When you see the doctor you may hear him say after a test that he has some good news….and some bad news. No matter how hard people try to “de-Christ” Christmas it won’t be done. The truth hurts. The gospel is not good for our sins or our flesh but it is straight news. When we were under conviction it wasn’t bad news; it was truth. We were first wounded in order to be healed of our sin.
Luke 2: 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Acts 13: 32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
The Apostle Paul had not met Jesus. We’re not told that he was ever in the crowds when Jesus was around. When he heard what was happening with the Christians and the rising of Christianity he was sent by the Jewish leaders to get rid of it. Jesus turned Paul’s heart inside out taking the devil’s weapon and turning him into an apostle. He was convinced that Jesus was the very Christ. Paul saw with his heart and his face.
Paul and Barnabas were in the synagogue on the Sabbath. They listened to the rabbi and he asked if anyone had something to share—his mistake. Paul jumped up calling them men and brethren. Since Paul was a Jew he could address them as such. In less than five minutes he weaved in who the Jews were in God’s plan and how they were used to bring about salvation. He brought in hundreds of years of history from Abraham to Moses and more and tied in the scripture to show them. All of us need to be read up in the scripture and prayed up so that we can answer the questions put to us by unbelievers. The Jews knew the Old Testament scriptures but they didn’t know the God of them. Lost people want to know more than we realize.
Is there good news, glad news? Paul got the news and it put him off his horse. He said Lord, who are you? Many ask these days Lord, who are you? Where are you? Jesus told him he was the one he was persecuting. Paul was finding out it was indeed hard to kick against the pricks. He had seen the glow of God when he witnessed the stoning of Stephen. Don’t you know that pricked him? The good tidings of Luke were glad tidings to Paul. The devil wants us to think of the bad things. There is no gladness in the smiles. There seems to be a vacuum of gladness but there is still good news. The angels gave the first good news. The shepherds received it and were glad.
We’re having another Christmas. It’s been a rough year. Many of our people are gone and some are homebound that weren’t this time last year. If we focus on the weight of it all it would crush us. Paul said because it’s good news, the result makes us glad. There is no reason to complain about our salvation. Choose to be of good cheer. Let’s not just make the best of it. Take everything to the Lord. For those who are down and out, take the glad tidings. There is reason to rejoice. Paul told the Philippian church to rejoice in the Lord and followed it up by saying and again, I say rejoice. You can allow the devil to rob you of your good news but don’t do it! Let it make you glad.
You cannot beat salvation into someone. The truth does it when a person realizes he or she is lost and on the way to hell. The good news is Jesus died and rose again. Before they’ll be glad they need a taste of the good news. I was convicted of my sin and knew I’d die and go to hell but I also saw a bunch of people who had been changed. They had their life together after becoming Christians. I wanted that too. I went from bad Bob to glad Bob.
Spread the glad tidings. Just maybe when the Christmas lights are taken down our lights will still shine.