Forgiveness Is Not the Gospel

Audio Transcript

First Peter 3:18: “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” That’s the point of the gospel: to bring us to God. And what does the Bible say we find when we get there? Boredom? Misery forever in his presence? That’s blasphemy. Self-denial in heaven is blasphemy.

“Self-denial in heaven is blasphemy.”

It says, “in whose presence there is fullness of joy” and “at whose right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). That’s why he died. “We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now have the reconciliation.” “We rejoice in God through whom we have the reconciliation” or “Jesus through whom we have reconciliation” (Romans 5:11).

If the gospel only brought us forgiveness, if the gospel only brought us justification, if the gospel only brought us propitiation, if the gospel only brought us escape from hell, eternal life, health and wealth, and did not bring us into the enjoyment of the person of God, it would not be good news. I don’t care how many songs we sing about those glories, it would not be good news, because every one of those magnificent achievements of Christ are to get us to God.

They’re getting obstacles out of the way so we can get to God, which is the end of the quest. And it’s not boredom when you get there. That would be blasphemy. It’s joy when you get there. And so the gospel of Jesus — our new gospel — is a new gladness. So the most basic, the most essential thing that distinguishes a Christian from a non-Christian is that we have a new gladness, in a new God, through a new gospel.

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