The Good News

Hand crossThe good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that each and every person can be right with God and know that their sins are forgiven. The Bible describes this idea of being forgiven in many ways such as being born again or saved. But in order to truly understand the good news, we must first come to the realization of some very sobering news.
The Bible says that not one person is good enough in God’s estimation to save themselves.
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
This is because we have all broken God’s laws. God sees each and every one of us as law breakers. For example, how many lies does one have to tell to be a liar? Just one, right? That means that if you’ve ever told a lie, even once in your life you are a liar. Have you ever taken something that doesn’t belong to you? You might say, ‘Oh no I’ve never stolen anything.’ Well, have you ever taken a couple extra minutes of break at work? If so, you are a thief because you were being paid for that time and you didn’t give your employer what they paid for, you stole that money. The Lord has some very sobering words for liars and thieves.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators … Nor thieves … shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Let’s not stop there, let’s continue. Most people would say, ‘I’m not an idolater. I don’t bow down to statues and worship them.’ Did you know you don’t have to bow down to a statue to be an idolater? Idolatry simply put means placing anything before the one true God. Are you telling me in all your life you’ve never put anything before God? God says the greatest commandment is to, “…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” That means we don’t think about another person more than we do God, including a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or even our children. We shouldn’t give more time and attention to our jobs or earning money than we do to God. We shouldn’t be obsessed over hobbies or a sports team. If you give more of your time, thoughts, and money to these things then God sees you as an idolater! God feels so strongly about idolatry that He likens it to the worshipping of devils!
1 Corinthians 10:19-20 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
Once we begin to measure ourselves up to God’s word, we don’t seem so good now do we? Let’s not stop here, let’s look at one more area we break God’s commandments. So often this is an area no one else sees or knows about. This is an issue of the heart and it has to do with lust. Lust is defined as, unlawful desire of carnal pleasure; evil propensity; depraved affections and desires. So we can see that lust is something internal and hidden from the examination of those around us. But God’s word says,
Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
There’s no hiding our sins from God! He sees every secret thing we do and every secret thought we have. Many people can say I’ve never commit the act of adultery. Let me ask you though, have you ever had lust in your heart towards another person? If you’re honest you would have to answer that question with a yes. Jesus went so far as to say this concerning our lust,
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
It sure is getting hard to measure up to God’s standard isn’t it? If you’ve had to ‘fess up’ to the sins that have been mentioned then by your own admission you are a liar, a thief, an idolater, and an adulterer!
This equates to the fact that you are guilty as charged!
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Jesus Christ described our circumstances another way in the gospel of Luke,
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
God says we are lost and we need a Saviour. He didn’t mean by this that we got lost trying to find the store so we’ll simply return home. He meant that we are completely and utterly lost and without hope! Let me explain. Imagine you’re on a ship crossing the Atlantic ocean and for whatever reason you fall overboard. No one sees you fall, no one hears your cries for help, and the ship just keeps going! You’re now out in the middle of the ocean treading water for over an hour now. At this point you begin freaking out because you can no longer see the ship or anything but water for that matter. The thoughts begin to race through your mind that you’re soon going to drown! You’re already getting tired and it would be impossible for you to swim to safety. This is the idea God had in mind when He said we are lost. In the circumstance described above you are without hope and there is nothing you can do to save yourself! The only chance you have of survival is if someone comes to rescue you. Your only hope is a savior! This is the condition we as individuals are in and it’s exactly what God means when He says that “…all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
The Bible goes on further to say that we will stand before God and be judged for our sins!
Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
This judgment will be a righteous judgment, meaning God won’t make any mistakes and judge us unfairly. It’s interesting that the verse following this says that God’s going to give us what we deserve according to our deeds!
Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Now if you admitted earlier to being a liar, thief, idolater, and adulterer and God gives you what you deserve, do you really think you’re going to escape hell? If someone were to break into your house and steal nearly everything you have, you would expect them to be punished according to the law when they stood before the judge. We expect people on Earth to be punished for their crimes, but we don’t think God should punish us for our crimes against Him! That my friends is hypocrisy. If God gives you what you deserve you will burn in the lake of fire for eternity!
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Many people believe that they’re a good person and deserve to go to Heaven, but how much ‘good’ erases all your crimes against God’s law? The fact is you’re not good enough to make yourself right before God. In reality all you need to do to go to Hell is absolutely nothing! The reason is because the Bible says you’re condemned already.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
At this point you may be thinking, ‘I thought this was supposed to be good news.’ Well, there is good news, but you must first understand the bad news. Having now understood that you are guilty as charged and if God gives you what you deserve you will spend eternity in the lake of fire let’s examine how we may find good news in this.
The good news stems from the idea mentioned earlier that each of us is lost. It’s true that we are lost and unable to save ourselves, but it’s also true that Jesus Christ came to seek and save those that are lost! That means He came to save you!
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Jesus Christ came to be our Saviour! He came to Earth and lived a sinless life, He died on the Cross, He suffered the shame, and He rose victoriously from the Grave to pay for our sins! He did all of this because of His great love for each of us.
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.
In order for any of us to be right with God and possess eternal life we must be PERFECT! Understanding all we learned about our sins earlier we’d have to admit that we can’t meet that standard, and that’s exactly right! That’s why we need a Saviour and that is why Jesus Christ came to die on the cross! The Bible says that Jesus took our sin upon Himself at the cross and He is offering us His righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
If you could somehow receive the righteousness of God then would God see you as a sinner anymore? The answer is NO! God would no longer see you as a guilty and condemned sinner because you would have His righteousness. In essence God would no longer be looking at your sinful record, but He would be looking at Jesus Christ’s sinless record on your account!
The question is how do we receive this salvation, this righteousness? The Bible is clear that it cannot be earned by our deeds but must be received as a gift.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Let me ask you, can you work or pay for a gift in any way? If you answered yes, then when was the last time you saw your paycheck as a gift? You’d probably say, ‘That’s ridiculous my paycheck isn’t a gift. I worked hard for it.’ I would say you’re right it’s not a gift because you had to do something to get it. In the same way God says that salvation is a gift. There is nothing you can do to earn it. The only thing you can do with a gift is receive it or reject it. A gift is defined as follows: A present; anything given or bestowed; anything, the property of which is voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation. A gift is something that someone else owns or purchased and voluntarily gives it to another without being compensated. That is exactly what Jesus Christ did on the cross! He died and rose again to purchase our salvation and offer us the gift of eternal life. The only thing we can do with that gift is receive it or reject it.
You have to choose what you’ll do with the gift of eternal life that God is offering to you. Will you receive it or reject it? The Bible is clear in showing us the two requirements to receive this gift and they are repentance and faith.
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Repentance is a surrendered heart that is ready to receive the gift that God is offering. A repentant heart has stopped fighting God and has acknowledged the truth of God’s word.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
A repentant person has turned to God from their idols so they may grasp the gift that God is offering.
1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
Repentance can be described as a drowning person stopping their feeble kicking and paddling, essentially giving up their way and turning to the lifesaver.
The second requirement is faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. It is full dependence on the sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection of the Son of God as full payment for my sin debt.
John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
The best description I can give of faith is the trust you would place in a parachute when jumping from an airplane. That is full dependence on the parachute to save your life. There is no plan B because all of your faith is in the parachute. In the same manner we’re to place all of our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to pay our sin debt.
This is what God did for you to give you eternal life and the choice is now before you. Will you receive the gift of eternal life? If you will receive this amazing gift the Bible says simply,
Romans 10:9 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.
Simply call out to God from your heart believing He died and rose from the dead to pay the full penalty for your sins and to forgive you.
If you’ve made the decision to receive Christ as your Saviour please let us know. To understand more of salvation please read this: