You pick up the newspaper, and what do you see? Wars, crime, corruption, immorality, natural disasters–you can’t escape the bad news! But did you ever wonder where all of these bad things come from?
The book of James in the New Testament of the Bible tells us that all these things come out of the sinfulness of man’s heart. We fight because of jealousy, hatred, and the desire to control others. We commit crimes because we want what others have, and because we have little respect for other people. We are corrupt because we think that we can get away with our secret thoughts and deeds. We are immoral because of the fleshly lust that we fail to control. But wait–how do fires, floods, and other natural disasters come from man’s sinfulness? They are reminders that there is a God–the One Who created the world, and made mankind in His own image. He is holy, and will not let sin go unpunished. He allows the world to deteriorate around us, so that we will see the power of His judgment, and will cry out to Him to save us from this wicked time and place. Bad news is a reminder of how far we are from living in the image of God.
So what’s the good news? God is not only holy, He is also loving, and gracious, and merciful. He loves us so much that He made a way for us to escape the wrath to come. And how could He accomplish that? His holiness demanded a perfect blood-sacrifice to atone for our sins; and He provided that sacrifice for us. Jesus Christ–the Son of God–came to earth from Heaven, to be born of a virgin, to live a sinless life, to die as our perfect sacrifice–and to rise from the dead to prove that He had succeeded in satisfying God’s judgment on sin! That’s what it says in the Gospel of John in the Bible: “For God so loved the world [that’s you!] that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus Christ] that whoever believes in Him shall not perish [in the judgment of Hell’s eternal flames] but have eternal life [in Heaven with God Himself!]” (John 3:16).
So what makes the difference between those who perish and those who have eternal life? “…Whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus Christ]…” Doesn’t everybody believe in Jesus? No! Believing in the Bible sense of the word means more than just knowing about a man who lived 2000 years ago! It means
1. Understanding that you are a sinner, and that your sins are offensive to God. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
2. Knowing without a doubt that when Jesus died on the cross, He did it for you–to pay the penalty for your own personal sins. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
3. Confessing to God your sinfulness, and your gratitude for His great gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!
4. Receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and letting Him make you a new creation–once more in His image, ready for His service! As many as receive Him, to them gives He the power to become the sons of God, even all those who believe on His name!
5. Tell others. With the heart man believes, and with the mouth confession is made.
6. Begin living for Him. Unless we abide in Him, we can accomplish nothing. Start reading your Bible regularly–the Gospel of John (4th book of the New Testament) is a good place to start. Talk to God in prayer often. Begin worshiping with others in a Bible-preaching church like Community Bible Church.
That’s the start of the Good News! If we can be of help to you in understanding or receiving this great gift of salvation from your sins, please contact us! We would love to help you. May God bless you.