Glad Tidings of Good Things
James Smith, 1861
SAVIOR — one who is able save such sinners as we are; one who not only can — but willing to do so. Here we are informed, that God has sent his Son, to be the Savior of the world. That the only begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, possessing the nature of the Father, and equal to the Father, in majesty, power, and glory — that this only begotten Son, came into our world, took our nature, made an atonement for sin, and opened a way in which any sinner, and every sinner who will, may be saved — saved certainly, honorably, and eternally. Yes, any sinner can be saved now. Every sinner who will, shall be saved now.
This is God's representation of the gospel. It brings tidings from Heaven, tidings for sinners, tidings of good things for them; yes, tidings of the very best things — for the very worst of men! Not for them exclusively, but for men as sinners, including the very worst of them.
It is the glorious glad tidings of the blessed God, giving correct views of his nature, revealing his loving heart, publishing his gracious thoughts, and making known his mercy to sinful men. These tidings are calculated to gladden the saddest heart, cheer the desponding mind, and fill the despairing soul with joy and peace. Never were there such Glad Tidings! No one but an infinite God could have devised them. No one but the all-merciful God would have sent them to rebellious sinners! O that Heaven and earth would unite to praise, bless, magnify, and adore his holy name for them!
The best thing in these glad tidings, is the
There is no impediment in the path. There is no legal difficulty in the way. Jesus has all the qualifications required in one who is to save the vilest, to save freely, and to save all who apply to be saved by him.
The glad tidings forbid despair, they prohibit despondency, they are intended to dispel every doubt and fear. There is in reality no room for a single doubt, no room for a solitary fear, if the gospel is truly understood and believed. Any sinner, be he who he may — every sinner, be he what he will — may be saved — and be saved the moment he hears the gospel, let it find him where it will, or in whatever state it will.
Jesus is an almighty Savior. Jesus is an ever willing Savior. Jesus is a loving Savior. There is no reluctance on his part. It is no difficulty to him. Therefore he calls sinners to him — sinners of every name, sinners under all circumstances. His invitations embrace all. The glad tidings exclude none. The man or woman who reads these lines, is as really, as sincerely invited by Jesus, to come and be saved by him, as if a letter had been hand-written by Jesus and addressed to that person by name. All who hear or read are invited, all who are invited are desired to come, all who come are welcomed, and all who are welcomed are saved.
Can you conceive of anything better than this?
A Savior for vile sinners;
a Savior to deliver sinners from the lowest Hell;
a Savior to raise sinners to the highest Heaven;
a Savior from sin — the cause of suffering;
a Savior from guilt — the source of fear;
a Savior from the world, which is doomed to destruction!
Precious Redeemer, may your name be soon universally known; and may the glorious glad tidings of your saving love, power, and mercy, be published in every land, in every tongue, to every soul!
Next to the Savior, comes thefree and full forgiveness of all sin, and the gospel is the glad tidings of this.
Without pardon — we perish.
Without pardon — we cannot know peace with God.
Without pardon — we cannot be holy.
Without pardon — we cannot have fellowship with God.
Without pardon — there can be no Heaven.
Now, the gospel is the glad tidings of pardon — the pardon of all sin, the instantaneous pardon of all sin, the eternal forgiveness of all sin — for every one who believes in Jesus. All the prophets bear witness, that through Jesus, and by faith in his name — pardon may be obtained. All the apostles preached a full, free, and everlasting pardon of all sin — for every one who believes in Jesus. And by the gospel, a complete pardon of every sin, and the perfect and everlasting justification of every person, is guaranteed to every one one that believes on the Son of God. A pardon without penance — a pardon without confession to a priest. A pardon without delay. For the moment a sinner renounces all dependence on himself and his own works, places his confidence in the finished work of Christ, and confesses his sins at a throne of grace — he is forgiven all trespasses.
And, as often as he is overcome by temptation, falls into sin, and brings guilt upon his conscience; confessing his fault, pleading the name of Jesus, and trusting in God's mercy — he is pardoned afresh. Daily sins are forgiven by a gracious Father — and by constantly applying to the all-cleansing blood of Jesus, the conscience is kept clean, peaceful and happy. O what a mercy to have an open fountain! O what a privilege to have the promise of a free and perfect pardon on confession of sin and exercising faith in Jesus! This the gospel presents to us, not once in our lives — but every day, every time we hear or read it — well therefore may it be called "glad tidings of good things."
