I Have Good News and Bad News
The word “gospel” means “good news.” But the good news is preceded by bad news.
For a person to receive the free salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, he or she must first face the sobering reality of their own sinfulness, wickedness, and brokenness. If a person is never convinced (convicted) of their sin, they will never cry out for a Savior.
That’s why the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to first convince people of their sin (that’s the bad news), then convince them of righteousness through Jesus (that’s the good news), and then convince them that all injustices will one day be judged righteously (that’s good news for we who still live in a fallen world). See John 16:7-11.
The Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel, had a tough job. Like many of his contemporaries, Ezekiel was, in many ways, the bearer of bad news.
“The word of the Lord came to me: “And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. Now the end is upon you, and I will send my anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations.”
Ezekiel 7:1-3 ESV
We live in a culture that is resistant to taking any personal responsibility for sin or selfishness. Instead of being broken by our sin, we justify it. Instead of recognizing and confessing sin, we redefine it. Like the Old Testament people of Israel to whom Ezekiel was sent, we refuse the bad news about sin, therefore rejecting the salvation that comes from God through the Person of Jesus Christ.
We not only sin, we wear labels of pride for sinful living.
We claim to be defenders of justice, while denying the moral law that defines right and wrong.
We vehemently reject the Word of God and those who proclaim it, despite its proven historicity and validity.
We want the promises without the personal responsibility of obedience, submission, humility, and repentance.
The good news is…
- Jesus loves you no matter how bound you are in sin, pain, brokenness and pride.
- Jesus has already paid the ultimate price for your sin, by dying a brutal death for you.
- Jesus not only paid the price for your sin, He conquered Satan, giving you hope for victory.
- Jesus offers you salvation, forgiveness, and freedom.
The “bad” news is…
- Your sin must be confronted and confessed.
- Your heart must truly be broken and humbled before God.
- You must willingly bow yourself before God in repentance.
- You must receive Jesus Christ and confess Him as your Lord and Savior.
Honestly, that’s not really bad news at all. It’s only bad news to your sin nature and to the enemy of your soul. It’s actually all good news. Wonderful, redemptive, humbling, good news.
So true…thank God for his everlasting grace and mercy.