Summary: The angel declared good news to the terrified shepherds, the Savior is born!
Good News in a Bad News World
Pastor Don Jones
I can always count on two truths in life. The most important is, Jesus is my Savior and Lord and it is He who will never leave nor forsake me. Nothing, as Romans 8:38-39 says, will separate me from Him.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The second is simply this, and you may argue the point later, if I read or watch the news, I will walk away inundated with bad news. Why, because we live in a fallen sinful world that will never get better, only worse. Death, sickness, crime, wars, poverty, unmentionable acts of depravity seem to occur daily and thanks to twenty four hour news you can see it in you den or living room any time you want.
I was astonished at the barbaric pushing and shoving that took place to get the latest video game, PS III. Individuals began pushing, shoving, stepping over fallen people so that the graphics on their game would be better. Unbelievable, I am sure they weren’t getting it for a present to someone else.
A Personal Invitation
Well, there’s the bad news. But I want to share some good news with you today. It is found in Luke 2:8-20.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The first thing I want you to notice is the recipient of the good news. Look at the "you(s)" in the verses. I noticed four you(s) in these verses. Listen for a moment to three of them. "I bring you good news of great joy." "There has been born for you a savior." "This will be a sign for you."
In our bad news world here is some good news for you. Just think about it, God has some news for you. That beats a text message or voice mail any day. "For God so loved the world". How about making it personal? It would read, "For God so loved you, that if you believe in Him you will not perish but have everlasting life".
The book we call the Bible is God’s personal letter to you. When Jesus was born, you received great news that will bring great joy. Jesus is God’s personal savior just for you.
I am absolutely convinced that if you were the only person in all eternity to receive Jesus as your Lord and savior, He would have still sent this personal, precious gift to you.
A Universal Invitation
Not only is it a personal invitation, it is to all the people. The personal invitation is for everyone. No one is excluded. That is why it says, for God so loved the "world". The gift of His Son is for everyone. It doesn’t make any difference what color, sex, problems, or previous way of life you have had, Jesus wants you to come to Him by repentance and faith.
I sat with a young man before service last week. I had been talking with him for about a month sharing God’s word concerning salvation. I gave him all of the counsel and finally gave him a great tract that had scriptures concerning salvation, baptism, church membership, God’s Word, etc. I told him to see me next week or call and I would help him. He came back the next Sunday excited and I asked him if he was ready to publicly profess Christ as Lord. He said no, because he hadn’t quite yet finished reading, you guessed it, the whole Bible.
I explained to him that Jesus wants him now, warts and all. I also explained that as he grows inn the grace relationship he will become over time more like Christ. At that moment the light came on, the smile beamed across his face, and he was ready to follow the Lord no matter what. He is being baptized Wednesday.
An Everlasting Joy
In our bad news world here is some good news for you. These angels did not come to bring a message of God’s judgment and punishment on the sins of Israel. The message was good news of great joy.