If you had five minutes to explain the gospel, what would you say? I think most of us might present the gospel like the diagram below: We sinned, therefore we are separated from God, God bridged the gap through Jesus, now we can be with God.
There's nothing unbiblical persay about this presentation, but I think it doesn't do justice to the gospel as it is presented in the bible and it causes a lot of problems. First, it skips the entire the whole Old Testament -- or it jumps from Genesis 1-3 (Adam and Eve sinned) to Romans. Second, it makes it seem like the "gospel" is all about how individuals are saved. But what about all of the created world around us? Is the bible just about rescuing individuals out of a sinful world and sending them to heaven while the world around us rots away? The bible's answer is a resounding "NO!" (this would be another blog post) On the other hand, it's true that the gospel is also NOT just about making the world a better place without preaching individual salvation through Christ. I recently came across this gospel presentation from these guys in Britain called the "Crowded House" and it's the best, clearest one I've seen so far. Here it is:
Summary: God promises the world we all want; Jesus shows us God's new world.
1. We have spoiled God's good world.
2. God promises a new world.
3. We cannot create God's new world.
4. We can enjoy God's new world because of Jesus.
5. Christians are God's people waiting for God's new world.