The gospel is also the good news of a better country, even a Heavenly one.HEAVEN is . . .
Heaven comprises . . .
all that can feast the intellect,
all that can satisfy the heart,
all that can fill the soul.
It is enriched with all the wealth of God,
it is filled with the glory of God, and
it is the house and home of God.
In Heaven there is . . .
no pain or privation,
no grief or sorrow,
no losses or crosses,
no temptations or trials,
no wants or woes.
Heaven contains the highest manifestations of the greatness, grandeur, and magnificence of God. Heaven is the home of the brightest, holiest, and most dignified of God's intelligent creation. Heaven! what is it? Heaven! What does it comprise and comprehend? "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined — what God has prepared for those who love Him!" No one can give the faintest guess at what Heaven is — but whatever it is, whatever it contains, the gospel tells us that it is for saved sinners.
Nor is Heaven a place difficult of access, or hard to obtain. There is a new and living way to it, and Jesus is the way. By coming to him, and trusting in him, we enter on the way; and by confiding in him, and walking with him, we make progress in the way. The path to Heaven, is not by works of righteousness which we have done or can do — it is not by any sufferings we have endured or can endure — but it is by simple faith in Jesus. He who believes has everlasting life, and shall never come into condemnation. Whoever believes in him shall not perish — but have eternal life. Nor can we have life, escape condemnation, or arrive at Heaven in any other way — for God's word is plain and decisive, "He who believes on the Son of God — has everlasting life; and he who believes not the Son — shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."
Reader, the kingdom of God has come near unto you — will you enter it? The good news of a Savior is made known to you — will you embrace it and act upon it? The pardon of all sin is presented to you — will you accept it? Heaven, God's Heaven, and the way to it, is set before you — will you believe and make use of it?
The gospel is God's best message to man. It contains the promise of all that man can need, and all that God can give, to every one who sincerely believes the message, is willing to receive the grace, and applies for it. No sinner that reads or hears the gospel, perishes because he cannot be saved — but because he will not. Take heed therefore how you treat the gospel, for we can conceive of no greater sin, than disbelieving God's message; or of any greater insult offered to God, than to treat his message with contempt.
Believe the gospel, and it will make you glad. Believe Christ, as presented in the gospel, and it will satisfy your soul. Enter on God's consecrated way to glory, and Heaven with all its joys, pleasures, and glories are yours. But, if you refuse the gospel — you will surely perish! If you neglect the gospel — you will surely die! If you put off — it may be too late. Now, the glorious glad tidings are presented to you — presented to you as from God.
You are told that there is a Savior, and a great One — a Savior for sinners, for sinners such as you are — a Savior for you if you will receive him, employ him, and give yourself up to be saved by him.
A pardon is now offered you, the pardon of all your sins whether secret or open, past or present, of heart and life — a pardon that will bring peace to your conscience, holiness to your heart, and a foretaste of Heaven into your soul. A pardon that will fit you for fellowship with God now, and communion with God forever.
Heaven is now set before you, you may obtain it — and eternally possess it. Is it possible, that such sinners as we are — so vile, so poor, so feeble, so utterly worthless — may obtain God's Heaven, and dwell in it with the Savior forever? It is, and more than possible, it is comparatively easy — only believe and all is yours — nor is faith left to be done by your own power, for the Holy Spirit, who works faith in the sinner's heart, is plainly, positively, and solemnly promised to every one that asks for him. With that sweet and precious assurance, as it dropped from the Savior's lips, we close our remarks on the glad tidings; "If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him."
"Oh what amazing words of grace
Are in the gospel found!
Suited to every sinner's case,
Who knows the joyful sound.
Poor, sinful, thirsty, fainting souls
Are freely welcome here:
Salvation like a river rolls,
Abundant, free and clear.
Come, then, with all your wants and wounds,
Your every burden bring!
Here love, unchanging love abounds;
A deep, celestial spring!
"Whoever will," (Oh gracious word!)
Shall of this stream partake:
Come thirsty souls, and bless the Lord,
And drink for Jesus' sake!
This spring with living water flows,
And living joy imparts;
Come, thirsty souls, your needs disclose,
And drink with thankful hearts.
Millions of sinners--as vile as you,
Have here found life and peace;
Come, thirsty souls, and prove it true,
And drink, adore, and praise!"