For the Lord will judge His people, and will have compassion on
His servants. Psalm 135:14
Ive got some bad news, and Ive got some good news.
No doubt youve heard that phrase before. My best friend once said
to me, Martin, youre throwing your life down the drain.
That sounded like bad news, but it was the truth. Fortunately, the story
didnt end there, because there was some wonderfully good news coming.
Another name for this good news is the gospel.
This may sound strange, but bad news is an integral part of the gospel.
If I dont believe Im a sinner bound for hell (the bad news)
in desperate need of a savior, the truth that Jesus died to save me from
my sins doesnt mean anything to me. On the other hand, if I realize
that I am a sinner, but have not heard that God in His love has made provision
for me to be forgiven and become a brand new person (the good news), what
hope do I have? Unfortunately, we sometimes stop at the bad
news, never embracing the judgments of God which are always intended to
restore and deepen our relationship with Him.
Throughout the Bible, you will never see bad news being given without
good news also being offered. For example, Romans 6:23 says: For
the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord. And the entire second and third chapters
of the book of Revelation are one picture after another of Gods
judgments coupled with His gracious offer of compassion and the admonition
to repent. God in His mercy always provides a way of escape and one which
should be a great source of hope to us: the cross and repentance. The
disciples of Jesus were so depressed by the bad news of what happened
to Him on the cross, they completely forgot the good news that Jesus had
been telling them the whole time He was with them: He would be coming
back to life!
A verse from the old hymn expresses this truth so well: I will cherish
the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown.