Just how GOOD is the Good News?
It's forever man....
...the salvation of all who come to trust in him was absolutely secured on the cross. He who believes in me has everlasting life. (John 6:47) And I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:28)
As a Roman Catholic myself, for more than 40 years, I can tell you the one thing that most Roman Catholics lack. Most have never been told just HOW GOOD the Good News or Gospel of Jesus Christ really is. They have never been told that the salvation of all who come to trust in him was absolutely secured on the cross. Jesus shed his blood to fully accomplish the salvation of all who believe in him. He defeated sin, death and the devil...all in one mighty torrent of suffering.
There are many Protestants who may have
never heard as well. They are still concerned that they can "lose" their
salvation. We also challenge them to read the following.
However, Christ came to give us, not what we deserved but what he in his love wanted for us—to be with him always. He died to absolutely secure the salvation of all those who come to believe in him as Lord and Savior, as God in the flesh. Since before he created the earth, the Bible tells us Christ has chosen those who will come to believe in him (Ephesians 1:4-8) and he assures us that If we believe in him, salvation is a sure thing. (John 10:27-30) How?
Believers are those who come to know that the faith or trust they have in Jesus is not from them but from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). And that's what makes it a "sure thing" because it's from God. It is a gift that was given them, not because they deserved it, but because Christ chose them and won it for them by his death on the cross. And Christ himself has given them this sign that he has won their eternal life with him and he will let nothing take it away from them! Read it straight from the Bible:
Faith comes with Christ's assurance of everlasting life.
He who believes in me has everlasting life. (John 6:47)
Faith is a gift
"For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from you, it is the gift of God. It is not from works, so no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
He will not let us lose the faith he has given us.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. (John 10:27-30)
The gift of faith serves as a trustworthy sign that we have been given another gift: Everlasting life.
...whosever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
He who hears my word and believes in the One who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (hell):
but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)
For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. (Romans 6:23)
Christ promises to prepare a place for us.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have
told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
Add to these false teachings the occassional temptation to doubt our salvation and there always seems to be a battle of some sort going on with us. Despite failures and setbacks, we keep coming back all the stronger, saying, "I put my trust in you Christ, for you are indeed the Son of the living God. It was you alone who fully accomplished my salvation on the cross." The Holy Spirit, who dwells in all believers, is the One who constantly brings us back and reminds us of the Gospel. He reminds us to put our trust in Christ and not ourselves.
Then, they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:28-29
It is God's work within us that counts, not our works. The true Gospel tells us that our good works are simply the best way we can say "thank you" to the Christ who alone saved us. It is our joyful duty to thank him and glorify his name before others. Us "saved sinners" seek to say thank you to Christ for our salvation by glorifying him by what we do and say—by obeying Christ, forgiving others, asking God to forgive us and seeking to love others as Christ first loved us. We do this, not to try to help ourselves win salvation but in simple gratitude and thanksgiving—for the salvation that Christ alone has won for us. This desire to say thanks to Christ by our lives is a desire that is given to us by the Holy Spirit alone. The Holy Spirit also gives us a desire to feed on God's word and rejoice in his sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. We desire and seek to obey Christ and we are sorry and repent when we don't, only because the Holy Spirit pours all of this into our hearts when we are "born again" and thus come to believe in Christ and his every word. (John 3)
At the same time, our sinful natures fight all of this constantly and at times we fail and fall into sin. But again, the Holy Spirit is at work, giving us sorrow for our sins, we keep repenting, asking and receiving the forgiveness we know Christ won for us. He assures us that we will continue to love and believe in Him until the day we die, clothed not in our own righteousness but in Christ's righteousness. "And being found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." (Philippians 3:7-9)
On earth, we will face trials, some persecution and much rejection, especially if we believe this true Gospel. But we do so, by the power of the Holy Spirit, knowing that in heaven we will enjoy everlasting life with our Lord and Savior. And, if we are still alive on earth when the Lord comes again, we will go to be with him—body and soul. For those who have already died before his second coming, their bodies will be resurrected from the grave and join their spirits, which are already with Christ. (It's all in the Bible—again, click here for the Gospel Verses link. Click here for a longer explanation of the Gospel.)
This is the VERY Good News that many Roman Catholics and some Protestants alike have never heard. Now you have heard it, so Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice! And get ready for your life to change in many ways—some which you will be happy about and some which you will fight. But remember this: "that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (that is, until the day that Christ Jesus returns)." (Philippians 1:6)
From now on wake up each morning and rejoice in the salvation that has been won for you and for all who put their trust in Christ and what he has done for them!