TODAY’S SCRIPTURE 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
You know the saying, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?” By definition, if there is good news then there is also bad news. The existence of good news implies that there is a need for such news, and if we need the good news, then what is there that is by nature currently not good? The first century Hebrews spent centuries waiting for the good news. In their language, the word we have come to know as gospel literally referred to the announcement of the saving power of God.
In modern society the idea of being saved is difficult to accept. Manmade religions have watered down the message of the cross in such a way that billions find themselves trusting in the words and thoughts of other human beings in regard to their spiritual status. Many have convinced themselves that there is nothing from which to be saved. Others have fallen under the spell that teaches that God is good and will take care of everything, so don’t worry about it. Even more believe in the existence of some kind of moral balance scale in which good actions must outweigh the bad in order to please God. Because of these prevalent worldviews, even among so-called Christian communities, it is often necessary to announce the bad news in order for people to accept the good news. The more we choose to leave behind the message of our Creator, the further away we are from understanding and accepting the Gospel. The bad news is simply this: We are separated from God. There is an eternal destiny for all such people. There are even many earthly consequences when we make choices that are not in alignment with God’s will for us. In the end, both the good news and the bad news can be summed up in this statement: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Today, I will…prepare myself to lovingly and tactfully share the bad news with those who must hear it in order to accept the good news. I will consider in my preparation the holiness of God’s nature and His incompatibility with sin (See Revelation 4:8; Habakkuk 1:13; Isaiah 59:1-2; Acts 17:30-31).