Gospel means ‘good news’.
Let's start with the Christian 'gospel':
God sent His Son (good so far..at least they got the first four words correct!) to die on the cross to pay for our sins (FALSE) so if we just believe the stuff ABOUT the jesus and god our religious leaders created from their wrong understanding of the bible (false), we will go to heaven when we die (FALSE).
First Person View:
I am a captive and need to be freed - someone needs to pay my ransom. I cannot overcome my fear, self-pride and selfishness and the sin those thing cause in my life. I need someone to set me free from these aspects of my nature which keep in in a cage...in lovelessness...in darkness...in wrong doing...in sin...in guilt. My Creator actually cares about me and even loves me, and He sent someone to set me free. The Creator sent his unique and only Son, His one true Messenger and Freedom Giver to set me free. This Freedom Giver, Joshua of Nazareth, came and wants to unlock the door to my cage - for he paid my ransom to do so - and he invites me to ask him to unlock the cage and walk out and follow him.
I need to place my faith in this Freedom Giver, and thus I need to transfer my faith from myself and money and other people and jobs and careers and education and all the other things I was placing my faith in. I need to see that I built the cage of darkness I find myself bound in due to my rejecting my heavenly Father and His Freedom giver up to this point in my life. If I have been involved in Christian religion, I need to see it is/was a substitute for doing what is actually required, which is to stop living for money, material things and anything else I put before God. If I truly repent - which is to experience true sorrow and remorse for rejecting the real, historical Person of Joshua of Nazareth and the Father he represents - then I can see the Freedom Giver standing outside my cage and I will ask him to unlock it and I will be able to walk out of my cage and out of the darkness and I will then be able to be in and follow The Light. At that point, my life will change - I will be born from above - and I will no longer live like the normal religious, materialistic, loveless Christian American.
Non-First Person View:
We need to see our condition of captivity, our self-enabled bondage to fear, self-pride and selfishness and the sins those things cause - which sins are evidence of our captivity. When we truly see our condition, we will repent and have remorse over our wrong deeds and lovelessness. In order to escape our condition we need to place our faith in Joshua (or Jesus) of Nazareth as he reveals himself and our Father through HIS OWN WORDS in the four gospel books. If we truly transfer our faith out of ourselves and whatever else we had placed it in and transfer our faith (our core, life level trust and confidence) to Joshua, we will be set free from our cage of self-pride and fear and selfishness. I need to make Joshua the Leader of MY LIFE - not some talisman that gives me what we want (a 'blessing"), or some figurehead of a religious organization and not of our 'religious time' or our 'church life' - but rather OUR LIFE. We need to stop living for the things this world values, particularly money and power; and with this new found freedom and purpose, change ourselves and go and make change in people’s lives where we can by introducing them to the Freedom Giver and our Father and living out love WITH them and speaking that which is true and doing that which is right according to Joshua.
Following Joshua is the primary life endeavor and passion ("To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength" and to “serve God”), NOT a part time religious hobby which the counterfeit of Christianity offers. If we are living for and working for money the majority of our time each day/week, then we are deceived and are not actually following the real, historical Joshua of Nazareth ("Do not work for the food which perishes..."; "You cannot serve God and money"). If we turn away (due to faith in the real, historical Joshua of Nazareth) from living like 'normal American Christians' who live for money just like non-Christians, we will be set free and we will enter into eternal Life in this life - and if we stay faithful - we will enter into the fullness of Eternal Life after our body dies, and thus go to be with our Father.
The Gospel of Joshua of Nazareth Explained:
Joshua quoted from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah about his mission because Isaiah got this very much right about him, the coming Messiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
Because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (those who don't have much money)
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, (captive in our self-made cage of self-pride and fear and selfishness)
And recovery of sight to the blind, (blind due to love for money, material things and this world)
To set free those who are oppressed, (captive and oppressed by our fear, self-pride and selfishness and my wrongness and the wrongness of others)
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8And:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10
Please note the most important part of his good news is that he will set us free by paying a ransom for us. (The real, historical Joshua of Nazareth NEVER said he would be some kind of sacrifice.)
