WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY?
The apostle Paul speaks of this “good news” in 1 Corinthians 15, where he states, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” The word gospel means “good news”! Paul “preached” this good news and the Corinthians had taken it as their own. What is this good news that saves people from sin and puts them in the right relationship with God? “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.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
First of all, the good news is “that Christ died for our sins” just as God had said He would. If Christ died for our sins, God obviously sees every one of us as “sinners.” Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” God is telling us that regardless of how one compares to others, he falls far short of God’s perfect standard. No one has kept God’s commandments because every person is born with a sinful nature. If Christ died for our sins, it is clear that God is a holy God that must punish sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages (payment) of sin is death.” There is no “good news” without first an honest acceptance of the “bad news” that each of us is a sinner in God’s sight deserving His judgment. If Christ died for our sins, it is clear that when Jesus Christ, God’s sinless Son, died on the cross, He did so for our sins and not His own! He took our place, our sins, our punishment. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son….” Again, 2 Corinthians 5:21 repeats, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” [emphasis added] Christ died for our sins.
Second of all, the good news is that Christ “was buried.” How is that good? That fact demonstrates the completion by Christ of the work needed on our behalf to satisfy a holy God. When Jesus Christ hung on the cross for our sins, He cried, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) What was finished? What was completed? Jesus Christ completed the only work that could satisfy the righteousness of God! There is nothing you can add to the work of Christ! You will either accept His work on your behalf or you will reject it. Jesus Himself said to a religious but lost man, “He that believeth on him [Jesus Christ] is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18) Ultimately, the only sin that can send you to hell is the sin of rejecting God’s way through Jesus Christ alone. The only righteousness that can save you is God’s own righteousness received by depending on Christ, not your own work, to save you.
Third of all, the good news is that Christ “rose again the third day.” In fact, that is the premise for all of 1 Corinthians 15! If Christ died but remained dead, there is no hope. Dependence on a Savior Who is dead would be empty. Yet, the only thing empty is the grave into which they placed Jesus Christ! Because Christ, Who died for your sin, rose again in victory over death, He is alive and will save anyone who will come to Him in faith. John 6:47 says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." Why not believe in Him right now? How? Realize that you are a sinner. Recognize that God must punish sin. Trust in Christ as the one who took your place to forgive your sin and to give you eternal life with God. The only way to deal with the “bad news” of sin is to accept the “good news” of Jesus Christ. If you will make this decision now, why not just tell the Lord about it? “God, I know that I am a sinner deserving your judgment, but I believe that Christ died for my sins, was buried, and rose again. The best I know how I trust in Him alone to forgive my sin and give me eternal life in heaven.”
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