Recently, I was asked to give an alter call after I preached to over 1000 boys at The Nairobi School, a Kenyan national school which takes the top boys from across the country. After I preached, 17 boys committed or recommitted their lives to Christ. I was able to spend some time with them after the chapel service and share what I consider the four most basic points of the gospel:
God is Creator
The triune God, (Father, Son and Spirit) is the Creator of the world and has made each of us in His image to reflect His purposes on this earth.
Humans have rebelled
The problem is that we have rebelled against God’s authority both directly through our own actions and indirectly through our representative, Adam. Now we are dead in our sins; unable to please our Creator and therefore deserving of His judgement. All of creation is broken by sin; not completely, but tragically so that now even the physical world we live in does not function as God intended.
God redeems His people
God, in His mercy, devised a rescue plan which is centred upon Jesus, the 2nd Adam, who has come to redeem a people to Himself. Through repentance and faith in the work of Christ, each of us can be restored into a right relationship with our Creator. Believers have their guilt and shame taken away because the penalty for sins has been paid for on the cross. God gives us a new heart by the power of the indwelling Spirit – bringing the spiritually dead to life. The believer is united with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection giving us the right to call God “Father” as adopted sons and daughters.
God calls His people into mission
God then calls his people to join Him in the renewal of all things. This starts personally, as the new believer, empowered by the Spirit slowly but surely changes to live the life God intend through repentance and faith in the risen Lord Jesus. God calls his people to join together into a worshiping and serving community, an alternative community, which seeks to both given Him glory and be His agents of redemption and healing in this broken world.
Obviously, the language along with the emphasis will be different each time the gospel is shared. But if any one of these four key points of the gospel are missing, I’d question whether the good news was shared at all.