El Sobrante, CA
How do I know God loves me?


By Pastor Jerad Stager

Matthew 17:22-23

“And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry”





The G-O-S-P-E-L Story unfolded for YOU!








The Gospel is 100% of God and not of man. Many think the Bible is full of stories written by men, but what if I told you the Gospel was a story told before it even happened! Would that get your attention? In Matthew 17:22-23, Jesus foretold precisely how He would die many days before it came to pass. Now, think about that for a moment. Who can do that? How could anyone foretell the sequence of events leading up to His own death, including the events which followed it?

Furthermore, Christ’s suffering death as our Substitute was prophesied centuries beforehand with even greater detail in the pages of the Old Testament.

“All this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” (Matthew 26:56)


“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities:”  (Isaiah 53:5a)

Jesus told the Gospel story before it unfolded because saving YOU has been on God’s heart and mind forever. The gospel is not a fairy tale or fable. History records that Jesus died just as He foretold! 


When Jesus preached the gospel, His friends were exceedingly sorry. It offended their sensibilities that One so innocent should be put to death, yet this IS the central message of the gospel. Do not be offended by it. Christ took the punishment for your sins upon His own body. This is called the vicarious suffering of Christ.

 “The Son of Man came… to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28) 

“The LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6c)

In order to receive the gospel, you must not be offended by His death for YOU. The ugly scene of His marred body hanging upon a wooden cross was Him bearing in His body the full penalty for all our sins.  And He did it willingly for YOU and me! Jesus encapsulated the gospel in just 26 words in our opening text, yet it remains a hard truth to swallow even now. Do not choke upon it!


Jesus revealed that His death would come by the hands of a traitor, yet He did nothing to prevent this. He would be turned in, taken, and separated from His friends. On the cross, Jesus was separated from His Father for the first and only time. He experienced all these horrible separations that He might bring you to God because your sin has separated you from a Holy God and from His heaven. Death itself is a separation, severing the soul from the body, but sin makes that separation permanent in the Lake of Fire.

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14) 

Thankfully, you do not have to die in your sins. YOU can be saved from your sins, and the hold sin has upon YOU. God wants to sever you from this world and save you from the destruction to come, but you must take God’s Word for it or risk going down with the rest of the ship. Receiving the gospel for yourself is like boarding God’s life raft, and once you come aboard, Jesus will become the Captain of your salvation, but you must be willing to sever ties with the world’s sinking ship. This turning away from your sins to serve the living and true God is called repentance.

“Repent ye, and believe the gospel..” (Mark 1:15b) 

Once safely in Christ, you will warn others to jump aboard, but sadly, you will find that so many people are willing to stick with the world’s sinking ship because it is bigger and the occupants are unalarmed. This is why Jesus warned:

“Broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because… Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)


Why should you flee this world of sin and all it offers? Why should you trust in the death of one man upon a cross some two thousand years ago? The Gospel story has a happy ending because it closes with the grand crescendo of resurrection power! The resurrection is the exclamation point at the end of the gospel! Praise God, the story did not end with the betrayal and burial of Christ, but with His triumph over death and Hell!

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (I Corinthians 15:55)

Resurrection power answers these questions and more because your greatest enemy is death. There is no cure for death, and no way to reverse it. Death is inescapable and final. But Jesus takes the sting out of death for those who come to Him by faith. Jesus conquered death for YOU!

“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.” (Romans 10:9)


In his preview of the Gospel story, the Lord Jesus Christ referred to Himself as the Son of Man. Why? Because He came as a Man to save men. Jesus was made of woman, made under the law. God’s only Son experienced pain, sorrow, suffering, and even death for us.

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:” (Isaiah 53:4)

But now, Jesus has ascended on high, accepting another title – High Priest. Today, Jesus wants to be your High Priest. Jesus offered  His own blood to be the propitiation for your sins, which means that HIS blood satisfies all punishments due to us on account of our sins (1 John 2:2). Today, He stands ready to forgive YOU once and for all if YOU will receive Him!

“But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12)


Now that you are familiar with the gospel, perhaps the most puzzling question is – Why? What caused Jesus to suffer and die in my place? LOVE. The gospel is founded upon the love of God for sinners like YOU.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 

“We love him, because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19 

God’s saving purposes and motives are found entirely within Himself, and we do not deserve the least of His mercies. Perhaps the greatest expression of this is found in 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.” (John 3:16)  

The Gospel is much more than a story; it is God’s loving lifeline to YOU. Once you have heard it, you cannot remain neutral. You either believe or reject it. You cannot run away and hide because there is a day coming when Jesus will judge every man:

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to the gospel” (Romans 2:16)

You must respond by believing the gospel for yourself. To believe the gospel is to receive Jesus Christ as LORD. Believing describes total surrender, committing your life to Jesus and holding on to nothing else, no sin or self-assurance. Are YOU willing to receive and believe the Gospel for yourself?


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Sunday Morning Service ...... 11:00 am
Sunday Evening Service ...... 6:00 pm
Wednesday Prayer & Bible Study ...... 7:00 pm