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Thursday, February 4, 2010


Doctor:    I have some good news and I have some bad news.
Patient:   What's the good news?
Doctor:    The good news is that the tests you took showed that you have 24 hours to live.
Patient:   What's the bad news?
Doctor:    The bad news is that I forgot to call you yesterday!


Doctor:    I have some good news and some bad news.
Patient:   What's the good news?
Doctor:    The good news is they are naming a disease after you!


Lawyer:    I have some good news and some bad news.
Client:    Well, give me the bad news first.
Lawyer:    The bad news is that the DNA tests showed that it was your blood they found all over the crime scene
Client:    Oh no!  I'm ruined!  What's the good news?
Lawyer:    The good news is your cholesterol is down to 130!

     Have you ever had somebody come up to you say, "I've got some good news and some bad news, which one do you want to hear first?"  Research shows that most people would rather hear the bad news first.

     And that's what Paul does in the book of Romans.  He starts off this letter by saying, "I'm ready to come share with you the gospel, some good news..but first of all, let me tell you the bad news."  And he's got some bad news for us - some really bad news.

     "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." (Romans 1:18)

     It's very important that we understand the reason Paul does this - it's because we can't fully appreciate the grace of God until we fully understand what we've done wrong and what we deserve as a result.

     This is where I think we make a big mistake when we try to share the gospel with people we know.  We want to talk immediately about the "good news" without talking about the bad news.  But good news isn't good news to someone unless they realize they need it.

     We need to teach others that "there is none righteousness, no not one." (Romans 3:10), and that includes you and me.  "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23).  And, as a result, we all deserve to die because "the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23).

     Only after I understand my sinfulness and the fate that I deserve can I fully appreciate the gift of grace that God offers.  And only after I become fully aware of where I am spiritually can I understand that the gospel of Jesus Christ is good news indeed.

     Don't be afraid to share the "bad news" before you share the "good news"!

Alan Smith

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