Summary: The Gospel is good news when you respond, and we have the hope of eternity is His return.
The Good News of Christ
This morning marks the beginning of Advent.
The 4 weeks prior to Christmas.
It is a time set aside for waiting in expectation for the celebration of the Christ child.
For believers in 2014, we celebrate that Christ the savior has come and we anticipate the promise of Christ return for his church and His people.
It is a time of reflection and preparation and a time of celebration.
For a believer, you cannot celebrate Christmas without Jesus.
We all can use some good news right? The problems in Ferguson Mo., not good news, politicians fighting each other and never getting anything done, not good news… war, poverty, taxes, crime, economy, not good news.
Good news by definition is hearing something that changes a situation. Babies being born, marriages, someone sick and then getting better, accomplishments, having a burden lifted.
But there has never been better news for mankind than “Today in the town of David, a savior has been born to you, he is the Messiah, the Lord.” That is Christmas and that is hearing the good news of Christ.
Jesus Christ is the good news and He comes and brings us peace, joy, and He is the ultimate expression of God’s love to mankind.
“And there were shepherds living out in their fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night, an angel of the Lord appears to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.”
That day the Shepherds lives were changed forever.
I can picture the sky lighting up and God’s angels announcing the birth of the savior Jesus Christ.
I can imagine the shepherds being fearful because it was something supernatural.
Angels assuring the Shepherds that they do not need to be afraid because it was God’s way of giving them the good news.
I want you to see something here- good news becomes good news when you respond and apply it to your life.
It was good news if you respond to the Son of God being born to redeem mankind.
It was bad news if you by choice do not respond to Him.
People today either embrace Jesus or reject Him. They either say yes or no. By doing nothing with Jesus is to say no, to say that you will respond at a later time is to say no.
Those shepherds were in the fields working, it was like every other day until Jesus shows up. Until the angels demanded that a decision was needed.
They heard the message of Jesus and went to meet Jesus.
What about the people that do not respond to Jesus?
Most people know what the Bible says but choose not to respond.
Most have heard pastors plead that they come to Christ.
Most know that they should respond immediately because you do not have forever.
To have Christmas without Jesus is a choice.
Shepherds that night were given a chance for life change. They went from darkness to light.
Some people like the darkness. In the darkness, they do things they know that God would not be pleased with or approve of. In darkness, they do not need to change and associate with people that are like minded.
One of the things we ask people is “Are you ready for Christmas? The better question would be are you ready for Jesus? Many say not yet.
Last minute shoppers running through the stores on Christmas Eve trying to find gifts for someone.
Telling us that Christmas snuck up on them. Christmas sneak up on them because again they came to Christmas unprepared.
People’s relationship with Christ is the same way. Last year at Christmas unprepared, working out a few things, if I can get a handle on such and such.
Every year overwhelmed and no decision made.
Here we are again- blessed by God that they had another year to decide, but unprepared to make a commitment.
You ever see people preparing for Christmas decorations? That joyless person that is “rigging up the lights” going through the motions of Christmas but has no joy in doing it.
“Why are the lights blinking” “Your so smart, you do it.”
Every year, we say next year. We are going to be more prepared. Next year, I am going to take care of a few things in my life Lord and then I will commit to you.
Jobs, relationships , habits, addictions, Lord, then I promise.
God calls us to change.
He calls us to Himself.
He calls us to the light of God.
He calls us now and wants us to respond now.
We have good intentions, but they will fall short unless we intentionally respond to God when He calls. He tells us to be intentional and ready.