How much does a person need to know to receive eternal life? The answer is that it depends on the person! Yes, there is a minimum, but no one will ever believe in Jesus for eternal life if all they know is the minimum. So how much should you share? How much must a person believe? When you present the gospel, what do you need to say?
One of the greatest problems in presenting the gospel today is that people confuse “Preparation” gospel truths with “Purification” gospel truths. Then they confuse all these various truths with the one, simple “Presentation” truth of the gospel. With all this confusion, the gospel gets pretty muddied.
Let me provide you with some suggestions for clarifying your gospel presentation… I go into great detail on all of this in my course on the Gospel, but let me briefly explain for you here.
The 1 Gospel Presentation Truth
The one, central gospel truth this:
Jesus gives eternal life to anyone who believes in Him for it.
I wrote more about this truth in this post: The Gospel Invitation
The problem with this one presentation truth, however, is that if this is all a person hears about the Gospel, they are unlikely to believe in Jesus. If they know nothing about God, Jesus, their own separation from God, or anything else, why would they believe in Jesus for eternal life?
This is where the gospel preparation truths come in.
7 Gospel Preparation Truths
There are likely hundreds (maybe thousands) of truths in the gospel which help prepare a person to believe in Jesus for eternal life. A person needs not know all of these in order to believe in Jesus for eternal life, but most people will need to know at least a few of them before they are ready to believe in Jesus.
I covered 7 of the more popular and persuasive gospel preparation truths in a previous post: 7 Gospel Preparation Truths.
But what happens after a person believes? Well, most Christians don’t realize this, but the gospel has more to say to a person after they believe than before. This is where the Gospel Purification Truths come into play.
7 Gospel Purification Truths
Again, much like the preparation truths, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of truths in the gospel which help Christians grow into maturity and become more like Jesus Christ.
And yes, all these truths are part of the biblical gospel.
The gospel has more to say to believers than it does to non-believers.
So here are 7 of the more helpful categories of gospel truths that a new believer might need to know in order to be sanctified and grow into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ:
- Unconditional Love and Grace of God
- The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ
- Repentance from Dead Works and Religion
- The Indwelling Work of the Holy Spirit
- The Future Resurrection and Judgments
- The Bible and Other Believers
- Christian Apologetics
I know that a simple list like that might not be super helpful, but again, this is partly why I created my online course on the gospel. By taking this course, you can learn more about the entire line of thought I have presented in this post, as well as more details about the 7 Categories of Purification Truths presented in the list above.
These 7 types of gospels truths will give Christians a firm foundation on which to purify their lives and become more like Jesus every day. This process is not automatic and is not guaranteed, but growing in the knowledge of these gospel truths will help a person build their lives on Jesus Christ.
But notice what happens…
When we Confuse the Gospel Truths
If you confuse purification gospel truths with the presentation truth, then you might think it is necessary for a person to repent of their sin or believe in the future judgments in order to receive eternal life. (But the Bible never teaches this.)
The same goes for a commitment to other believers, or various works of the Holy Spirit, or even having all their questions answered about the Trinity, the authority of Scripture, or the origin of the universe. But again, all these sorts of things can be discussed and studied after a person believers. They are still gospel truths, but they are purification truths, not presentation truths.
When you keep your preparation gospel truths and purification gospel truths separate from the one presentation truth, you will then be able to share the gospel clearly with others.
Want to learn more about the gospel? Take my new course, "The Gospel According to Scripture." You can take the first several lessons for free! If you want to take the entire course for free, become a "Hope" or "Love" member of RedeemingGod.com. I can't wait to see you inside the course!