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When we open the paper, turn on the television or turn up the radio, there is a common outcome; more often than not, what we read, see or hear is bad news.
After all, bad news is big business. We buy magazines because of the scandal advertised on the cover; we “stay tuned” often out of an innate curiosity about the calamities of others.
Why is this? Because all of humanity by means of our own sin are part of the bad news. We write our own headline every day with our actions and our attitudes that are antithetical to God and his word.
We have we become ostracized from God because of our sin; He is holy and righteous and thus has a natural aversion to sin. This resulted in a great gulf between us and our creator; and our headline reads: “Guilty as charged.”
But there’s good news. In fact, that is what the word “gospel” means – “good news.” It’s the good news is that we don’t have to be separated from God forever. We don’t have to bear the weight and punishment for our sin. We can have peace with God and live in the light of his perfect, unending love.
The good news is that God our creator didn’t exercise his right to do away with us after we sinned against him; he could have sent us to hell right then and would have been perfectly just in doing so, but instead he sent his one and only son to save a sinful, rebellious people.
The good news is that his son was the perfect human he requires us to be. Although tempted in every respect as we are, he was without sin. Perfect in his humanity he could be a substitute for our sin; perfect in deity he could be the perfect sacrifice for our sin.
The good news is that when he died on the cross, he actually accomplished something. He didn’t just make salvation possible; he secured salvation for all who would ever trust him by faith alone as savior and Lord. When he cried out “It is finished,” he meant it.
The good news is that although he died, he didn’t remain in the grave. Three days after his death God the Father showed his approval with the sacrifice of his son by raising him from the dead. This is what makes Christianity the exclusive source of eternal life; our founder is alive today!
The good news is that he is coming again. There will come a day when he will come to execute perfect justice and judge all who have rejected his free offer of salvation. On that day “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. ”
The good news is that all you have to do is believe with your heart that Christ is alive and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Repent of your sins and believe the Gospel. The good news is also that you don’t have to come up with the faith to believe on your own; that, too, is a gift of God’s grace.
The late Carl F.H. Henry once said, “The gospel is only good news if it gets there on time.” I would add to this statement, “and if it’s believed.”
If you are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation, apart from any faith in your own effort, it is indeed great news; if not, well, simply put, it’s going to be bad news for you. Which will it be?
Brian Owens is an associate pastor with youth and children emphasis at Farmdale Baptist Church. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.