The familiar phrase, “The good news of Jesus Christ” is most closely associated with the first four New Testament books in the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) known as the Gospel books describing the life of Jesus, including His birth, His teachings, His death and resurrection. The good news of eternal life through belief in Jesus Christ is very concisely summed up in one verse found in the biblical book of John.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Sadly, many people still reject Jesus and His free gift of eternal life in heaven, a life which can only be obtained through belief in and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and your personal Lord and Savior. How to obtain eternal life in heaven is concisely summed up in another single verse found in the biblical book of John.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Jesus paid the price on the cross required to redeem all of us from our sins if we will simply believe in Him. So then why do a vast majority of people still reject the free gift of eternal life in Heaven as offered by Jesus Christ?
Perhaps some people have been enslaved by sin for so long in their lives that they feel there is just no hope for Jesus and God the Father to ever love and forgive them, so they have decided to continue rejecting Jesus while leading a life of sin, because they feel so hopelessly lost.
However, it’s totally untrue that anyone is too sinful to be saved. Don’t let Satan deceive you into believing you are not a savable person. We all entered this world ‘lost’ due to mankind’s original sin against God, and we remain lost until we repent of our sins and place our belief in Jesus Christ as our Redeemer.
The Romans crucified Jesus on a cross between two criminals who were being crucified for robbery. The one criminal chose to reject Jesus to the end of his life on a cross, but the second criminal believed in Jesus for the very first time while he (the second criminal) hung there on his cross, without any chance of ever making right the sinful life he had led.
However, this second criminal not only recognized the fact that he deserved his sentence of death for his deeds, but he also recognized the fact that Jesus had done nothing wrong to deserve His suffering and death on the cross. As they hung there on their crosses, the second criminal expressed his belief in Jesus by saying to Jesus:
“Remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
Jesus then replied to the second criminal:
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
What could be better for any of us forgiven sinners than to join Jesus in paradise? Jesus, the Son of God, offers this ‘good news’ of eternal life in heaven to anyone who will simply express their belief in Him as their Savior at any time before we physically die. The above verse quoting the reply Jesus gave to the criminal can certainly be considered “the good news of Jesus Christ” as stated by Jesus Himself.
Jesus did not say to the believing criminal, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise IF you have obeyed all of the Ten Commandments” (which obviously the criminal had not, because he was a thief), or any other stipulations. No, Jesus did not attach any conditions in his statement to the criminal, when he told the criminal he would be with Him in paradise that very day. Jesus makes the same promise to all sinners today, without any conditional strings attached to His unconditional love no matter what we have done, or not done, during any stage of our lives. All Jesus requires from us is that we “believe” in Him.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
Jesus kept company with sinners and was a friend of sinners during His earthly life.
“And the Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us” John 1:14).
All “lost” people who will receive Jesus into their heart can experience their own “good news of Jesus Christ.”
“For the Son of Man [came] to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
Jesus loves you and desires for you to join Him in paradise, just as the thief on the cross did.
May God bless you this Christmas season, in the coming year, and always!