Have you noticed that bad news surrounds us? You turn on the T.V. and the news coverage predominantly consists of bad news. You go on the internet or social media and bad news dominates the headlines. It seems like we cannot escape all the bad news in the world.
Are you tired of hearing bad news? Do you desire good news and hope? Then keep reading.
There is good news (the best news, really), and hope that will never fail you. However, there is one more piece of bad news that you must understand for the good news to be exceedingly good.
The Bible (God’s Word) says that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This verse unambiguously reveals that there is a God. There is only one true God. He is creator, sovereign, infinite, holy, perfect, righteous, all-powerful, all-knowing, just, and eternal. All that God created was good, including Adam and Eve, the first people. But something terrible happened; it’s the reason for all the bad news in the world. Adam and Eve sinned, meaning they disobeyed God’s reasonable command (see Genesis 3). Their one act of rebellion against God caused sin and death to enter the world to all who lived after them (Romans 5:12). You and I and every human being are born sinners (Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:10–18), which means that instead of living for and glorifying the one true God for which He created us, we instead live for ourselves and our sin. Even our “good deeds” are tainted with sin (Isaiah 64:6). Romans 3:10 says that no one is righteous, not even one. And Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.
Because of your sin, you are separated from God, and the Bible says that God’s wrath (His judgment) abides on you (John 3:36; Ephesians 2:1–3). However, you are not alone. The Bible says all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sin is disobeying God’s laws (think Ten Commandments: lying, stealing, coveting, hating, lusting, blaspheming God, dishonoring your parents, etc.), not putting God first in your life, and living for your selfish lusts, greed, pride, and desires. Even our thoughts can be sinful, and God knows all our thoughts & motives (Psalm 139:1-24; Matthew 15:19). Because God is holy, perfect, and sinless, He cannot tolerate sin in His presence. The Bible says it is appointed for people to die once and then face God’s judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Because God is eternal, just, righteous, and holy, he must punish sin eternally in hell, and that will happen after you die. If your sins are not washed away by the blood of Christ and your name is not written in the book of life, you will be cast into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:11–15).
But God did something amazing so that you do not have to go to hell and can have an eternal reconciled relationship with Him. Two-thousand years ago, God sent His only Son Jesus Christ into the world (John 3:16). Jesus is God in human flesh (Philippians 2:6–8; Colossians 1:19). He lived the perfect, sinless life you and I could never live. He obeyed God’s law perfectly. He spoke the very words of God (John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 1:1–2). Because God is the just judge of the universe, He must punish sin. But because God is also love, grace, and mercy, He also made a way for sinners to be forgiven. Jesus Christ took all your sins on Himself as though He was a sinner (although He never sinned once) and received the punishment that you deserved while crucified on a cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). He paid your sin penalty by shedding His blood (Colossians 2:13–14; Hebrews 9:22). He was buried, and three days later He rose from the grave defeating death and proving He is God. God accepted His sacrifice for sin. Jesus then ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God and is the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5) and the only name and way under heaven by which people can be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
The Good News (the gospel) is that Jesus died for you. He took the punishment you deserved. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. If you ever wondered why people die, it is because of sin. Jesus made a way for you to be forgiven of your sins and be reconciled to God so that you might have peace with God and have eternal life (Romans 5:1; 1 John 5:13). Receiving God’s gift of salvation is free. There aren’t any works that you can do to be made right with God. You can’t be good or religious enough (Ephesians 2:8–9; Titus 3:4–5). What you must do is repent (have a change of mind about who Jesus is, what the Bible says, and acknowledge that you are a sinner and despise your sin) and believe in Christ (trust that what He did for you is sufficient in forgiving your sins and granting you eternal life).
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9–10)—saved from the penalty of sin (separation from God), from God’s judgment, from hell, and the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14–15). When you die you will immediately be transferred to heaven to be with God forever (2 Corinthians 5:8) because of Christ’s loving and merciful sacrifice for you.
After you repent and put your faith in Christ, make sure you get a Bible and read it daily. God speaks to us through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). You can also pray to God anytime. It is important, too, that you join a Bible-believing, Christ-honoring church so that you may worship and fellowship with God’s people and grow in your love, obedience to, and knowledge of God.
When you believe in Christ, He will give you a new heart with new desires (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your life will be focused on God, His Word, His people (the church), following Him, and telling others about the good news of Jesus Christ. There is no greater hope and joy than personally knowing God through Jesus Christ and having all your sins and guilt forgiven and having eternal life. This is truly good news! Make sure you do not wait till it is too late to repent and believe. Cry out to God and believe in Him through Jesus Christ today!