Good News, Anyone?
“I woke up Monday morning, walked out on the lawn
my eyes were barely open, and my mouth began to yawn
Picked up the daily paper, every single headline said,
That this ole world is full of trouble, and I wished I’d stayed in bed.
Sometimes the bad that’s goin’ on’s enough to bring you down.
“Turned on my television and began to flip on thru
all 100 channels, On Demand, and Pay per view
Not one message had a meaning that was good in any way
Just before I wrote the whole world off, I heard the Father say,
‘Don’t forget what I have promised, you can overcome it all!’
“Well my knees began to shake, and my heart began to beat,
and a funny new sensation worked its way into my feet
The Spirit of glad tidings came from somewhere deep inside,
And holdin’ back the flood was just like holdin’ back the tide.
I couldn’t help but circulate to everyone I know…
“I’ll spread this talk all over town about the peace and joy I’ve found in You…good news!
This story is about to break and blessed are the feet that take the Truth…good news!
I’m slippin’ on my gospel shoes…’Cause I’ve got good, good news!”
Words: Suzanne Jennings, performed by Gaither Vocal Band, 1999
The bad news has been around long before it was 2020…but the good news came thousands of years ago and is as good as ever, and shines all the brighter the darker this world gets. This is the news the angel brought to the world as a “herald” on that night in our text.
The burden of bearing bad news: we all hate to have to deliver it.
The blessing of bearing good news: we all love to be “the one” who others hear it from first!
The angel had the privilege of sharing the best news the world has ever known…
SEVEN REASONS WHY THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WAS GOOD NEWS:
1. BECAUSE IT BANISHED FEAR. (v 10) "fear not"
Prov. says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…it’s a good thing to fear God, for you can’t be saved until you at least have that healthy fear! [a holy respect!]
“No Fear” is the motto of our lost world around us. Even today’s religious world has no reverence, no awe, for Almighty God!
His name is spoken in vain because they don’t fear God.
Our older folks remember a time when lost people had more respect for the name of God than many so-called Christians have today!
Immorality runs rampant because people don’t fear God.
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
People don’t believe that. They say, everyone’s doing it and that somehow makes it ok. They think of God like some old man w/ a long, white beard, in a rocking chair, winking at our indiscretions!
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
“but I thought He was a God of love?”
Yes! That’s why He sent His Son to die on the cross! But if you reject His offer of love, you’ll soon see another side of God…the Judge. His wrath and anger against sin deserve respect and reverence!
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
[but to believers, the angel said, “fear not”…we can be exempted. Our fear can become a friendship!]
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Contrast with Psalm 7:11
God is angry with the wicked every day.
But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
You can stand against God, but not for long!
But the believer need not fear:
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
2 Tim. 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
What do you have to fear?
[virus / Biden / take away the McRib again?]
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Even in the end of the world in Rev. 1:17
And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
[dying grace of the martyrs and of all believers!]
You can have a great Christmas in 2020!
The angel brought good news because it banished fear…
2. BECAUSE IT BROUGHT GREAT JOY. (v 10) "tidings of great joy"
Jesus’ coming would bring so much joy it affected even a baby born before Him! It was John the Baptist. His mother, Elizabeth, was told in
And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
So, it was prophesied that Jesus would bring joy, and look…
For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
And the wise men…
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
The good news is the gospel…not just that Jesus was born, but that He was born to die, that we might live and have joy…
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
1 Peter 4:13
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
There was even joy found in the tomb where He was laid…
And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
“Go, tell it on the mountain!”
1 Peter 1:8
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Even in persecution…
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
And when souls are saved…
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
And when Christians live the life…
3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
The angel brought good news that traded in people’s fears for joy!...
3. BECAUSE IT IS FOR ALL PEOPLE. ( v 10) "shall be to all people"
Red, yellow, black and white.
[Because whosoever will may come/God is not willing that any should perish…] There are the “whosoever wills” and the “whosoever won’ts”
Who are the elect? All who elect to be saved!
Moody: God save the elect, then elect some more!
Who are the chosen? All who choose Him!
This was good news for the whole world, but also for “the individual”…
4. BECAUSE IT EMPHASISES THE VALUE OF ONE INDIVIDUAL. (v 11) "this shall be a sign unto you"
This is your sign from God…this message was for the world, but today it is for you!
5. BECAUSE IT SAVES THE SINNER. ( v 11) "a Saviour which is Christ"
You can be saved from sin, saved from fear, saved from this world, saved from the tribulation and saved from hell to follow!
6. BECAUSE IT GLORIFIES GOD. (v 13,14) "praising God & saying Glory"
This absence of fear and presence of love, for all the world and for “me”, this good news of salvation should lead us to thanksgiving and praise, and giving God glory…suddenly, as the angels did!
This is a wonderful time of the year we now enter, and it’s a great time to come out of our shell and get excited about the good news we so desperately need!
This good news was brought on that night 2,000 years ago, and it affects us today, and finally…it lasts forever!...
7. BECAUSE IT GIVES REAL & LASTING PEACE. (V 14) "peace, good will"
That peace may not be in our world, but it can be in our hearts. There may not be peace on our streets, but there is peace in our God! The Mid-East won't have peace until the Prince of Peace comes and makes peace, but you can have God's peace today!
Let’s not live our life, day to day, in the doldrums of “the nasty now and now”, let’s think about what really matters eternally in “the sweet by and by!”
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