Children, I wonder if you know what the Gospel is? I hope that one thing we will be able to leave you with is that when we talk about the Gospel, we are not talking about coming to church. We are not even really talking about reading our Bibles or doing the right things; all of which I hope you will do. However, the Gospel is much bigger than that. The Gospel is not about you, it’s not about me, it is about the person of Jesus Christ.
Mason Vann pastors in Kirksville, Missouri at http://lakeroadchapel.org | Excerpt from the message “Keeping Jesus the Center of All Things“
Christ is the center of all redemption. The Gospel is not about you, it's not about me and it is certainly not about this church. The Gospel is about a Person. It’s about a Person. Kids, young people, I wonder if you know what the Gospel is. The Gospel. Like I said. I hope that one thing we will be able to leave you is that when we talk about the "good news" (the Gospel) we are not talking about coming to church, we are not even really talking about reading our Bibles, or doing the right things. All are things which I hope you will do. The Gospel is much bigger than that. The Gospel is good news! That’s what it means, literally, it’s good news. And it relates to this, that all of us were born into sin. Do you know that? Do you know that Romans Chapter 3 says that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"? And so when I am up here preaching, and we’re reading the Bible, or when your parents are reading the Bible or maybe you’re even reading the Bible, you need to realize this: that these verses are not just for adults, these verses are for you. Because it doesn’t say, “all adults have sinned.” It just says, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” This preacher has sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God, and you have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And you need to realize what that means. What that means is this: It doesn't just mean that you've done some bad things. You have done bad things. But it's bigger than that, what it means that you're a sinner. Let me see if I can illustrate it for you like this. I don't know if you've ever cleaned anything really dirty. When I lived in Alabama, I would drive in the mud a lot because that's what we do down south, and don't want to disappoint people when they talk about us. We'd drive in the mud a lot, and so you know you're car is just nasty dirty. And so what you do is you need to wash your car off. You get a rag and you get soap and you start trying to wash your car off. Well, I don't know if you've ever cleaned anything really really dirty before, but what eventually happens is that rag gets so filled with dirt, that when you're trying to clean the car, you're actually getting the car more dirty. because there's so much mud involved. Now mud is on the rag, mud is in the water. Mud is just everywhere. And so now you've got this filthy rag and you're trying to wash something off and make it clean, but all it's doing is smearing more mud all over the place. I don't know if you've ever seen anything like that. But when a rag gets really dirty, it can't clean a thing. The Bible says that's what we're like. The Bible says we are like that filthy rag. In Isaiah 64:6 it says this: It says, "All of our righteous acts are like filthy rags." All of our righteous acts. And so the gospel can't be about me and it can't be about you, because the only thing that we can bring to God is our sin. All we do, in one sense of the word, is sin. We're like a rag that's been wrapped up in sin, because of Adam and what happened there at the beginning of time. When he fell into sin, we all fell into sin. And when we try and do righteous acts, we can never get to heaven by those acts, because we're like a rag that's full of dirt. When we're trying to do good things, all it's doing is smearing more sin all over the place. And so you need to realize this. As much as I hope you will read your Bible and come to church, and do the right thing, those things can never save you. Are you listening to me children? You cannot be saved by your own efforts because we're sinners. And the bad news is this: We're sinners and God is holy. God is holy, and God must punish sin. Imagine this. Imagine, after the time here, I finally get done talking and you go to play. You start coloring a picture and you're really putting your heart and soul into coloring this picture and you finally almost have it perfect. You got it just the way you want it, and then another kid comes up to it and rips your picture up, drops it on the ground and walks away. I hope you'd come tell your parents or me or somebody. But imagine this: Some kid comes and rips your picture up. Something that you've really put your heart and soul into, and you come to me, and you're in tears and you point out the kid and say, "He tore my picture to shreds." And what if I said this? I just shrugged and said, "Well, it doesn't really matter." And walked off. How would that make you feel? That's exactly right. He said, "worse than you felt when the kid ripped your picture up." You know why? Because you know that wrong should be made right. We know that. We know that when something wrong happens, we know it has to be made right. And that's the way it is with your sin. There's wrong that has to be made right. God is holy, and it says this in Habakkuk 1. Habakkuk says about God, he says: "His eyes are too pure to approve evil and He cannot look on wickedness with favor." God has to punish your sin! He has to make the wrong in your life right! That means that you deserve Hell. That's what that means. That God is just and you deserve Hell. The Gospel cannot be about you, and about what you do, because the only thing that you can bring to God is your sin. And the only thing that God can do with sin is punish it. But here's the Gospel. That wasn't the Gospel. This is the Gospel, because the Gospel is good news. Listen to the Gospel. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..." You see, it's a Person! He gave His only Son that "whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." The Gospel isn't about us or what we do, because we bring sin, and God punishes sin. The Gospel is that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life, and Jesus Christ died on the cross under the wrath of God! When sin happened, just like tearing up that piece of paper and somebody comes to somebody else and says, "Do something!" When that happened, God did something. But it wasn't to His people. He did it to His Son! He punished His Son, Jesus Christ, under His own wrath so that if you believe in Him, you won't go to Hell. And not only do you not go to Hell, but He will make you His son or daughter, and you can be a Christian too. The Gospel is not just for adults, the Gospel is for children and young people. That is the Gospel! We were born sinners, God punishes sin. Here's the Gospel: God sent His Son to die in your place! That's the Gospel. The Gospel is about a Person.