We have some good news for you!
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Everybody likes to hear good news. “You passed the test!” “You got the job!” “Your favorite team won!” All of this is good news, however the news that we will be talking about is much better news than all of this.
Unfortunately, before I give you the good news you must understand the bad news. And this is very bad news! However, it is necessary to understand the bad news before you can appreciate the good news.Let’s imagine that you are dying from an awful disease, however you do not know it. You go to the doctor and the doctor tells you that they just found the cure for this certain disease that you are dying from. If the doctor simply talks about the cure, and does not tell you that you desperately need this cure, then it is not really good news for you. Now, if the doctor first explains to you that you are dying from a terrible disease and that you need serious help, then you can rejoice when he tells you that they now have the cure for your disease and you don’t have to die! This is what we are doing now. We are diagnosing the problem, then prescribing the cure, just as a doctor would do.
Bad news #1- You are a sinner
Before we talk about sin, we need to define what sin is. The Bible defines sin as anything we do that breaks God’s law 1 John 3:4. Man has laws. If you don’t believe me, then try to take a computer from the store without buying it. Try to drive as fast as you want and ignore the traffic laws. You will find out very soon that man has laws.
In the same way that man has laws, God also has laws. I am sure that you have heard of the 10 commandments Exodus 20:1-17. Let’s take a quick “test” to see how we stand in God’s eyes:
(Question:1) Have you ever told a lie? It doesn’t matter how big or how small; size does not matter. What is your answer? I am sure that your answer is “yes” because we all have told lies. If you told me that you have never told a lie, then i would call you a liar! When we tell a lie we break the 9th commandment. What do you call someone who tells lies? (a liar)
(Question:2) Have you ever stolen anything? Let me explain something: the question is not, “Have you ever stolen anything of value?” The question is, “Have you ever stolen anything?” it doesn’t matter the value. It could be a cheap piece of candy when you were a kid, or a pen from a co-worker, you can even steal money from the company you work for when you are supposed to be working and are not. I am sure that your answer is “yes” to this question as well. When we steal we break the 8th commandment. What do you call someone who steals things? (a thief)
(Question:3) Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? We frequently break this commandment when we use God’s name as a cuss word. I have often wondered why people don’t use the name of Allah or some other “god”. When we use God’s name in vain we break the 3rd commandment and this is a very serious sin called blasphemy. What do you call someone who takes God’s name in vain? (a blasphemer)
(Question:4) Have you ever had sex outside of marriage? I know this is a personal question, but it is one that needs to be asked to find out how we stand before God. If you have had sex outside of marriage then you have broken the 7th commandment. What is interesting is that Jesus said Matthew 5:27-28 that if you look on someone with lust in your heart, then that is the same as committing physical adultery. Please understand that God will judge us not only by what we physically do, but also by the thoughts of our heart! We see in the Bible that God knows the thoughts and intentions of our heart Hebrews 4:12! So, according to the word of Jesus, when we lust after others we commit adultery in our heart which is just as bad as doing it physically. What do you call someone who commits adultery? (an adulterer)
We all know that we are going to die. We do not know when, we could die in 2 hours, or we could live until we are 90 years old. This is a truth that everyone knows. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27:
“27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
We will all die, after we die we will face God. We have only looked at 4 of the 10 commandments. But according to just these 4 commandments you are a lying, thieving, blaspheming, adulterer at heart and have to face God on judgment day. What do you think? Will you be innocent or guilty? Of course you will be guilty! We are all guilty. We are all sinners Romans 3:23! God gave us the law to show us our sin, and our great need of a Savior!
Bad News #2- Your sin separates you from God
The Bible teaches us that there is something that separates us from God. The Bible teaches that it is sin.
Isaiah 59:2 says, “but your iniquities (sins) have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Because we are sinners and are separated from God, the only way to have a relationship with Him is to be born again.
Bad News #3- You cannot be good enough to go to heaven
Some people think that they are good enough to make it to heaven. They think that after they die God will weigh their good works against their bad works and if their good works outweigh their bad works then God will let them into heaven.
Unfortunately for them, it does not work that way. God is a judge. In God’s eyes we have broken His law. We are criminals. Criminals deserve to be punished. God’s place of punishment for those who have broken His law is hell. God did not create hell for you. He created hell for the devil and his angels Matthew 25:41. God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell 2 Peter 3:9. That is why he made a way for everyone to be forgiven!
The Bible teaches that no one is righteous Romans 3:10. In fact the Bible teaches that, in God’s eyes, no one is good Romans 3:12. All of our good works in God’s eyes are like dirty rags Isaiah 64:6.
In God’s eyes we are all sinners and have broken His law. Imagine a criminal standing before a judge. He is convicted of a serious crime. The criminal tries to argue his case and says that he is a good person. He says that he goes to church and gives money to the poor. He promises never to do this crime again. What do you think the judge is going to tell him? I am sorry, but you have done the crime, now you have to be punished for it! God will say the same thing to those who are trusting in their good works to justify them.
