Have You Heard the Good News?

Unfortunately, it seems like good news is something you rarely hear anymore. All too often it's the bad news we just feel bombarded with – like perhaps an e-mail from a friend informing us that they've just been diagnosed with cancer, or a TV news flash alerting us to another terrorist attack somewhere in the world. I mean, sometimes it can get downright depressing, can it not? Can I share some good news with you for a change? I mean, some really good news. Here it is. In the New Testament portion of the Bible the word "gospel" is found about 100 times. That word "gospel" simply means "good tidings" or "good news." And the message of that "gospel" or "good news" is simply this: A Saviour has been born!  There once was a time in America, prior to the onset of this post-Christian era, when that was the primary focus of our celebration at the Christmas season. A Saviour has been born! What a cause for rejoicing! No longer is it necessary to live under the burden and guilt of our sin – and more importantly, no longer do we need to fear being punished for our sin when this life is over. Jesus Christ has done it all on our behalf. He lived the perfect life in our place and He bore God's wrath for our sin in our place when He was crucified and died. In the Old Testament, hundreds of years before Christ's birth, the prophet Isaiah spoke of him: "But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5,6)  In the New Testament, after Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven, the Apostle Paul says the same thing. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul says: "For He (God the Father) hath made Him (Jesus Christ) – who knew no sin – to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Jesus Christ)." You see, one cannot even begin to understand the good news of the Bible until they first understand the vicarious nature of all that Christ did. That simply means He was our substitute. He lived the perfect life in our place. He suffered and died and bore God's wrath for sin in our place. He conquered death and rose from the grave in our place. When we repent and put our faith in Christ we become the beneficiaries of all that He accomplished. This is the good news. Remember, God loves you immensely. The Bible says: "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. For God sent not His Son into this world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:16,17 and 36)  Thus, we all have a choice we must make. We can either embrace and accept the good news by putting our faith in Jesus Christ and becoming a child of God and following Him. Or, we can basically say: "No thanks, God. I'm good" – and bear the terrible consequences of doing so. Wouldn't you like to experience God's love as you never have before by being born again? Click here for more information on exactly what that means – that is, how you can become a Christian and know for sure that your sins have been forgiven and you're on your way to heaven.