YAY!!! oh, bummer....
What if I told you that some people who hear the good news of Jesus Christ actually think it's the bad news? When most of us hear the Good News, we are saying "YAY, that's GREAT news!" and we cannot wait to share it. But sometimes when someone hears this message for the first time, even if they were raised "in church," it can sound like anything but good.
We all get mixed messages from media, from family and from friends regarding death, heaven and hell. I grew up most of my life believing in God, believing that Jesus was crucified, died and was resurrected, but also believing that if I was a generally good girl, I would go to heaven. I could see my dad and grandparents and meet the big guy with the flowing robes and long white beard. (God, not the winter warlock!)
Daily decisions, activities and habits are much less stressful and require less discernment when we adopt the "I'm basically a good person" , "I didn't kill anyone" theology. Forging our own path with our own desires and visions usually starts out amazingly well, but without God directing our journey, we fall victim to worldly selfishness. While we may gain wealth here, we do not secure a heavenly future.
So, here is a condensed version of the Good News....
God created man. Man sinned against God. God required sacrifices be made at an altar to appease Him so that they were forgiven. The Old Testament spoke of a Savior, one who would be the ultimate and final sacrifice, who would save his people. God sent Him, Jesus Christ, to walk among us, to die a painful death by crucifixion, and to be resurrected. It was all God's plan to save us. It IS good news. He loves us that much!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
So when you hear this good news and it sounds like judgmental bad news, I pray that these truths will change your mind....
1-God takes us as we are, where we are. We don't need to clean up and make ourselves presentable first. He does that. We just say yes to His invitation.
2-We are all dying, not passing away. DYING! It is unpleasant but you can't sugar coat it. So, making a decision to follow Jesus and have a heavenly eternity, for me is just about the only thing going. It's just smart!
3-We have hope in Jesus and can take that hope to others. We've all been broken and damaged, but Jesus is the great physician. Let Him heal you and then offer that same hope to everyone you meet.
4- We all have a God shaped hole in our hearts.As soon as we put Him in the center of EVERYTHING, where he belongs, life becomes worth living. Not easy, but worth it.
Father, I pray that whoever stumbles across this post today is compelled to call out to you, to ask you into their heart and to become a follower of Jesus Christ. Father, fill them with your Holy Spirit and guide them to a Bible believing church.Thank you for the gift of life,now and forever. AMEN