No one will be going to heaven because of their good works. Salvation is a gift of the grace of God! Ephesians 2:8-9
Bad News #4- Because you are a sinner you are going to hell when you die
The Bible teaches us that the payment for our sins is eternal death in hell Romans 6:23. As we have already mentioned. We are all sinners in God’s eyes. Sin cannot enter into heaven. All sinners will go to hell Revelation 21:8. Hell is not going to be a fun place. It is a horrible place of torments. Hell is a place of fire. The fire will never die Mark 9:44, it will continue to burn forever! The people present in hell will not be having fun. They will be in horrible pain Matthew 24:51. Please consider this, because eternity is a long time! You are going to be dead much longer that you are alive! If you go to hell and burn for 10,000 years, you will have just started!
None of this is pleasant to think about. But it is better to think about it now, while you can still avoid this horrible place!
Now let’s talk about the Good News!
We have just heard some bad news. But you must know the bad news in order to appreciate the Good News! Just like a doctor we have diagnosed your problem and have found that your issue is that you are going to hell because of your sin against God. The Good News is that God has a cure! You don’t have to die for your sins. You can be forgiven of your sins and have everlasting life with God!
This forgiveness of sins is because of what Jesus Christ did for you. Jesus Christ is God John 10:30 . Jesus Christ left heaven and was born of a virgin. He had a body just like you and I John 1:14. He lived a perfect, sinless life 2 Corinthians 5:21. In fact, He could not sin Titus 1:2, because He was God. Jesus died for the sins of the world 1 John 2:2. As Jesus hung on the cross the sins of the world were placed upon Him 1 Peter 2:24 and He died for those sins. He took our punishment. Also, Jesus did not stay dead. 3 days later Jesus rose from the dead Matthew 28:6 and He is now alive Revelation 1:18! The Bible teaches that because He died in our place we can be forgiven Isaiah 53:5! What Good News that is!
As we have already talked about: God is a judge and we are criminals because we have broken His law. God’s law demands that we are punished in hell. However, Jesus pays our fine so that we can walk away free! You can walk away free because your fine was paid by Jesus Christ!
The Bible teaches that salvation is a gift. Ephesians 2:8-9 says:
“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 not of works, lest any man should boast.”
The Bible teaches us that we are saved by grace. Grace is getting something that you don’t deserve. As we have already talked about, we cannot do anything ourselves to get to heaven. We cannot earn eternal life. It is a gift of God. How much do you have to pay for a gift? Nothing! It is free to you! A gift costs something. The person who gives the gift pays for the gift; however, the person receiving the gift pays nothing. This is the same way with salvation. God paid the price when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. It costs us absolutely nothing to receive this gift. What Good News this is!
So how do we receive the gift of eternal life?
It is very simply received by faith in God. The Bible says in John 3:16:
“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.”
According to this verse if you believe on Jesus Christ then you will have everlasting life. All you need to do is truly believe on Jesus Christ! Now, there are many people that say that they believe in God. What about those people? Sadly, the Bible teaches that most Christians are going to hell Matthew 7:21-23.
We see in the Bible that true belief has two things: repentance and faith. It is like a coin. I have never seen a coin with only one side. All coins have two sides. If a coin only has one side then it cannot be used for currency. In the same way, salvation involves 2 things: repentance and faith. You cannot have true salvation without both of these things. Also, we see that if you truly have faith, you will repent; and if you truly repent, you will have faith in God.
The Bible tells us that if we do not repent then we will die and go to hell Luke 13:3. It also teaches that for us to have our sins forgiven we need to repent Acts 3:19. So what is repentance? Some think that repentance is when you stop doing bad things and only do good things. This cannot be the definition of repentance because the Bible teaches that Salvation is not of works. The Bible says that if salvation is of works then it cannot be a gift of grace Romans 11:6. The word repent means “to turn”. What are you to turn from? You are to turn from your sin. Your sin is separating you from God and so you must turn from your sin in order to be saved. Repentance is when you agree with God that your sin is wrong and that it is sending you to hell and you turn from your sins to submit to God as your Lord.
Faith is other side of the coin. Faith is trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save you. You do not have true faith if you believe that something that you have done is going to save you. Some think that their good works are going to save them. Some think that religious rituals like baptism or communion helps save them. None of these works will save you Titus 3:5! Faith is not just saying you believe in the facts of the Gospel and no one can say that they have always believed in God. You must come to a specific point in your life when you see yourself as a sinner going to hell, and you turn from your sins, to trust only in the Lord Jesus Christ to give you eternal life.
Can I ask you a question? Has there ever been a time in your life when you have done this? If not then the Bible teaches that you are separated from God and you will go to hell when you die. Please, before it is to late, turn to God in faith and God will save you from your sins! We don’t even know what will happen tomorrow, it is not a wise idea to delay this decision Proverbs 27:1.
For more information, for help with answers, or to inform us about a decision you have made for Christ please contact us.