn to keep the annual holy days as God commands. We have to give up our idols, both the images some use as an aid to worship and our love of the pleasures of this life more than God. We have to put God first and strive to believe and obey all that He says in the Bible.
I saw in a Christian website a rhetorical question which asked in effect, "If you had to choose the most important verse in the Bible, could you choose anything else but John 3:16?" John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
That is certainly an important verse, but it leaves out God's instructions concerning our responsibility to believe and obey Him. God gave mankind the Bible to teach us what we need to know and do. God expresses His love towards us, not just by the gift of the sacrifice of His Son, but by teaching us the way we should live that will bring every benefit that is good for us. God shows His love for us by commanding us to obey Him and by correcting and punishing us for our good when we do not obey Him.
We must also remember that Christ had to die for us because God does not compromise with sin. The penalty for sin is death, and God requires that the penalty be paid. Christ had to die to pay that penalty for us, or we could not be saved. This certainly shows God's love for us, but it also shows the seriousness of sin.
The Bible teaches us not only that God loves us, but how we should respond to that love. God teaches us that we must learn to love God, and we express love towards God by our obedience to His commandments. God knows what is best for us, and He wants us to trust and believe Him with the kind of faith that leads to obedience.
The whole Bible is important, but if I had to pick one verse that is the most important verse and summarizes everything, I would choose the verse that starts out, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:..." That verse is Ecclesiastes 12:13.
Here is the whole verse: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13, KJV). The King James Version shows the word "duty" in italics, indicating it is not in the original text. So the original text would say, "this is the whole of man." And verse 14: "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (KJV).