We human beings place ourselves in a cage during our adolescent years. We transition from innocence to guiltiness. Our conscience becomes fully formed and thus informs us that what we are doing is wrong and we have to willingly – at some level – ignore or push away the ‘voice’ of our conscience. That is the equivalent of walking into our cage of darkness, locking the door and throwing away the key. Our self-pride and fear and selfishness (root level sins) form our cage and keep it locked. Our cage – and our unwillingness to look for a way out – will ultimately destroy us. From a spiritual perspective, we listen to the father of lies and reject the One who says, "I am the truth". We cannot escape that cage without help…we cannot be set free from that condition without THE Freedom Giver paying our ransom AND our accepting it.
The Freedom Giver’s good news is that we don’t have to stay in our cage and thus struggle in hopelessness, lovelessness and purposelessness...we don't need to lose our existence or cease to exist upon physical death…we don’t have to destroy ourselves and forfeit our true Life… we can have the Way to freedom for the one’s we love...we can have a compelling, meaningful and beautiful purpose to our lives here on the earth...
God, the Designer and Creator of human beings exists. This God can be known and his will for us can be known. The best way to know God and what He wants is by looking to His Son, as his life, words and deeds were recorded in the four ‘gospel’ books that were placed at the beginning of what people call the New Testament. To truly know God is how one attains to eternal life (John 17:3) – a, beautiful, enduring Life that is entered into in fullness after one’s body dies. The good news is ...
The Light teaches that our Father will forgive us for all our wrongs if we see our guilt - the worst wrong being ignoring him and His Messenger or playing religious games as a substitute - and ask Him to forgive us with a sincere and remorseful heart (He does NOT need/want/require some weird blood sacrifice to forgive us! : )) . If we will turn to our Father in faith during our time of remorse - and to His appointed Leader of mankind, Joshua of Nazareth IN FAITH - then we will be born from above, enter into Life, and start the most amazing journey any human being can undertake. This journey is very difficult, but anyone can make it IF they have but a little faith and love. While the journey is difficult, it is the best, most meaningful and fulfilling journey human beings are called to enter into by our Creator.
This is the sure Hope of the good news of Joshua of Nazareth.
'But', you might ask, 'what about John 3:16?'
Let's take a brief look at John 3:16 as well as the almost completely ignored sayings that follow verse 16:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
These words and teachings of Joshua in John 3:16 line up perfectly with HIS gospel. God loves us. He sent us a Savior/Freedom Giver, His only begotten Son. Whoever actually places their faith in him ("believes in him", the real, historical Person of Joshua of Nazareth, NOT one of the many 'christs' of Christianity), will not perish (destroy themselves) but rather be freed to enter into eternal life. John 3:16 does not support the Christian gospel in any way. No mention of "sacrifice for sins" in that verse. No mention of God's wrath or having sins washed away by his blood, or any of the other main components to Christianity's false gospel. Certainly no mention of a 'salvation by grace'!
You might want to closely consider verses 17-21 because those truths about humanity are pretty much omitted from most of Christianity's 'truths' at this point.
The contrast between the false 'gospel' of Christianity and the actual Message from the Creator's Son, Joshua of Nazareth, could not be any clearer. Here is the contrast one last time.
A schizophrenic god generally wants to send you to hell but had a good moment when he killed his innocent Son to satisfy his wrath against we guilty sons and daughters; and whoever believes the religious dogma that the religious leaders who preach that gospel spout, will go to heaven when they die.
The "jesus died as a sacrifice" gospel of the Christians has God requiring His perfectly honoring, loving and thus obeident Son to die as a sacrifice to satiate His wrath against the failures of the non-honoring, unloving and disobedient children of humanity so that He can bring Himself to forgive them. The person responding to this 'gospel' is looking to be forgiven for past sin - it is primarily a past, not primarily forward perspective.
The actual good news of the real, historical Joshua of Nazareth who said that he was going to willingly lay down his life out of love (a love given to him by his Father) for those captive to their dark nature in order to pay the ransom necessary to free them from their bondage to that dark nature. The person responding to this true gospel is looking to get free from their bondage(s) and thus be free going forward in their lives. It is not a 'past' perspective except perhaps to knowing the bondage they have been in.
A loving Creator Father sent His beloved Son to save us from ourselves...He sent His Freedom Giver to pay a ransom to set us free from our captivity to enter into eternal Life and live as He intends people to live...by love for truth and rightness. To enter into this existence requires that we have remorse over our wrongly lived life (loving money and things and entertainments, NOT other people) and that we transfer our faith out of ourselves, money and the other's things we trust in, and instead place that faith in our Father and His Son.
Please, come out of the world, including the religious version, and join the peaceful revolution and help others experience the truly good news!