The awful thought of “eternal destruction” awaits “those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). How does one “obey the gospel?” This is often answered in simplistic terms about following Jesus' teachings and example, but this misses the substance of the gospel and the believer’s response to it.
The same author defines the substance of the gospel, or “good news,” as the death (crucifixion) of Jesus “for our sins,” his burial, and his resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Paul also defines the faithful response to this gospel as the believer’s own death (crucifixion) to self-and so to sin, his burial in baptism, and his resurrection to walk in newness of life in service to God (Romans 6). It is only in this response of faith that one is “clothed with Christ” and so follows his teachings and example (Galatians 3:26-27).
Have you died with Christ? Have you been buried with him? Have you been raised with him? Have you obeyed the gospel?