Good Tidings Of Great Joy
The Message of Jesus Christ Our Savior
and the Kingdom of God
FEAR NOT: FOR.
BEHOLD, I BRING YOU GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY,
WHICH SHALL BE TO ALL PEOPLE
thousand years ago, angels announced the birth of Jesus with the
words above. Have you ever asked yourself what
these words really mean? How can the birth of Jesus two thousand
years ago be good tidings of great joy to ALL PEOPLE when the
majority of mankind presently, as well as in the past have never
even heard of the savior?
THE WAGES OF Sin DEATH - NOT ETERNAL TORMENT
The bad news my friend, is not hell. Contrary to popular religious thought in our day, the idea that God will mercilessly torment millions for all eternity is nowhere to be found in the Bible. No, the bad news is that you are dying. You may look in the mirror today full of youth and beauty, but as sure as the sun rises and sets, you are fading; gradually, ever so slightly, everyday. Not only this, but everyone, and everything you love, or ever have loved is also dying. Your material possessions will not last no matter how much care you take to preserve them. They will eventually fall apart. But much worse, we cannot even hold on to those we love. One day they are with us, laughing, sharing our joys and sorrows, and the next they are cruelly taken from us.
You can shut your eyes to it, but one day we must face the reality that someday we will die and leave behind everything and everyone we loved. When death calls, we must forfeit everything we knew life to be.
Why are we dying? Why do we and those we love so much have to die?
God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, to live forever in joy, peace, and happiness. Man was not made to die. God intended then, and indeed still does intend for men and women to live forever, but God also gave them a choice. God gave Adam and Eve the choice between life his way, the perfect law of love, or the way of Satan; lust, selfishness, and greed. God instructed the man and woman about what he expected of them, and warned them clearly about what would happen if they chose not to obey:
That first human couple disobeyed their creator and the death sentence was passed upon them. The man and woman were forced from the garden of Eden away from the tree of life which God had lovingly provided to sustain their existence. From that moment they began to fade, and eventually died.
You have probably heard it said that "we are all God's children". It may come as a shock for you to learn that we really aren't. God directly created the first man and woman, and as such they were his children. You and I however were not created so. Every man, woman, and child on this planet are descended from that first fallen couple in the Garden of Eden. God is ultimately the author of life, but we are children of Adam and Eve. Like a disease we have inherited their fallen nature, as well as their death sentence.
Because the entire human race sprang from our fallen original parents, God has reckoned the entire race as dead. It would seem as though we are a race of men and women which are born only to die.
However, imagine for a moment that you were just diagnosed with a very serious terminal illness. You know you are going to die, and all seems bleak and hopeless. Then imagine that you meet a doctor who tells you that he can not only cure your illness, but will do so free of charge provided you follow his instructions and agree to remain in his care. Would it not be the utmost folly to reject such an offer?
God himself has
provided the cure for death and opened the way to eternal life.
Would it not be foolish to not take a moment and learn of God's offer
of eternal life?
The Good News - FOR GOD SO LOVED...
God LOVED. God loved us so much that he has already
provided for our salvation and recovery from death. The fall of Adam
and Eve in the garden of Eden did not take God by surprise. With the death
sentence God also foretold that someday the seed of the woman (Jesus
crush Satan and release mankind from the bondage of death and
For four thousand years
Adam's children had been dying, when an announcement was made by
angels to lowly shepherds:
The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem marked the fulfillment of the promise that one day God would send a savior to break mankind's bondage to sin and death. Because Adam had sold his entire race of children into sin corruption and death, mankind was in need of a ransom.
God sent his own beloved Son into the world to be a ransom for Adam's fallen race of children. Because the sin of one man, Adam, sold our race into bondage, God provided one perfect life in his own Son to buy back for us what Adam had lost. No child of Adam could ever redeem the race; God required a perfect human life as a corresponding price for that which Adam had given up.
Because Jesus was conceived of
the Holy Sprit, and born of a virgin, he was, for the first time since
Adam, a true son of God; one who could live a life of perfect
obedience to his God and Father, and thus provide the corresponding
ransom price for that which Adam had lost.
A Kingdom Is Announced
the age of 30, Jesus began his public ministry with this announcement:
Have you ever stopped to consider what this kingdom was? The Old Testament prophets had all foretold of this glorious kingdom age which the savior would usher in when he finally came.
The prophet Isaiah
described the kingdom with these words:
The kingdom was to be God's instrument in restoring mankind and the earth to the perfection which Adam and Eve had lost. Jesus was the the divinely appointed king of the kingdom. The kingdom was first offered to God's chosen people, the Jewish nation. Jesus was sent to preach exclusively to them and offer them first the Kingdom which was to spread to the uttermost parts of the earth.
The Jewish nation, however, was not prepared for Christ's message. The leaders of the Jewish nation expected the messiah to bring them freedom from political oppression, but they did not expect the message of moral obligation to God's sovereignty which Jesus preached. The leaders resented Jesus' moral demands which he made on them as a condition for inheriting the kingdom. They felt that by simply being Jews, they had a right to that kingdom, but Jesus taught otherwise.
Resentment, jealousy and pride got the best of the Jewish national leaders. When Jesus was only 33 years old they had him put to death by crucifixion. They had rejected God's king.
But like the sin of our
first parents, Israel's rejection of their King and Messiah did not
catch God by surprise. In fact, Jesus taught his faithful disciples
that his rejection must occur to fulfill prophecy. As foretold by the
Jesus was put to death. Having lived a perfect life he died to provide the ransom for the human race and to satisfy God's demand for divine justice. He died to buy back life for every man, woman, and child of the human race.
however could not hold Jesus in the tomb. Having lived a perfect life,
satisfying the demands of divine justice, and tasting death for every
man, the grave no longer had any legal right to hold him. After three
days and nights in the tomb God resurrected him. But upon his
resurrection Jesus was no longer a mortal man subject to die once
more. Instead he came forth glorious and immortal; the firstborn from
the dead into immortality, never to die again.
The Kingdom nOW
But what was to become
of the promised earthly kingdom which had been prophesied; the time in
which God would restore both mankind and the balance of nature to
perfection? Because the Jewish leaders refused to submit to Christ's
authority, Jesus told them:
But he also told his
faithful apostles shortly before he died:
The promise to inherit the coming kingdom was taken from Israel and given to those who would willingly sacrifice their own self righteousness and submit to Christ's righteousness. The entire work of the present Gospel age has been to seek out and instruct those who are to obtain the Kingdom at Christ's return; that is, obtain the right to reign with Christ. The "church" was instituted for this very purpose. Those who hear of Christ in our present age and exercise faith in his ransom sacrifice for us, are called upon to inherit his kingdom; to obtain a position of co-rulership with Christ when he sets up his earthly kingdom at his return. Much of the New Testament has been written for our instruction in order to prepare for that time.
Salvation in its most basic sense means to not lose one's life; to be rescued from sin death, and the grave and brought back to a state of perfection which Adam and Eve lost. Because of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf, he holds out salvation to anyone who will ultimately cry out to him in repentance for mercy, accepting him as Lord and Savior.
However, the present
work of the Gospel age holds out an even greater hope. We are called
to be co-heirs in Christ's kingdom and to obtain a resurrection to
immortality. This goes beyond salvation and is offered to those who
are willing to live a life of self-sacrifice and walk in the "narrow
way". Jesus himself said:
And as the
apostle Paul stated:
Night Of Sin To Terminate
It is a serious error of modern Christendom to teach that the opportunity for salvation terminates with the end of the current age. It is equally incorrect to teach that the fate of every human being is sealed at the moment of their death. It may come as a shock to many, but God is not presently trying to "save the world", nor has he yet been at any time in the past.
Ever since that fateful day when our original parents partook of that forbidden tree and plunged all of humanity into despair and ruin, God has been working out his plan of redemption to recover mankind from sin and the grave. God began by choosing one man (Abraham), and then one nation (Israel) through which the promised savior would come.
Since the coming of the
savior and his ascension to heaven, God has been choosing only those who
will reign in the Kingdom at his second advent. At no time in
the past has the message of "good tidings of great joy" been preached
to all. This work remains for a future time. As the apostle Paul
Contrary to popular belief, the second coming of Jesus does not mark the end of the world. It does however mark the end of the current age in which sin and death have reigned for so long. Jesus is coming back to take his bride (those who by a life of self sacrifice and obedience have earned the right to reign with him) and set up his kingdom. He and his faithful bride will reign over and judge all humanity. It is during this period that that the truth of the ransom, and the 'good tidings of great joy' will be preached to all .
The "good news" is that
because of the work of our Savior, under his reign, every fallen child
of Adam will eventually regain the fellowship with God and the perfection which Adam lost
for them. By the merit of Christ's ransom in which he bought back life
for humanity, even those who have died in ignorance will be
resurrected from the grave; and by judgment and instruction, ultimately
all will be saved and come to life in Jesus Christ. It is
during these glorious ages to come that God then goes about the business
of converting the world. Isaiah tells us:
However we must make no mistake about the seriousness of sin and our attitude toward the message of the Gospel now. Sin has consequences in this life, and in the age to come. We will all be made to give an account of our lives to God and will be judged according to those choices we have made in this lifetime. Those who hear of these Glad Tidings now, yet reject the message will be much more accountable to God and judged more severely, having spurned the message about Jesus Christ and the offer for eternal life. God is certainly merciful and loving, but we must understand clearly that those who treat God's offer of eternal life with contempt do so at their own peril.
To hear the life giving message about Jesus Christ and his kingdom is a tremendous privilege. God calls people to attain to immortality as Jesus himself has. God calls us to a life of righteousness and obedience and to aspire to be co-heirs and co-rulers in his kingdom. Can you think of anything more valuable? Can you think of any prospect more thrilling? What in this life could ever be worth gaining if we lose such an opportunity? My friend, God wishes to bestow upon you the greatest gift he could ever give; do not spurn His love.
God purposes to give
every man, woman, and child eternal
life. Many in this lifetime have never even heard of God's gift of
eternal life. As we
noted, Jesus Christ, by his death and resurrection has secured this
life for all of Adam's children. However, the choice
on the part of each still remains; If anyone willfully rejects
God's gift after having received a resurrection from the dead, and a
full knowledge of the truth, they will be judged accordingly being thus excluded from the blessings of the coming
glorious age of God's righteousness, the age of the ages. Hear the
words of Jesus:
A TRULY JOYOUS MESSAGE
Good tidings of great joy? Absolutely! Not only has God provided the ransom which will allow every man to be released from death and the grave, but in buying back what Adam lost he has also guaranteed that all things - even you - whether by His grace and mercy, or His judgments will be reconciled back to himself.
Too good to be true? Not if you believe in a God who loves his creation infinitely more than a parent loves their own children.
Friend, take a moment to pause and consider what great things the Lord has done for us.
If this message has stirred your heart to believe this message of glad tidings, why not pray to God and ask forgiveness for your sins, trust in the work which Jesus has accomplished in our behalf, then diligently seek out His will for your life. If you have any questions we would like to be of help in any way possible. Please let us know.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org