Good News!

October 1, 2008

You are dead.

The whole world is dead. Because you broke God’s laws and commandments, you are separated from everything that is eternally good. He commanded your love and obedience and you failed on both accounts.  You are condemned, not just because you have sinned, but also because you are by nature a sinner. Sin is breaking God’s laws and valuing anything else above him. You do this naturally. You are not naturally good. You do not seek God and his ways. You have no sense of the truly beautiful. You cannot taste what is truly good. Your words are empty and without life. You are a rebel  in the kingdom of a righteous king who demands justice for your crimes. God is angry at sin and at sinners. The wrath of God burns against those who reject him and his ways. He is angry at you.

Judgment is coming. Every person will one day die. When this happens you will stand before the King, who is also the Judge. The King will demand justice, and you will be condemned by your own deeds, having been caught red-handed in rebellion. The King will judge rightly, for he is also Good. Therefore, punishment will have to be paid for your crimes against the kingdom. When the verdict is pronounced, it will unavoidably read, “Guilty as charged.” You are condemned. You deserve the worst punishment, for you committed the worst crime: you rejected and rebelled against the most worthy God and King. This is your situation, and you are not alone. The whole world shares your fate.

You might ask, How is this good news?

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“The Greatest Story Ever Told that’s hardly ever told.”

“Silly us. Trying to pass the Course of Life without Referring to the Syllabus.”

Adapted from a sermon preached by S. M. Lockridge.

History’s most unusual and momentous news continues to be the message that the holy God provides sinful man a way of escape from the damning consequences of sin, and proffers him a new kind of life fit for both time and eternity.

This ongoing global news is more important than the Allies’ rollback of Hitler and the Nazis, or modern technology’s putting a man on the moon, or scientific research’s latest medical breakthrough. The gospel’s offer of spiritual rescue and renewal that leads to life in Christ’s image and an eternal destiny in God’s holy presence is earth’s best news. It is astonishingly true news; it may even strike some men as “too good to be true.” Small wonder that Jesus’ own disciples at first thought it beyond belief. Luke tells us that when the crucified Jesus showed himself alive, some of the leven disciples were “still unconvinced, still wondering for it seemed to good to be true” (Lk 24:41, NEB).

Never has this good news been so misconstrued as in our own time, while all the while it alone holds out more hope and promise than any other message.

Carl F.H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority, vol. 1, 28.

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