The Good News!
We live in a world that is often full of sorrow and unkindness. Sometimes life just hurts! Dear reader, perhaps your own life has not been all that you hoped it might be. Confusion, uncertainty, failure, disappointment have become a familiar fare. Inner battles like restlessness, guilt, and depression have overwhelmed your soul. It just hurts! Friend, is it possible that you have carried that burden too long? May I share some good news with you that has the potential to completely turn you around? The God who created the universe--and you too, wants to give you a new life!
Do you realize that God simply spoke and the universe came to life (see Hebrews 11:3). With His little finger He formed the highest peaks--like Mt. Everest. He created the continents that divide the oceans just by His command (see Psalm 95:3-5). The trees, flowers, and all the creatures--birds, fish, land animals--they were work the work of God's hands (see Genesis 1-2). Then God knelt down and formed the first human. The Bible says God breathed life into him (Genesis 2:7). God lovingly created everything that is. When he finished, God called it "very good" (Genesis 1:31).
Then something terrible happened that has effected the world right up to our day: sin. Now don't be turned off by that word. Sin is not just a religious word, it is the very way God chooses to describe man's broken relationship with Him. Sin means we took a wrong turn. God says, "Go right;" and we choose to go left (read Genesis 3). It happened with the first man, and it happens to you and me today...sin (see Romans 5:12). The Bible teaches that because of man's rebellion against God's commands, we are cut off from Him (see Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23). Scripture describes our situation as, "without hope and without God in the world" (see Ephesians 2:12). God, who "dwells in unapproachable light" (1 Timothy 6:16), cannot and will not tolerate sin in His presence. Friend, the result of that terrible first sin is that all men are lost and fully deserving of God's righteous judgment..
But here is where the good news comes in. God chose not to leave us in that "lost" condition. In love and mercy, our wonderful Creator made a way for us to come home to Him. One Bible verse puts it this way, "But now, in Christ Jesus, we who were once far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13). Just think of it! No more alienation; no more guilt; no more separation from our great King! Home to His love; home to His mercy; home to His blessing, friendship, and powerful assistance. Are you ready?
Here's how it works: God's one and only Son Jesus Christ came to earth more than 2,000 years ago with the central purpose of saving us from our sins (the core issue in our alienation from God). Read Luke 2:11 and see it in the angel's announcement to the shepherds. Read Luke 19:10 and hear Jesus declares His intent to save. Read Acts 16:30-31 as Paul tells a man that it is Jesus who can save him. Read Acts 4:12 and find that is is Jesus, alone, who has the power to save us.
But how does Jesus save? He does it by being our substitute. Do you remember the substitute teacher in school (How we loved them!). What was her job? She was there to fill in for the regular teacher when she could not do her job. Friend, the Bible teaches that this is what Jesus did for you and me--He "filled in" for us. Remember about sin? Dear friend, the Bible teaches that because of our sins, our only expectation beyond the grave was God's judgment (see Romans 6:23--"death" here refers to judgment). We deserved God's wrath--His righteous judgment (Romans 1:18-21). And we would have surely felt the full measure of judgment if it were not for Jesus Christ (see 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). But, beloved, Jesus became the substitute by dying on a cross. You see, on that cross, Jesus was receiving exactly what you and I deserved (see 1 Peter 2:24-25 and Isaiah 53:4-6).
Now the story does not end here, these is one more part to play, and it's yours. The Bible teaches that each one of us must make a personal decision to put our trust in Jesus as Savior (see John 1:11-12). Beloved one, that is a critical decision. To reject Jesus or to simply refuse to trust in Him is to turn your back on God's only plan for saving you. Jesus said, "Whoever believes in the Son of God has eternal life; but whoever rejects the Son shall not see life, for God's wrath remains on Him" (John 3:36, see also John 3:16-18).
Jesus promised that any person who put his trust in Him could have a new, abundant life (John 10:10). The Bible states that those who connect themselves to Christ become brand new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Won't you come home today?
Friend, the world will always have its sorrows, but you can have new life today and a bright hope that goes way beyond the grave (John 16:33). "Come unto me," Jesus said, if you are weary and heavily burdened by life, "and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).