There are 3 parts to this. Please read it all, as we must first understand the bad news before we can properly understand the good news.
------- 1. THE BAD NEWS Ė (our need)
You must realize that you have sinned.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Have you ever told a lie? -- If so, according to God's word you are a liar.
Leviticus 19:11 Ye shall not ... lie one to another.
Revelation 21:8 ... all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Have you ever taken anything that didn't belong to you? -- If so, according to the Bible you are a thief.
Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Have you ever looked at someone with lust? -- If so, according to Jesus, you have committed adultery in your heart.
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Have you ever taken the Lord's (Jesus' or God's) name in vain? --- If so, God says that you are a blasphemer.
Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
James 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
You must realize that you cannot be good enough to be saved by your own deeds (actions).
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Unless you become saved, you will go to hell.
Rev. 20:12, 15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Luke 16:23-24 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments Ö And he cried and said Ö have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
------- 2. The Good News
Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again for the sins of all those who believe and trust in Him for salvation and the forgiveness of their sins.
1 Cor. 15:3-4 Ö Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.
Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
You must repent of your sins.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
You must put your faith and trust is Jesus Christ's death on the cross (and that alone) to save you.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Rom. 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
You must surrender your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and your God.
John 20:28-29 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Notice that Jesus, in inviting people to come and partake of the rest of salvation, is also inviting them to take his yoke of control over their lives. In that day, a yoke was something that was placed over the necks of animals in order to guide and control them. What if people do not want Jesus' yoke of control over their lives? Then they cannot partake of the rest of his salvation either. It is a package deal.
A person is not saved by surrendering their life to Christ, but by faith. But those who truly believe in Christ for salvation will surrender their lives to Him. It is the result of having true saving faith. The call to believe on Jesus Christ for salvation also includes a call to follow Him as Lord of our lives.
None of us will live perfectly righteous lives even after being saved. A believer will still sin, but they will not want to. But since Jesus died for all of a believerís sins (past, present, and future) they will not be condemned for these sins because Jesus died for them.
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Romans 4:7-8 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
God will not impute or count a believerís sins against them, because Jesus already died for those sins. This is the good news of salvation and the gospel by which we (believers) are saved.