Posted November 20, 2019
Were you to assure the man, who was planning to break into an establishment in order to steal, that the night watchman of that building made a practice of leaving that structure at a certain hour every evening to spend one half of an hour seeking a bite of lunch and refreshment in some nearby cafe, you would undoubtedly encourage him to go ahead and perpetrate his crime.
Were you to assure the visitor that the policemen in your city were instructed not to place parking violation tickets on those illegally parked automobiles which had out-of-state licenses upon them, you would undoubtedly encourage him to break those parking regulations.
Were you to set a plate of candy on the table before your children, were you to forbid them the right to take one piece and were you to assure them that, if they did, you would in no way and to no degree punish them, you could well expect to find some of that candy gone when you returned.
How, then, can we maintain what we did last time that we need not be afraid of the gospel, need not be afraid to tell our children that all the sins of all God's people are already paid for and that Christ suffered already all the punishment for which these sins call? How can we maintain that this doctrine of a full and free salvation which from beginning to end is the work of God does not make man careless and profane? How can we maintain that nothing must be put between the elect and the cross, no conditions that must yet be fulfilled, no prerequisites that still stand in the way of their coming to the blessedness already merited by the cross? We find no difficulty here and that for very good reasons which we shall now present.
How could one ever be afraid of the gospel?
Why should we ever be afraid of it?
Even Webster tells us that the word gospel means good news, glad tidings.
How right he is, for the word used by the scriptures and translated in our English by the word gospel literally means good news, glad tidings.
That a man is afraid to open the envelope containing a telegram, that he has inward fright when the telephone rings in the wee hours of the night is to be understood. These things often bring evil tidings, sad news. But the gospel is glad tidings. Why should we be afraid of it?
Did not the angel declare to the shepherds in the fields of Ephrata that their fear was out of place? Fear not, he said, for I bring you the gospel. That is literally what he said.