We rejoice always in the good news of the resurrection of Jesus following his death for our salvation.
We rejoice in this amazing grace not just once a year but continually.
But it seems that it is only good news to those who recognise their need of salvation and the merciful redemption of Jesus.
It is good news only to us who understand and feel Jesus’ assessment of our horrible condition which required such momentous events such as God sending his Son and then the killing of the Jewish Messiah and his wondrous raising from the regions of nethergloom.
It is obvious to us, but solely through the grace of the Lord and the work of the Holy Spirit and so we have believed in Jesus and his work on the cross.
But to the sea of paganism and unbelief around us and the almost monolithic habit of ignoring God the Father and His wonderful love for us here in Aussie land, it is not good news.
It is a nuisance, even an offence. Often anger is expressed or a resentment held against God when an attempt is made to point out that we are all under the judgment of God and will have to give an account.
There can be no excuse for ignoring the one who made us and sustains us.
Two days ago I spoke to Jo, a checkout lady, all smiles. And her friendly and cheery manner changed dramatically to anger when in answer to her question about the cheating cricketers, I said that cheating and deception is endemic in our culture (‘everyone does it’) but we will all face a future judgment by our loving Creator.
As far back as 1940, C. S. Lewis observed in his classic The Problem of Pain, that in modern times a recovery of the sense of corruption and badness, the illusion of “I’m good enough” or “better than that person”, and the horror of deserving judgment, is essential.
In the time of Jesus, the Gospel had a more immediate application amid the recognition by people of the dominance of darkness and hopelessness and the sense of shame and failure: “what must I do to be saved?”
How much more do we need to see the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in our day and in our society without which I feel our efforts are in vain.
Miracles are essential, especially the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit to open the hearts and minds enslaved and blinded by the god of this world.
Walking in the Spirit is called for if the people we approach with good news will have a prior consciousness of sin and the awful condition they are in: slavery, blindness, deafness, hypocrisy, given over to serving self and the denial of shame and guilt.
How impossible it is for anyone to come to Jesus “unless the Father who sent me draws him”. John 6:44, 65.
Yet “with God nothing is impossible”.
Rejoicing with you all in the good news that HE LIVES and he lives in us.
Thanks Michael. Let us persevere until we can no longer. He will win and He will have His people.And there will be ‘no more ‘I’ or ‘me, me’ but Jesus, and yet we shall ourselves in Him be more alive, more lit up, more full, satisfied, than ever before. More than we can imagine now.
Ian, a timely post for a society that feels it blasphemous to be said that God will judge us. How dare he. Yesterday, Sally and I went for a walk to share the Gospel at Easter. Two people, one from Nepal who was willing to listen and receive prayer and went away quite uplifted and with our number. The other a local retired Catholic teacher, who in bitter tones, denied the existence of God and an afterlife, or that Jesus is Lord. Her understanding of the simple Gospel, so twisted and yet she vilified us for suggesting an alternative, unwilling to hear anything different.
My great fear is that God often allows it to get a lot worse before he begins to turn people’s hearts towards him. Meanwhile we seek the few that are willing to hear. As a nation, we need to be broken before God. Thankfully though, he has provided us with a real solution, his dear Son.
Much of which points to the need for us to find PoP who are receptive & responsive, and that includes sharing that Good News to ascertain their reaction. However, that may often also include our sadness at the frequent rejection or just ‘I’ll think about it’.
Thanks, Ian, and blessings at this memorable time,
Thanks Brian. Perhaps we don’t have to look for that special person who is receptive and responsive, now since the advent of the New Covenant in which He has promised to lead us as He did the first believers after the coming of the Holy Spirit? Maybe He calls us to look rather to the ascended King and His Spirit to lead us as we see in Acts with Peter, Stephen, Phillip, Ananias of Damascus, and Paul?
That’s as I see it new, but maybe I am in error?