Have You Heard the News?
James Smith, 1856
Good News! Good News! Good News! Have you heard it?
Angels have — and it has added to their happiness.
Devils have — and it has filled them with confusion and malice.
Some of our fellow men have — and it has filled them with joy and peace.
It is news from Heaven. It is news for you. It is the very best news that ever came to our world. It is this — that God delights in showing mercy to sinful men; and as a proof of it, he sent his own, his only Son, to love, labor, suffer, and die, instead of sinners, in order that they might be saved easily, honorably, and forever. He has erected, and is now seated on, a throne of grace, where he waits to be gracious, and on which he can hear any sinner, in any place, even when he only speaks in his heart; he promises to pardon every soul who comes to that throne, confesses his sins, and pleads the name of Jesus; he has solemnly pledged himself, that he will never cast out any who sincerely come; and assures us that he rejoices to receive and bless sinners — even the vilest of the vile.
No father ever received back his prodigal son with such pleasure — as God will receive you if you go to him in the name of Jesus! No shepherd ever rejoiced so much over a lost sheep when he found it — as your God will rejoice over you when you mourn over your sins before him! No woman was ever so joyful when she found a piece of money which she had lost — as your God when you come to him with a broken heart for sin, and sighing for salvation. Oh, sinner! sinner! What good news is this!
You have thought, perhaps, that God hates sinners — no, he hates sin — but he loves sinners. You have thought that God would refuse to pardon you — no, he will rejoice to do it. You have thought that you had no right to expect mercy or acceptance with God — but you have, he says, "Whoever will — let him, come." You have thought that God had given you over to eternal death; but no, he solemnly swears, "As I live, says the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn, turn — for why will you die?"
If a sinner is destroyed — his destruction is of himself. If a soul is lost — the man loses it by unbelief, neglect, indifference, and contempt of God. The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin — that blood will cleanse you! It is a fountain — an open fountain; you may bathe in it and live. Nothing keeps you from it, but unbelief; no one has any right to throw a stumbling-block in your way, you have as clear a warrant in the gospel to believe in the Lord Jesus, and be saved — as you have the by laws of England to walk on the roads. Make use of this warrant then: flee to Jesus, commit your soul into his hands — and you are safe forever. "Behold, now is the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salvation!"