The Good News Is…

It’s a new day in America. I grew up in a rural Southern Illinois farming community that looked very different than the world I now live in. It would be very easy to observe the world and become discouraged by what prevails.

This week, there is a firestorm brewing over some statements made by Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Robertson’s of Duck Dynasty fame. His very graphic descriptions of the absurdities of the gay and lesbian lifestyle has stirred the ire of pro-gay organizations everywhere. In an effort to appease the voice of the minority, A&E, the cable network that hosts the Duck Dynasty television show has suspended him indefinitely from the show.

As I usually do, I have waited to comment until the dust has settled a bit. I have no intention of debating the issues; they are numerous. (Freedom of speech, gay rights, sexual abnormalities, the modern day definition of sin, racism, etc.) But, my thoughts today are centered around the ultimate plan of redemption as outlined and provided by a holy, righteous, AND loving God.

In the midst of this craziness, we must remember that…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:16-21 ESV)

In these few verses of Scripture, God assures us that He has all the bases covered. He (1) Loves EVERYONE, (2) He has provided the only answer to sin, (JESUS) (3) HE will eventually judge everyone’s individual CHOICES. And more… (But, this is not meant to be a sermon!)

So, the good news is JESUS! I’m convinced that the more we exalt Jesus, the more light will be introduced into the world, enabling people to see Him. It is true that MANY will CHOOSE to ignore this light, but God will sort that out in His timing. It’s not our job to judge the world, although we may need to analyze OURSELVES regularly to insure that we are living appropriately.

Our responsibility is to (1) Live like Jesus. (2) Love like Jesus. (3) Pray. By doing this, God’s appeal to the world will be made through us. Pretty simple?

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV)

There is a time to become angry, and stand up for individual rights. Every individual had a responsibility to be angry about slavery. And more people need to be upset about the issues of racism that remain today. We should be angry about the number of babies that are aborted in America today; angry enough to take an active stand. And, we should be angry about other issues that require a voice to speak out, vote, take action, etc.

I could continue… But, back to my title. The Good News Is…

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)

Recently, ABC hosted the Country Music Association’s Christmas Celebration. In that show, Rascal Flatts sang a song which boldly included the name of Jesus. MILLIONS of people were exposed to and confronted with the person of Jesus. And in Louisville, (a small market for television when compared to New York or Los Angeles) a news story aired by the local NBC affiliate closed the segment with a pastor praying, “In the name of Jesus.” THOUSANDS were again confronted with the name that is above all names.

Yes, Phil Robertson should be able to openly speak about his convictions; we all should maintain that right… We know that the gospel message will be opposed. We know that ungodliness will continue to be evident in our world. WE KNOW!

But, we also know that this is all part of God’s plan… and He is in control! He’s got this! And, that is GOOD NEWS! So…I’m expecting the best!

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