The Gospel (Good News) is Two-Thirds Bad News
By David J. Stewart | November 2012
1st Corinthians 15:1,3-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you... For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself had many enemies. They degraded Him and continually tried to defame and discredit Him. Eventually they succeeded in falsely accusing Him and instigating a hateful lynch mob against Him. They cried out for Barabbas (a murderer) to be released, but they cried even louder for the Son of God, the Messiah, to be crucified. And so it was. Little did they know that it was all part of God's divine plan. Never underestimate God's hand of power my friend. When your enemies seem to be triumphing over you, so also did they the Savior Himself, but it brought about the salvation of the human race.
Remember that two-thirds of the gospel (i.e., the good news) is bad news, that is, Jesus died and was buried. That's very sad and depressing news. Jesus' disciples were heart-broken and very sad when Jesus died and was buried. All hope seemed gone. They were devastated that their friend, master and mentor was gone. But then Jesus raised up from the dead and joy flooded their souls. It was the best news in the world! So remember this truth my friends... what may seem like death and the end of the world to us, may just be God's way of breaking a new dawn of incredible blessing with lasting eternal significance. The important thing is to fear, trust and obey God (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 warn that there is a false way which seems right to a man, but the end is death. Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Catholicism's end is death! Oh to God that Roman Catholics would stop listening to their evil, lying, priests and instead search the Scriptures and obey the commandments of Christ. Catholics are so afraid of going against their family traditions that they are going straight to Hell in their lack of faith. They are faithless (what the Bible calls, “fearful” in Revelation 21:8), who “...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” A demon's favorite activity is making an unsaved religious person feel saved.
This is why Proverbs 3:5-7 tell us to trust the Lord and NOT to lean unto our own understanding. We are told to acknowledge (seek) God in all our ways, that is, to seek His opinion in every matter from the Bible. God sees the things that we cannot see (the entire picture). I don't always see eye-to-eye with God. That is, I don't always agree with the Bible; but I trust Him anyway and obey what He has commanded because I know He is just, holy and righteous in every way. Jesus commanded us to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES (John 5:39). Proverbs 14:14 says that the backslider in heart shall be filled with HIS OWN WAYS. Instead, the Bible tells us to seek out GOD'S WAYS, which includes thinking about the needs of OTHERS (Philippians 2:4), which is the MIND OF CHRIST (Philippians 2:5).
Luke 8:14 speaks of the parable of the seeds which were CHOKED by the cares, riches and pleasures of life. This is where most believers have failed in their Christian walk, getting side-tracked by life's worries, concerns, marriage problems, bills, repairs, shallow pursuits and hobbies. Luke 8:15 are the seeds that bring forth much fruit. These seeds are the soul-winners, who have an honest and good heart the Bible says, because God's Spirit is controlling them instead of the wicked flesh. Galatians 5:16 and 25, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. ... If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” In other words, if you're saved, then you have God's Holy Spirit living within your body (Romans 8:9); so walk in His Spirit by obeying the Words of God (Matthew 4:4).
2nd Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” That's the key for success in the Christian life my friend, that is, bringing every thought into captivity unto obedience to Christ. It is more than mere mind-control (which means that we still control our self); but rather, it means being Spirit-led with the mind of Christ. It means allowing Christ's mind to dwell in us through knowledge of the Scriptures...
- Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
2nd Corinthians 4:16, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
Ephesians 4:23, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
Notice carefully how the Bible keeps repeating the teaching to renew our mind with the Word of God. There's no secret to the Christian life. Romans 10:17 plainly teaches that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. This is why the Devil hates Christian education, where everything is presented from a Biblical perspective with God as the Creator.
God Usually Works In Mysterious Ways
Pastor Lee Roberson's (1909-2007) favorite Scripture from the Word of God is Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” If you are a born-again Christian, this means you. God is simply saying that He has a purpose for every believer, which He works in every believer's life (usually in ways totally beyond our recognition or grasp). Ephesians 1:11 and 3:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. ... According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
If you are saved, then God has a predetermined purpose for your life and mine, according to His will. Isn't that wonderful to know! Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Romans 8:28 doesn't say that all things will BE GOOD; but rather, that all things will work together FOR GOOD. God can take the lemons in our life and make lemonade with them, as only God can do. The wicked have no claim to anything, because the Lake of Fire is the only future they can expect once they die in their sins and unbelief (John 8:24; Revelation 20:11-15; 2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9).
God is an awesome God Who works in mysterious ways that Isaiah 55:8-9 teach are as far beyond our understanding. The Bible says that as high as the heavens (plural) are above the earth, that's how much higher God's ways are than our ways. Alpha Centauri (the nearest star to our earth next to our own solar system's sun. Alpha Centauri is 26,400,000,000,000 miles (4.6 light years) away!!! Our own earth's sun is 93,000,000 miles away! That's how different God's ways are than ours; yet our beautiful and precious God chose to live within our body in the form of a Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit. Listen to what Jesus promised in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” This passage of Scripture speaks about getting saved.
Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” God lives in me! Wow, what a humbling thought! I have the God of the universe living inside my body, because that's how close He wanted to be with each and every believer. 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
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