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Good News, Bad News
“For the Lord will judge His people, and will have compassion on His servants.” Psalm 135:14

“I’ve got some bad news, and I’ve got some good news.” No doubt you’ve heard that phrase before. My best friend once said to me, “Martin, you’re throwing your life down the drain.” That sounded like bad news, but it was the truth. Fortunately, the story didn’t 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 don’t believe I’m 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 doesn’t 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 God’s 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.”