The Good News
By Scott P. Bushey
First the bad news………………….
Genesis chapter 2 says:
Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Simple enough huh? “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it”.
But it was not so simple as the next passage shows.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Here you have the biblical example of sin entering the world. Father Adam and his wife Eve rebelling against the word of God, doing their own thing and committing sin.
Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Gen 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Gen 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;
Man’s position in God, status post their fall, to sin.
Ever since this “fall” from righteousness, man has lived under the condemnation of sin. Adam and Eve’s sin has been generationally passed along to all their descendants All mankind has been made “unrighteous” in the eyes of God from this event.
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
This disease spread to everyone. It went to the root of their being; right to their soul. Everything about their nature had been stained. Men hated righteousness and loved sin. They had literally become “servants of sin”.
Rom 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Isa 59:3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
Isa 59:4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Gen 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,
All have sinned! There is no way escaping this fact.
You might be thinking, “Okay Scott, Hold the presses, what is sin? Your definition is not my definition.”
Sin is any transgression against the law of God!
The Ten Commandments:
Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Exo 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Exo 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.
Exo 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
You may say, “I don’t believe in those commands!” Thats fine; You don’t have to believe in them, but on that last day, the Day of the Lord, that is exactly what you will be judged against. Surely it will not be based on a scale of right vs wrong or your personal definition of morality. You are not God. You do not make up the rules; You can surely redefine the rules, but that doesn’t change anything eternally; yes, you can let time playout in this life as you see fit, which is what most people do, but in the end, that will only come back to bite you in the butt.
My friend, have you broken any of these commands above that are mentioned in the passage I posted?
Would you not agree that the violation of any of these commandments require a penalty.
Example: Are you upset when you are caught speeding down the street and given a traffic ticket? yes? Why? Better yet, who are you upset with? Yourself? Thats reasonable; You are responsible for the ticket; you actually have purchased it by going against the law of the land and being rebellious. You have absolutely no right in chiding the ticketing officer for the result. It was your fault and now you must pay the piper. In the same way, sin infractions must be punished.
Who is God?
Example: You get 1 speeding ticket per week for 3 months. Will the judge not take away your license to drive? What judge in any land will not issue judgement where judgement is due? There is no such place; it is a fantasy of your imagination. You say, “The god I know, is gentle and forgiving; he does not condemn!” My reply to that is, the god that you worship is also a component of the same fantasy stated above. This god is not the God of the scriptures. The God of the scriptures MUST have payment for offences brought against His law, if not, it would totally go against Gods character and hence, he would cease being God. God is loving, but He must punish sin.
Exo 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
Deu 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
Deu 10:18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow,
Psa 9:7 But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
Psa 9:8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
Psa 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
Isa 5:16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Isa 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
2 Pet 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Rev 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come:
Rev 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Judgement will surely be administered.
If you are gulty of breaking any of these commands, you are destined to the fires of Hell. Because of the sin of Adam and the intrinsic propensity to continue in the same rebellion. All men, before even being born, are on a slippery slope heading directly toward the mouth of God’s Hell.
You say, “I don’t believe in Hell”. My answer to this bold comment is just as bold. Whether you believe in Hell or not is essentially irrelevent. Hell is real and without a solution to your dire situation, you will eventually find yourself there.
Let us look at some of the biblical references in regards to Hell.
Hell is a deep pit!
Job 11:8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
Hell is a large place; it holds many unrepentant sinners:
Prov 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full;
Isa 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
There is NO COMFORT there!
Ezek 31:16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
Jesus says of Hell:
There is FIRE there!
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell FIRE.
Mark 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
There is DAMNATION in Hell!
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.
Adam and Eve sinned
Based upon the above, all have therefore sinned
Sin requires judgement
Judgement requires payment
Payment for sin?
You ask, “How can I pay for my sin? I don’t want to go to Hell!
Since the beginning of time, God made it very clear in how payment for sin was to be satisfied. God required that a sacrifice be made to Him. This was typically done by the slaying of an animal. This sacrifice was called “an atonement”. It did not bring forgiveness, only a covering for the sin, i.e. “your account is covered”.
Heb 9:7 But only the high priest goes into the Most Holy Place, and only once a year, and always with blood, which he offers to God to cover his own sins and the sins the people have committed in ignorance.
Exo 30:10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.
Lev 16:34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year.
