IT’S GOOD NEWS

2 02 2017

good-news1

The Gospel is so much more than just quickly repeating some words verbatim so that you don’t go to hell! It must not be reduced to nothing more than fulfilling rituals and routines which may or may not bring you closer to God. It is not just pray this prayer as much as it is about pledging your allegiance to Jesus as your Savior and Lord. In the Letter to the Romans 10:9-10, Paul writes the following, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Notice it never says anything about only giving mental assent to principles of theology. It has everything to do with connecting with your heart. I have learned that whoever has your heart also defines your behavior.  

Christianity is not just about getting your ticket punched to Paradise. Faith is actually about pursuing a personal relationship with the Rescuer himself.  

 Paradise is not a Place but a Person. What good is it to be rescued but never redeemed? There is nothing in itself that makes “forgiveness of sins” good news. Being forgiven is good news only if it leads to a reformed behavior. You could actually walk out of a courtroom innocent of a crime and still get killed on the street. What good is it if a Lifeguard rescued you from drowning only so you could go on later to kill a car full of teenagers because you were driving drunk? What do we really receive when we surrender our lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord? The answer is a forever relationship with Jesus that begins the moment we receive Him as our King. We are destined to not only let Jesus save us from drowning in a sea of our sin; we also fall head over heels in love with the Lifeguard!

 Jesus Christ is not merely the means of our rescue from damnation; he is the One who redeems us so that we may become the authentic people God designed us to be. He is salvation itself. If he is not launched to the number one spot in our hearts and souls, then there really is no salvation at all. Conversion is not so much rooted in being informed as much as it is necessary to be transformed. Jesus is not merely the rope that pulls us from the threatening waves. Jesus is the solid rock under our feet, and the air in our lungs, and the beat of our heart, and the warm sun on our skin, and the song in our ears, and the encouraging embrace of our beloved. Knowing Jesus is not for later on after we die and go to glory. Our eternal life begins now! The apostle John defined it this way in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” This verse has nothing to do with the quantity of our days. It has everything to do with the quality of what we say and do within those days.

 Religion is us trying to get to God. The Gospel is how God reached out to us when we couldn’t have cared less about spirituality. Religion majors on labels and outer signs of conformity. The Gospel zeroes in on the one to one aspect between us and God and how we must all decide what are we going to do with the Jesus who lived and died and on the third day, rose again. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of Jesus being who he said he was and is. You can debate philosophy from now until the cows come home but history is another matter. If Jesus really is who he said he is then what are you going to do with that truth? Don’t tell me that he is a good teacher if you have no intentions of following his teaching. Don’t hide behind the legend and folklore myth if you aren’t brave enough to admit that the only reason you have walked away from following Jesus is because your pride won’t put your own ego aside. I don’t care what denomination you fall into if you don’t believe the news. It matters not what version of the Bible you may carry around if you won’t listen and obey the power in the pages. If Jesus is who he said he is and you walked away willingly then someday you might have a whole lot of explaining to do when the Lord asks you point blank why you closed your life to him.

 Jesus never led a person to himself the same way twice. He didn’t have a cookie cutter system. He didn’t use the shout at people from heaven approach and see if it sticks. The other day I was on the roof of the Lighthouse Church with a bullhorn to make a point. I was shouting at passing cars telling them that Jesus loved them and that they should pull in to the parking lot. Let’s just say that while I could technically say I was preaching the Good News, it wasn’t the best avenue to take to get the message across. God left heaven and came to earth. Jesus met us face to face. He knew our backstory and ministered accordingly. Maybe the Church needs to listen as much as they talk. Maybe before we start telling others that God loves them, we need to be willing to love them too. This isn’t about mass communication as much as it is about heart to heart connection. What if we asked God daily to open a door so we might open our mouth and he might open another’s heart to believe the greatest front page headline story ever?

 It’s Good News! No excuses now and before you close your eyes and walk away in ignorance, will you at least be willing to give Jesus an honest look? What if the Bible is true? What if God has a destiny far bigger and better than the one you cooked up for yourself? What are you so afraid of that you won’t at least examine the evidence and come to your own conclusion? Don’t jump a head to the result before you have done your homework. The Kingdom of God is the only governmental system that will still be standing when all others have failed and fallen. What if you started to simply believe and follow Jesus? The next move is yours. Choose wisely!    

 


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