The joy of salvation

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The Lord sent His disciples to proclaim the good, joyful message that ChArist had atoned for the sins of all people and that heaven was open to everyone through Him. This is the task of the Christian Church also today. The Christian Church is not a conveyer of sad news. The true Gospel produces the joy of salvation in those who believe. How ardently every believer hopes that all the people of the world would understand that Christian faith is truly a good and joyous matter, worthy of study and worthy to be believed and spread abroad.

The world, however, does not view the Gospel in this way. Unbelieving people think that the Gospel terminates joy, restrains activity and burdens the conscience. But if you are one of these people, stop to consider why the message of the Apostle was given the name Gospel (good news), and why Paul, who was severely persecuted by unbelieving people nevertheless said that he did his work "always with joy" (2 Cor. 6:10). Do we not need exactly this type of life-giving strength in the midst of all the despair and uncertainty that plague the people of this world? But if the Gospel is a good and life-giving strength, then why do many not seek it, but instead fear and even despise it? Because what the Bible says is true: "The whole world lies in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19). Darkness does not seek light, but light penetrates the darkness, "for everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (John 3:20).

A person cannot by his own strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him. Conversion is a work of God. God takes hold of a person through His Word and drives him to despair. A person realizes that he is guilty in the sight of the almighty God and cries: "Woe is me, for I am lost." To him God says: "You will not perish; I have redeemed you. I will lift you up and place you on the rock of refuge. Do not be afraid, your sins have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ." Despair is replaced with the joyous assurance of salvation: God loves me because He has given His own Son to die for me. Even though I am a sinner, God is merciful.