Whenever churches talk about the gospel, they are attempting to answer this question, “what must I do to be saved?” Depending on who you ask, of course, you will probably receive a different answer. Even though everyone starts with faith in Jesus, the requirements beyond that seem to differ from church to church. Some are adamant that if you’re not a member of a church, or baptized, or obedient, or all of those, that you will end up in Hell. Other churches insist that all of that is secondary, so long as you put faith in Jesus at some point. Even the Bible seems to communicate different messages at times, with some verses seeming to reduce salvation to faith, where others talk about a final judgment according to works.
Regardless of what we hear from various churches, Paul’s warning in the beginning of Galatians makes it clear that there is only one biblical gospel. Paul says that “if we or an angel from heaven preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be damned.” In other words, we better get the gospel right. And that means taking the time to figure out exactly what is in God’s saving plan and whether we’re a part of it. We explored this topic at the beginning of December, but it’s just as relevant now as it was then, for more, listen here: The CCC Gospel: God’s Plan of Salvation.