The Good News
People have great needs and they need “good news.” This is obvious everywhere. Relationships are stressed. Families are struggling and often failing. Parents are at the end of themselves to know how to deal with children. Teens struggle with identity and self-acceptance. The rat race of trying to keep up with neighbors, colleagues, relatives and others is taxing and often overwhelming. Most people never quite find contentment, even though at times it appears like it might be “around the corner” – possibly with a new relationship, job, home, car or other purchase. Many people have deep scars and have been deeply hurt by others and by difficult life situations including losses in health and finances. There is no shortage of discontentment and strife.
A Deeper Need
These and many more needs are prevalent and painful. But there is a basic need which is the root cause of all our other needs. We need the standards, goodness, majesty and glory of God who created us to be “His image and likeness,” but we have all turned from God and His perfection to pursue our own desires and to set our own standards and seek our own glory. ”For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Of course there is a certain pleasure in seeking our own way, but these pleasures are elusive, short-lived, and deceptive. They are deceptive because they cause pain to others, but also cause loss for our selves. We are our own worst enemy.
Seeing the Need
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ encountered many people who did not, and would not, recognize this basic need. One bright and enterprising young man came to Jesus seeking “eternal life.” When Jesus challenged him to admit he was a sinner and that he needed Christ’s goodness, the man turned away because he believed he was already “good enough” and was unwilling to give up his wealth (see Mark 10:17-23; Matthew 19:16-24; Luke 18:17-25). Receiving the goodness of Christ was “too great a sacrifice” because it involved giving up on his own goodness and admitting his poverty before God. He was blind to the fact his own “goodness” and wealth would evaporate to nothing the second he died and stood before God. The tragic fact is most people turn away from Jesus because they do not want to be considered “a sinner” and don’t believe they have a need that Christ must meet for them. This is tragic since Christ cannot save those who don’t believe they need Him.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17
The Good News
In Bible times a “gospel” (or “good news”) was a public proclamation of the victory of a general or King who had defeated an enemy of his Kingdom, freed people taken captive, and who was sharing the spoils and the peace with His own people. “A Gospel” concerned the supremacy (superior power and authority) and generosity of a great leader and King.
God reveals that Jesus Christ’s life, death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead is such a “gospel.” Christ’s life showed He was God’s powerful chosen one. His death was in place of the judgment due upon sinners. It earned the victory of just forgiveness and release from prison of debt due to sin. The resurrection of Christ was God’s assurance that the power of sin was broken since the power of death was broken. It was a victory over the enemies of God where captives are set free and the peace and prosperity of God is shared with all who recognize Jesus Christ as their deliverer and king. There is no power or authority that can match that of Jesus Christ. Christ can declare a person free from sin because of His own victory over sin and the powers of evil. His authority extends from the very throne of God. The “good news” is that Christ is a conquering King who turns God’s enemies into His loyal citizens and friends.
God now offers, and requires, that all repent of self-centered resistance to God and commit themselves to Christ in faith. One day Christ will return to bring this rebellious world back under the authority of God and bring judgment on those who refuse His goodness and leadership.
This good news is the opportunity to address your greatest need – the need to bring peace between you and God and to let Him “be all in all” to you. Without Christ this peace is impossible. It is impossible for you, since you are not able to fully follow God without Christ. It is impossible for God, since He cannot overlook your sin and rebellion against Him without being unjust and denying His own standards. With Christ there is assurance of peace with God and assurance that this peace is what you need most.
Will you confess your sins and believe on Christ to save you from sin and its consequences?
“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10