The GOOD NEWS ... from HEAVEN
When the man in the street questions the validity of the Gospel, immediately my mind is drawn to the passages in the Acts of the Apostles chapters 2 and 3.
My absolute confidence in the 'message of God' is at its strongest when I consider this record of Luke, the beloved physician, bringing before us the amazing miracles, performed on those momentous days, just after Christ returned to Heaven.
Even to an unbeliever, or people of other religions, we can point to the happenings recorded in this section of the Bible and expect them to be convinced - for these are well documented historical facts.
You see, it was prophesied by the Lord Jesus, and foretold by the prophet Joel, that on the fiftieth day after His resurrection, the Holy Spirit would come upon the gathered disciples of the Lord, who began speaking in other languages - an undeniable MIRACLE. What compelling evidence of the dependability of the LORD JESUS!
This marvellous happening was witnessed by the local Jews, and indeed the visiting Jews who were in Jerusalem for the feast. The Jewish proselytes were, no doubt, amazed to hear the simple followers of the Lord speaking in the languages of their adopted homelands - European and African countries.
Having so dramatically caught the attention of the nation, the apostle Peter challenged his fellow countrymen with their rejection of the Lord Jesus, and His murder, and called them to repent (change their attitude) and to, even now, receive CHRIST. He showed them from the scriptures that GOD was 'in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself' - It was indeed planned by GOD that His SON would be the SAVIOUR of His unworthy creatures. We find this in Isaiah ch.53. 'He was wounded FOR our transgressions'.
It is remarkable that the preacher on that historic occasion was none less than the disciple (Peter) who actually denied the Lord Jesus three times. Where did his new- found courage come from? Was it not from the MAN who had died and was risen again ?
Chapter 3 tells us of the lame man, a cripple from his birth, perfectly healed in the name of Jesus. Peter, yet again, is used to show the Jews that although they were guilty of the death of Christ, GOD was willing to forgive them, evidenced by this miracle before their eyes. What GRACE this is! The power, of course, was from the man who had gone back to Heaven. The significance of the miraculous happenings on those two days is that the One in Heaven was in reality the SON of GOD and these wonderful miracles were intended to convince the people that truly, GOD had spoken to Israel and to the world.
And for us GOD is still speaking --- IN the GOSPEL. THIS, indeed, is the message of the New Testament: GOD is now, in grace proclaiming Salvation to the guilty. To the world and to YOU, GOD says: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." His word tells us, "He hath made HIM to be sin for us, HE who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of GOD in HIM."
Yes, GOD is for the sinner. HIS Gospel is the means of bringing the knowledge of Salvation to all. Have you taken in the message? Believe it now and you, like the apostle Paul will be able to say - "the SON of GOD loved me and gave HIMSELF for me". The apostle Paul tells us in Romans ch.5:8 - God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.