If you think there are elements of the gospel that are difficult to understand, you’re not alone. Many believers wonder if it’s simply enough to believe or if you need to fully understand the gospel to go to heaven? While the gospel message is simple, it takes a great deal of time with scripture to have a certain level of understanding of it.
To answer this question, we must know what the word gospel means. The word has been used for so long that it is often stripped of its meaning. Gospel means “good news.” Ultimately, it is God’s rescue plan of redemption for those who believe in Jesus and salvation through His death on a cross. In simple terms, Jesus died and rose again so that we can be saved. This simple fact should be easy to understand. However, fully understanding the gospel isn’t light work.
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he lays out the message of the gospel, “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel, you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received, I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
There are a few key elements we can pull from the gospel message. One is remembering that Jesus died for our sins. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We have to acknowledge the reality of sin if we are looking for salvation and eternal life. The resurrection of Christ is a key element of the gospel and proof of the power of God. Christ offers His salvation as a free gift. This can only be received by faith. This is apart from any works or merit. We can’t get into heaven by doing good deeds. Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved.”
Salvation, which is also referred to as “being saved,” means redemption or deliverance from sin and its consequences. Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrates His love for us through the death of His Son as a result of our sins. The Bible says, “that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when he raised Christ from death. It is only by God's grace that you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5) If we want to receive salvation, it starts with us being born-again. When we are saved, we experience a true, spiritual transformation. This is a total change of heart. When we are born again, we are truly saved.
Salvation is also a key component of getting into heaven. If we want to be saved or born again, we have to accept the plan of salvation offered through Jesus. The Son of God became human and during His earthly life and ministry, He lived a perfect life. His death didn’t occur because He wanted to die, but because we needed salvation. Jesus Christ was made to die for us. God ultimately raised Jesus from the dead into a new life. We can hold onto God’s promises to resurrect us when Jesus comes again. Salvation can only be accessed through Jesus.
One thing we must avoid doing as believers are to obscure the understanding of any elements of the gospel. If we do this, faith begins to dissipate. We must understand that Jesus is the perfect Son of God. If we don’t understand this, then He is death is of no account, especially as our salvation is concerned. In addition, if we don’t understand that Jesus truly died for our sins, we may believe that we are guiltless and don’t truly need a savior. Understanding these divine truths are important in our full understanding of the gospel.
The Bible tells us that the only way to get to heaven is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to get to heaven than through the Son of God. The truth about heaven is that God is preparing for us right now. The Bible says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3). Jesus promised that He left this earth to prepare a place for us. We can find comfort in this promise.
The Bible tells us that we have a lot to look forward to in heaven. One of the things we know we can look forward to is the fact that the struggle over sin will be over. There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t struggle with sin. Revelation 21:27 says, “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” We know this is only a reality because of Jesus. We don’t need to fear being judged for our sin because our sin will be forgiven.
Suppose you understand these essential points of the gospel, the death of Jesus on the cross to pay for our sins, the resurrection of Christ, which provides eternal life to those who follow Him, and Jesus’ gift of salvation to all. In that case, you understand the gospel message. When we eventually have heavenly bodies, we will be free from sin. Thankfully, we won’t have to face the same challenges and limitations we faced when we enter heaven.