Good News for the Lost
It is a sad fact that the Gospel as it is sometimes preached in our day, is of no use to a man who feels himself to be lost. When a man has broken the laws of his country, and is under sentence of death, he paces the floor of his gloomy cell, looks through the iron grate, and thinks of the fearful morrow. That is something like being lost, spiritually. Let us go down the dark passage and speak to him at the iron gate. Hark! How he groans. What will you say to him? Would a lecture on morality do? Would you tell him to be a good man and to keep the laws of his country? Would he not reply, You very much mistake my case––that sort of talk is no help to me at all, my life is forfeited and I am under the sentence of death. Poor lost one! Would it help him if you engaged to keep the laws of his country for him? Not in the least; the law demands his life and the day is fixed. The only way of keeping the law for him would be for you to die in his stead, and the only good news that would meet his case would be of a free pardon.
Such is the case of an awakened sinner who feels himself lost. The world to him is a condemned cell. The devil roars in his conscience, Guilty! Guilty! He has tried to think himself innocent; he has pleaded ‘Not as guilty as my neighbours’; he has tried to ‘mend’; he has tried to keep the law of God; and has only broken it more and more. Now, trembling with guilt and fear, conscience, the Devil’s jailer, has turned the heavy bolt of the iron gate of despair. Thus, sooner or later, every sinner who gets saved is brought to utter despair as to all help in self or self’s doing. Now what is the good news that will help a man who has thus learned the truth about himself, and feels himself lost? Will it meet his case to tell him to amend his life, to love God, and keep His commandments? Would he not reply, You don’t understand my case at all. If I could do that, I should not be lost; I am lost, I am vile, I am condemned; I have forfeited my life, heaven, everything!
Reader, are you the man? Have I described your condition? Are you one who feels yourself lost? Then listen! I will tell you of One who came to seek and to save the lost. I have not come to your iron gate to tell you what you must do. Nothing that you can do can save you from your dark condemned cell, nor your future fearful doom. If the Spirit of God has thus made you feel that you are lost, I have good news from heaven for you. There sits the Lord Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He is the blessed One who came in pity to this condemned cell, who took the sinner’s place and died the Just for the unjust. You had forfeited your life. He gave up His own, even to the death of the cross. Oh think of the glory of this mighty Saviour! He knew that nothing short of His very life’s blood could meet your guilty, condemned state. He gave it freely. What abundant redemption through that precious blood! You had sinned against God, and God is satisfied, justified, and glorified by this precious sacrifice. God has raised Him from the dead, and through Him is preached “the forgiveness of sins”; free, full, everlasting forgiveness through Him, not through your doing. By Him, not by your doing, you, and all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Your door is open; come out, and rejoice in the Gospel that suits the man who feels himself to be lost.