Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Good News; Bad News

In July of 2008, my family got some really good news. Our then seven year old granddaughter had grown ¾ inch and gained about 6 pounds over the previous 60 days.

So what? you might ask. What made that good news? All kids grow; that’s just what they do.

Well, her growth was only good news when one fully understands the bad news. At age 3, Madi nearly died of a cancerous brain tumor. Over the next year, she had several operations, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. It had been about two years since the cessation of treatments but since then, Madi had not grown at all. The treatments to save her life came with their own risks, new concerns, and possible consequences.

There was the likelihood of permanent damage to the pituitary gland which is responsible for the manufacture of growth hormones. And simultaneously there was some concern of accelerated growth of cancer cells if growth hormone therapy was employed.

On the other hand, there was the probability of a permanent cessation of growth without hormone therapy. And the consequences of that would mean the early onset of puberty.

That really was BAD NEWS. So then the growth and weight gain was GOOD NEWS.

So, it is bad news that gives good news meaning.

Good News really doesn’t mean anything until we are faced with bad news. And the Good News of the Gospel doesn’t make sense either, apart from the Bad New.

Some well-meaning Christians are very quick to try to give people the Good News; “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” And then they wrap it all up in an attractive little package with some kind of easy little “repeat after me, this simple little phrase that will change your life and get you a free ticket to heaven,” prayer.

Rick Warren's version of the good news goes like this:

First, believe that God loves you and has a purpose for your life.
Second, receive Jesus into your life as your savior.

Where, in that, is there any understanding of BAD NEWS?

By contrast, a more responsible proclamation of the Good News can be read here. In it, John MacArthur is careful to explain the facts of God’s requirement for absolute perfection; our sinful condition and total inability to merit His mercy; His righteous judgment against us and the prospect of eternal torment and punishment in hell. That really is Bad News. And then he presents the Good News of Salvation; Jesus suffered the wrath of God and died a horrible death for us that, according to Scripture, whoever trusts in Him shall be saved.

That really is GOOD NEWS when we know the BAD NEWS.

first published 7/20/2008


Daisy said...

Congratulations on 3/4 of an inch, MADI!!

Excellent object lesson.

Ron Livesay said...

Moses went down to Egypt and told Pharaoh, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. He's going to take you and your army out and drown you in the Red Sea."