The first verse of the Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). The Bible teaches that God created everything that is, including you and me. The implications of that are huge.
If God made us, then he is ultimately in charge! He owns us and we are responsible to him. He retains full rights over us as the Designer and Creator of human life.
The Bible tells us that people were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) to enjoy a perfect relationship with him and with each other. God intended and designed the ultimate in quality and quantity of life for his people, the people he had made. Part of this ultimate relationship between God and his people included his desire to have men and women choose to love and serve him for who he is, willingly and freely.
[pullquote]1 Peter 1:16 – since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am Holy.”[/pullquote]
1 Peter 1:16 tells us that God is holy. That means that God is perfect. This verse also tells us that God requires that people be holy too. Unfortunately, from the very beginning the people that God made chose to use their freedom to please themselves instead of obeying God and being holy. The Bible calls this sin.
Because people chose to sin they forfeited their privileged position and their ultimate relationship with God ended. The Bible teaches that everybody born since Adam and Eve were born into a state of separation from God. Sin created a barrier that ruined what should have been a perfect relationship with God.
The Bible also tells us that God is just. Because he is perfectly just he cannot overlook sin. His justice requires a payment for sin.
According to passages like 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 God promises to punish sin severely and exactly.
Though God’s grace and kindness prevails during the present age, the Bible is clear that there will come a time when each person will stand before God and a payment for sin will be required. That’s what hell is all about. It is a place away from God’s kindness where people will pay for their sins that they have committed.
[pullquote]2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 – in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,[/pullquote]
Thankfully, the Bible also tells us that God is a loving God (1 John 4:8). His love for sinful and separated people God has provided a solution – a way out for people who would otherwise have no hope!
This is the “good news”.
Much like an umbrella God has provided Jesus, his own Son – God in human form – who has endured the punishment that we deserve so that we will not have to. As God, Jesus lived a perfect life for us as well as incurring the wrath of God for us while dying on a cross (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Because the umbrella is rained on there is a place beneath it that isn’t – so it is with Christ! After living the life we needed and dying the death we deserved, Jesus rose from the dead to prove to the world that sin and the penalty for sin had been adequately dealt with.
[pullquote]1 John 4:8 – Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.[/pullquote]
What Jesus has done for us is definitely good news, but it does not do us any good until we respond to it the way that God requires.
Though many believe that amassing a lifetime of good deeds will somehow earn God’s favor and forgiveness, to the contrary, the Bible says that we can acquire God’s favor and forgiveness right this moment by repenting of our sins and placing our trust in Christ (Acts 20:21).
If today you would choose to turn from your sin (1 Thessalonians 1 :9), and trust completely in what Jesus has done for you (Philippians 3:9), then God’s Spirit will place you “in Christ” and you’re guaranteed to never incur the punishment your sins deserve.
Are you ready to do that right now? If so, express to God ‘your desire to be “in Christ”, tell Him you right now turn from your sin and that you are placing your trust in what Jesus has done to save you.
[pullquote]Acts 20:21 – testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.[/pullquote]
[pullquote]1 Thessalonians 1:9 – For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,[/pullquote]
[pullquote]Philippians 3:9 – and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith[/pullquote]
[pullquote]2 Corinthians 6:1-2 – Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.[/pullquote]