Friday, March 28, 2008

Good News!

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 ask, How is this good news?

The good news is not that you are not a sinner or that you are not dead in sin. The good news is that there is a Savior, who can bring you to life!

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The Son of God became man, and came to dwell among us. He was the one annointed by God to redeem his people. This Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and was buried and was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor 15:3).

This is the Son of the living God, and he makes demands upon you. He says that he is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the father except through him (Jn 14:6). He says you must know him, trust him, and serve him. He says that he must be your Lord, your Savior, and your treasure. He says that you must value him above all others.

He says that you must come and adore him.

His words are truth. You must respond. There is no neutral option here. Either you accept him, or you reject him. Case closed. End of story. One day you will die, and judgment will come. On that day, God will ask you why you should be able to enter into his presence for eternity. There are many, many wrong answers you could give, but there is only one right answer: “I know your Son, as my Lord, my Savior, and my Treasure.”

If you miss this, then you miss everything. There is no life outside of Christ. There is no other way to live with life. You will search all your days and never find anything close to the satisfaction that is found in Christ. He is stronger than any buzz that alcohol can give you, he is stronger than any high that any drug can bring, he is more satisfying than any pornographic image or sexual encounter that you will ever have. And with him, there is no hangover, there is no guilt, and there is no life-wreckage. He holds your life together, rather than tearing it apart.

Your life will still be hard. You will still hurt. You will still feel pain. But you will be redeemed, and you will be able to hear him say, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9).

Do you know him? Is he your Lord? Is he your Savior? Is he your Treasure?

Jesus says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt 4:17).

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved! (Rom 10:9).

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2006-17

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