The Bible says in Proverbs 20:6 that “Most men will proclaim everyone his own goodness…” that means when you witness to someone and ask them if they think that they are a pretty good person, most everyone will say yes. I have not met a person yet who said no. So then I will say, let’s just take you through the “Good Test” then to see if you really are a good person. I will ask them, have you ever told a lie before? And they’ll say, “Yes.” Then I’ll say, so what does that make you? What do you call someone who tells lies? And they’ll say, “A liar.” Have you ever stolen anything before irrespective of its value? Whether it’s $0.50 from your mom’s purse or borrowed $5.00 from someone and forgot to pay them back? And they’ll say, “Well, yeah I guess” and then I’ll say, so what does that make you? And they will say, “A thief.”
I would respond, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and number 7 of those Ten Commandment says “Thou shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20), but Jesus came along and intensified that Law in grace and said that even if you look upon a man or a woman to lust after them, you have already committed adultery with them in your heart (Matthew 5:28). Then I’ll say, have you ever looked at a man or woman in lust? And they’ll say, “Yes.” So by your own admission, I am not judging you, you have admitted to being a liar, thief, and an adulterer at heart. So when you die and stand before God on Judgment Day, where do you think He should send you? Heaven or Hell? And they’ll say, “Heaven.” Well, why is that? And they’ll say, “Well because I’ve been told that God is a loving God, and He’ll forgive my sins.”
Try that in a court of law.
Let’s say that someone raped your sister, burned down your house, and stole your car and then stood in front of the judge and said, “I know that I am guilty of all these things, but I have been told by many people that you are a loving judge, and I believe that you’ll just forgive me of my crimes.” What if the judge said, “You know, you’re right. I am a loving judge, so I think I’ll just overlook your crimes. You are free to go.” Would that be a good judge? Of course not, he would be a bad judge. A good judge and a loving judge will not overlook a person’s crimes. A good judge will bring down justice upon their crimes. In fact, it is because the judge is loving that he must punish evil doers. And you and I are evildoers.
In the same way, it is because God is loving and because God is good, and because God is just, that He must punish evildoers who violate His Law and commit crimes against Heaven. Isaiah 13:11 says, “And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity…” Only an unloving judge would overlook crime and let criminals off scot-free. A criminal deserves to be punished and so should you and me, but the good news is that Christ stepped in and paid the price for our crimes against God and His Law by spilling His own blood and dying on the cross for our sins. That is why the Gospel is called “Good News.” The Law showed us our transgressions and proved that we are the guilty criminals. Rightful Judgment comes down upon us, the guilty criminal, and justly gives us the sentence of death and hell. But the good news of the Gospel is this, Jesus Christ stepped in between the wrath of God and us and took our punishment upon Himself and made a way for us to escape Judgment and be forgiven through His death on the cross and the atonement of His own blood. Leviticus 17:11 says, “…it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
The Bible says in Romans 5:8 that “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” But until you are made to see your guilty state, you will never see your sin against God or your need for a savior. If I gave you a vial of medicine and said that I sold all that I had, every possession in the world for you to have this, you would say, that’s great, but I’m not sick. However, if you had just been told that you have only days to live because of a vicious disease that was destroying your body and then after receiving the diagnosis and the surety of death, then I came in and told you I sold all I had for you to have the cure, then you would be overjoyed because of the good news of receiving the cure that would save your life, and accept the cure willingly and gratefully.
In the same way, the fact that Jesus Christ suffered and died for you on the cross will not mean anything to you (Just like the man who did not think he was sick) until you are made to see your true sinful state a sentence of death because of it. For the Gospel to make sense it must be delivered in the order it was intended:
- Law – Taking you through the Ten Commandments
- Judgment – The punishment you deserve which is death and hell for breaking those commandments
- Mercy – Christ stepping in and paying the price for your crimes or sin against God for transgressing His Law (I John 3:4)
- Faith – Which is the faith of the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you (Galatians 2:20) and putting that faith and your trust in the blood and merits of Jesus Christ and Christ alone to save you.
This is how you win a person to Christ, and this is the heart of the Gospel message. That is what truly makes it “Good News.” So, how did you do? Did you pass the “Good Test”? If not, it is time to repent, get right with God, and trust in the merits and blood of Jesus Christ to save you from your sins.
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