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Bad news is everywhere. It dominates headlines. Our world is in a state of chaos. I think we all agree the times are trying and uncertain. The news isn’t all bad, please read through this tract to get to the good news.
What’s Going On? Mankind rebelled against God:
“in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:1-5a)
Very descriptive of the times we live, do you agree? We should not be surprised. Mankind has always been bent on evil. We inherited our sin nature from Adam.
The reason for all the bad news? We are under the curse of sin:
“for as in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22a)
“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:22)
On any given day we see struggles of a cursed earth and the humans who occupy it.
The Really Bad News
The suffering and atrocities we currently endure are not mankind’s worst news. Our spiritual condition is the greater concern. To ignore that reality is evidence of our fallen condition. Man’s fallen condition has more serious implications than any health pandemic, any war, crime wave, or economic crisis could ever have. Our souls are eternal. God is holy. He is perfect. He is righteous.
Mankind has offended God:
• We are under the curse
• We are separated from God
• We are justly condemned
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a)
The bad news isn’t just the world’s bad news. It’s bad news for every person. All of us have broken God’s law and are guilty of sin.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)
We don’t have to make headlines to be guilty. We’ve not kept God’s commands perfectly. Please answer these questions:
• Have you ever told a lie?
• Have you ever stolen anything?
• Have you ever disobeyed parents?
• Have you ever misused God’s name?
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” (James 2:10) We need to own the bad news. We’ve offended a holy God. We are under the curse of sin! We are justly condemned before God.
Here’s the Good News!
Bad news will continue dominating headlines and affect lives, but… The Good News of Jesus Christ offers hope:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus Christ was God dwelling with us in human form. He never sinned. He died for sinners. His coming is the good news that gives us hope: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteous-ness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)
Wouldn’t you agree this is good news? We have been offered forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God. We have received the message of hope in Jesus Christ.
How Can You Get in on This Good News?
You can’t simply believe great things about Jesus (John 2:23-24)
You can’t believe like demons (James 2:19)
You can’t be good enough or do enough good works (Eph. 2:8-9)
You can’t just do religious things (Matthew 7:21-23)
You must repent and believe (Mark 1:15)
You must come to Jesus! (Matthew 11:28)
You must be born again (John 3:3)
You must count the cost (Luke 14:33)
It entails agreeing on the following:
• God is holy and righteous
• God created you for His glory
• You have sinned and are guilty before Him
• God sent His Son into the world
• Sinless Christ provided a sacrifice for your sin
• Christ rose from the dead to give life to all who believe
• Crying out asking Him to forgive your sin
• Turning by faith to the finished work of Jesus
• Dying to yourself that you might live in Christ
This is nothing new, it’s the way of the Bible:
“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
“...that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
Cast yourself upon the mercy of God. He loves to save sinners! Do you believe this is the good news to save you from the bad news?
How Can You Know the Good News Is Your Good News?
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
You will exhibit characteristics of a new life :
• Love for the Lord
• Hunger for the Word of God
• Love for people
• Willingness to forgive others
• Concern for unbelievers
• Hatred for sin
• Rejoice in eternal things
• Persevering through trials
• Selflessness and generosity
• Doing everything for God’s glory
• Gratitude and humility
• Holy living
• God-centered priorities
• Compassion for hurting people
• Desire to be involved in a church
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
What Should You Do Now?
If you have turned to Christ in faith you need to seek counsel from mature Christians, submit yourself to a local church, follow Christ in baptism, and serve the Lord with all your heart.
The news isn’t all bad. Even the bad news doesn’t seem bad when you know the Lord.
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