3 Nephi 27:13-15 [BOM]
“Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you-that I cam into the world to do the will of my father, because my Father sent me. And my father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the Cross and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—and for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they be judged according to their works. “
Okay, this isn’t even gospel. This doesn’t in any way qualify as gospel. We did not need Jesus to come into the world and be lifted up on a cross so that we could be judged according to our works. Jesus did not need to come and die on the cross in order that we would be lifted up to the grand court room in the sky and be judged for our works. This is not gospel.
Gospel, the word, means good news. It comes from the Greek Evangellion, from which we get evangelical, it is a combination of ev, or eu, meaning good, and angelion or message or news, angels being messengers, deliverers of news whether good or bad.
What we have in this Book of Mormon quote is not even news, much less good news. Man’s ultimate predicament is that we know in death we will be judged. We also know that if we are judged by our works it will not be a favorable judgment. What we need is an acquittal, not knowledge of the court date.
The Gospel of the New Testament is that we have that acquittal; we are justified, because Jesus died in our place. Romans 4:5 (ESV)
And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
Romans 5:6 (ESV)
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Now that is good news!