In A.D. 70, the sacrificial system was monopolized. The temple was destroyed and the Jews were left with no place to sacrifice for their sins. You see, the temple was the specific, designated place for the offerings to be made. No temple, no covering. This caused a major problem in the Judaic plan. What were the priests to do? If you take the Yankee’s out of New York, are they still the New York Yankee’s? If you take their bats and gloves away, can they still function as a baseball team? Absolutely not and to think otherwise is silly at best.
Who was this man Jesus?
Jesus claimed to be God; He implied that He and His Father were ONE (The same). This claim infuriated the Jewish leaders to the point that they felt it was worthy of “stoning” Jesus.
Jesus said that He was the WAY, a GATE, the LIGHT. John the Baptist called Him the LAMB of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Born of the Holy Spirit . Brought forth from a vigin:
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isa 7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Luke 1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luke 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
He was a lowly carpenter…..
Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon?
Jesus claimed :
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him 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.
Jesus was God incarnate:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
John 15:23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Jesus stated that his future was providentially decreed:
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mat 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
It was to be a cruel, painful event:
Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus was to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of His people.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Christ lived his whole life with the same trials and temptations as you or i, yet never sinned. This sacrifice to God the father was to be perfect, final, and perpetual!
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Since the temple is destroyed and the destruction rendered the sacrificial system “obsolete”, how will you pay for the sins you have accumulated thus far?
Example: I am 45 years old. If I was to have sinned just once, every day of my life up till now, I would have how many sins on my account?
365 x 45= 16,425 sins!
Now, to be realistic with you, I sin much more than once daily. We all do! God will not let one sin go unpunished.
The Good News!
Christ is the answer!
Even though, we have just done “the math”, Salvation cannot be worked out in the same manner. You cannot work it out in your mind. You cannot beset a plan in order to make it to Heaven. Christ promises to save all those who come to Him!
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
23Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Salvation is only through Christ!
John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
God has given men to the Son!
John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
John 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Many believed, yet their hearts were wrong. They were in it for the goodies alone. Jesus is omnicient; he knew their motives. Belief is not always a litmus test for salvation.
James 2:19 ……….the devils also believe, and tremble.
The demons BELIEVE, yet they will not get to Heaven.
Belief unto salvation must be a belief that is spawned by the regenerative, miraculous power of God. The belief I have in Abraham Lincoln or George Washington in totally different.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (The Greek word for *again* is “anothen”, which is defined as being ‘Born from above”.)
John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Mat 17:22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.
As earlier aluded to, the Levitical priests were the only ones allowed to make the sacrificial offerings of the people of Israel. It had to be someone of the tribe of Levi. God had seperated this tribe devinely for this purpose alone. Having said this, for Christ to offer Himself as sacrifice, He would also need to hold the office of priest. In regard to this subject, the scriptures say:
Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
Heb 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Christ was surely a priest (forever) and His sacrifice was perfect! He was without spot or blemish.
1 Pet 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1 Pet 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified.
John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
Crucifixions are horendous. They are one of the most cruelest punishments. It would not be allowed today; it would be seen as “inhumane’, yet for the sake of the world, for the sake of the elect, Christ endured.
John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
John 19:15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
John 19:16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
John 19:17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
John 19:18 Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
John 19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
You may be thinking, “Well what must I do to be saved then?”
You must pray to God that he will have mercy on your soul and save you from your eternal destiny of hell. You must be born again by the power of God or you will perish much like the people of Noah’s day. That single flood wiped out all life as Noah knew it. God is under no obligation to save anyone, so you must seek him fervently that he would render grace towards you and lift you out of your life of mire. This persistance, the holy hounding of God, shows that you believe that Christ is Lord. That he was crucified for the sins of His people. Surely his sacrifice was the full propitiation for all sin in the world, but only effectual to them who are of His elect; to them who believe.
Look at this story from the gospels. It presents an excellent example of persistance.
Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mat 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs.
Mat 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Notice that Christ told this woman emphatically that he had only come to the house of Israel, yet her persistance paid off. This is an excellent example. You must seek after Christ as this woman did; feverishly. Possibly the Lord Jesus Christ will allow you to repent, allow you to believe. Possibly, He will grant you the gift of grace and save you from your inevitable demise.
Jesus Himself said, ” Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
God has called you to believe in the Gospel, to repent of your sins and to accept Jesus as the Lord of your life. The truth is that all men will one day bow before His power and majesty; the question remains, will you bow before Him as adversary or son?
“……..today is the day of salvation.”
2 Cor 6:2
Do not any longer neglect that which is life or death. Call on the Lord and be saved now!
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.