Wednesday, May 01, 2013

What's So Good About The Good News?

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. — 2 Timothy 1:8–11 (NASB95)
The primary reason the majority of kids from Christian homes stray from the faith is that they never really heard it or had it to begin with …. Scratch the surface of the faith of the young people around you and you'll find a disturbing deficiency of understanding of even the most basic tenets of Christianity. – Elyse Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace (Crossway, 2011), pp. 18-19
Imagine that. Kids grow up in Christian homes, go to church, and all looks well. The problem, however, is that they never get the gospel. They don’t understand their own problem of sin, and they don’t understand how forgiveness and eternal life are grounded in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.

Years ago, I talked with a lady whose children were at that age where they were beginning to think about being baptized. She asked me what I thought about it. I said, “Do they know why they should be baptized?” She looked at me for a moment then said, “What do you mean?” I replied, “Do they understand that baptism is related to their faith in Jesus to take away their sins by his death and resurrection.” She paused another moment and said, “What do you mean ‘take away their sins?’” I had an idea were were headed for a troubling conversation. I said, “Do they understand that to be saved, first means they’re lost because of their sins?” She absolutely looked stunned. “Oh, I would never tell them anything like that!” she said.

And that’s the problem. It’s often hard for parents to think of their children as lost. Do they misbehave? Do they sometimes act up? Do they always mind? Well, even parents will usually admit that their little darlings aren’t prefect. But sinners? That’s a different matter.

Yes it is. You see Jesus came to save the lost. He came as a physician to the sick, not to those who have no need of a doctor. Salvation is for the sin-sick, lost soul. Only they really understand what’s so good about the good news.