Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sin. Three days later He
rose from the dead, showing us there is life after death.
People need to recognize they are sinners in need of a savior,
and that Jesus Christ is that savior.
What is not the gospel?
Saying a "sinner's prayer" is not part of the gospel.
We are not saved by saying a sinner's prayer. We are saved through
repentance and trusting in Jesus as our savior. However, immediately
after someone is saved it makes sense for them to pray, giving thanks
to the Lord.
There are phrases we use for salvation that, although we understand
what they mean, are not biblical and may confuse a non-believer.
The gospel is not:
Accepting Jesus into your heart.
Filling a hole in your soul.
Giving your life to Jesus.
Giving your heart to Jesus.
The gospel is: Jesus died to pay the penalty we've earned
for breaking God's laws. Then three days later He rose from the
dead, showing us there is life after death. If we trust (believe)
this is true, and repent (turn away from sin and toward God), we
will be saved. This means we must trust in Christ alone to save
us, not in our own works. We must trust in God... in Jesus Christ
as our savior.