Summary: The message of hope. Christ message is good news to those that are looking for a savior and respond to Christ.
Hearing the Good News of God
Like Harold and Lorraine read for us this morning, today, we begin the Advent season.
They are the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. It is marked by lighting the Advent candles that symbolizes hope, peace, joy, love of God.
The very things that people need the most, and are the things that people struggle the most to have and hold unto.
Advent is a time to be prepared for the celebration of Jesus coming as the Christ child and having a heart of expectation that God would accomplish all that He said He would.
Two passages that will serve as our text this morning
Luke 2:8-10 (From Bible)
“And there were shepherds living out in their fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night, and angel of the Lord appears 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.”
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me. I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel. Then John gave this testimony: I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water, told me. The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. I have seen, and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
I don’t know about you – if I am a shepherd working the fields late at night and the sky lights up and an angelic person appears, I would be terrified also! There had to be a holy hush at that time. Shepherds can’t talk because of fear and then the angel says “Do not be afraid” I bring you good news of great joy for all the people.
If we are really going to grasp the Christmas season, if you are really going to prepare yourselves, I think we need to look at the words of the angel- “I bring you good news of great joy for the people.”
Little did they know that moments before Jesus had been born in a stable.
Little did they know that moments before an angel appeared to a scared Zachariah that his wife and him would give birth to the messenger of God John the Baptist.
Angel of God showing up telling them not to be afraid, that they were bringing good news.
The Gospel is “The Good News”
“Adventus” Latin word meaning “Coming” Jesus is the coming Good News.
Listen a moment as I try to explain this-
Origin of the Gospel is God- God’s idea to send Jesus.
The proof of the Gospel is found in Scriptures. He foretold it.
The substance of the Gospel is Jesus Christ- No Good News without Jesus.
The purpose is to bring honor and glory to God.
To believers, we know that Jesus Christ is good news, but we also know that Jesus Christ is not going to be good news to those that reject his coming as savior by not accepting what He has done.
Religion says if we obey God, He will love us.
The Gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus that we can obey.
Religion says the world is filled with good people and bad people.
The gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.
Religion says trust in what you do as good and moral.
The gospel says that you must trust in the perfectly sinless life of Jesus Christ.
Religion is about what I have to do.
Gospel is what I get to do.
Religion is about me.
The gospel is about Jesus.
Religion ends in pride. Gospel ends in humble joy because of the power of Jesus at work in us.
Those shepherds that night were given a chance for life change.
They went from darkness to light!
Remember as a child being afraid of the dark? Your imagination gets carried away and you see all kinds of monsters and hear all kinds of noises. Monsters are under the bed, in the closet, and in the attic. Fear is real in your mind.
Jesus shows up and takes us from darkness to light. He brought good news and great joy for all who have received Him.