The good news of GoodNewsHalifax is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ – the word “gospel” literally means “good news”.
It is a message from God that tells us how we can be right with God. Being right with God means to have peace with God and it should be a priority, as it is the first step in the grand purpose of life. It includes being forgiven of our sins, having the assurance of a home in Heaven after we die, and experiencing life on earth today as God meant for us to enjoy. Jesus’ own words regarding why He came to earth are recorded in The Gospel According to John, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, - the Bible).
God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, from Heaven to Earth so that we could be saved and enjoy life with God forever. The motivating factor was His love for us. It is the greatest example of love the world has ever seen, and it is perfectly consistent with God’s character, because the Bible also teaches that “God is love” (1st John 4:16). One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible supports this very clearly:
For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
We needed God's Son to come. We would be lost forever if He didn’t come. We could never know God without the Lord Jesus Christ. This is due to the principle of sin within us from the start. It is easily proven that there is something wrong with us from our birth. Did your parents ever have to sit you down when you were a child and say, “Today is the day we are going to teach you to tell a lie”? No, they didn’t. Did they ever take you aside and say, “Let us show you how to want and take something that doesn’t belong to you”? No, they didn’t. Those selfish thoughts and actions came naturally to us. But to be fair, God isn’t going to judge people for the way they were born! People are accountable for their own personal sins. A sin is when we miss God’s ideal, when we fall short of His standard, or when we disobey Him. We all have them. The Bible says in the book of Romans,
For there is no distinction; for all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:22-23)
That’s a problem, because the Bible says “Your iniquities [another Bible word for sin] have made a separation between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Actually, it’s a big problem, because the Bible also teaches that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) – that means being separated from God forever.
But wait - here comes the Good News! The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to save us from those sins – “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1st John 4:14). The Lord Jesus came to pay for our sins by dying on the cross. The Bible repeatedly confirms this. One great example is 1st Corinthians 15:3 – “Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures”. It is also stated clearly in 1st Peter 3:18, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God,” and in Romans 5:6, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. In light of these quotations from the Bible, it is reasonable to ask … ‘what made Christ want to do this?’ The answer is that He loves us. Of course, when we consider the previous paragraph about our sin, it is then reasonable to ask, ‘why does He love us?’ The answer is that Christ is Himself God, and as we pointed out before, “God is love” (1st John 4:16).
Because the Lord Jesus Christ is God, and because He died for us, He is worthy of our trust for the eternal destiny of our souls. At this point in the discussion, Christ stands unique in all religious or spiritual thought. The point is not, firstly, that we are merely to follow His teachings, but that we are to place our confidence alone and entirely in Him. This is a genuine possibility because He is a living Man, having been raised from the dead in clear evidence of His own claims to being God's Son. To finish the Bible quotation from 1st Corinthians 15 recorded above, the apostle Paul says in verses 3 to 8, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also”. Real people saw the real Jesus, after He died and rose again. He is worthy of our trust. God’s word also says,
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)
Your responsibility now, to appreciate the Good News of Christ’s gospel for yourself, is to come to the Lord Jesus. You don’t need to become more religious for Him to accept you, because there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn or deserve His salvation. God’s letter to a group of believers in the ancient city of Ephesus says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). You must come to Christ by faith. It is an act of your personal will. Knowing that Christ died for our sins and that Jesus is God is vital, but a mere intellectual agreement to those facts does not save you from punishment for your sins. Salvation is repenting of your sin and placing your entire confidence in Christ, and therefore a willingness to become a follower of Him.
Will you come to Christ? He loves you, and is waiting for you. The Lord Jesus’ own words are recorded for us in John 6:37, “the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out”.
This is more than just good news - it is the most wonderful message around! Your sins could be forgiven. You could be certain of a home in Heaven. You could enjoy God’s purpose for you in life. You could be right with God.
The Lord Jesus knew it was Good News. That is why, at the commencement of His public ministry, He urged people to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
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