“I’ve got some good news, and I’ve got some bad news…”

“…do you want the good news or the bad news first?”  This is the setup line to a common genre of jokes.   For example:

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: That’s the good news?  What’s the bad news?
Doctor: The bad news is that  I forgot to call you yesterday!

A study looked at people’s real-life answers to this question.  More than 75 percent of those on the receiving end of the news wanted the bad news first. “If people know they are going to get bad news, they would rather get it over with. Then, if there is good news to follow, you end on a high note” said researcher Angela Legg.

On the other hand, between 65 and 70 percent of those giving the news chose to give the good news first, then the bad news. “When news givers go into a conversation, they are anxious. No one enjoys giving bad news. They don’t understand that having to wait for bad news makes the recipient more anxious,” said Legg.   She concluded, “The best news-giving strategies take into account that sometimes we want to make people feel good and sometimes we need them to act”.

Personally, I prefer to hear the bad news first but I also prefer to give the bad news first. And guess what?  I have some good news and some bad news for y’all today.

The bad news is:

No one goes to heaven apart from faith in Jesus.  Being born into a Christian family does NOT make you a true Christian nor does it get you a place in heaven.  Neither does going to church nor does reading the Bible.   Following the Ten Commandments or being a good person doesn’t cut it either.

The good news is:

God really does love each and every one of us and He gave us His son so that if we believe in Him we will have eternal life.  You don’t have to go to church, read your Bible, or follow the Ten Commandments before you accept this free gift.  In other words, you don’t have to get your act together before coming to God.  You could never clean yourself up well enough anyway.

God knows your heart and knows true faith, so that no matter how many times you fall down, deny Him, or mess up, He will help you get up, dust off, and get back on the right path.  This is not cheap grace, though.  It cost Him His son’s life.   Don’t worry or think that people will take advantage of Him on this.  His hypocrite and Pharisee “radar” work perfectly.  He knows those who have true faith in Him.   You can’t pull the wool over the eyes of the Great Shepherd.

Isn’t it great that the Gospel is truly “Good News”?

For more good news, check out Luke 18:9-14; Romans 8:14-16; Colossians 2:6-7; and John 1:11-12.

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