Tuesday, March 5, 2013


By D. L. Moody
I do not think there is a word in the English language so little understood as the word gospel. We hear it every day. We have heard it from our earliest childhood. Yet there are many people–and even many Christians–who do not really know what it means.

The word gospel means "God’s spell," or "good spell," or, in other words, "good news." The gospel is good tidings of great joy!

No better news ever came down out of heaven than the gospel. No better news ever fell upon the ears of the family of man than the gospel. When the angels came down to proclaim the tidings, what did they say to those shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem? "Behold, I bring you sad tidings"? No! "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour" (Luke 2:10-11).

If a man received an urgent dispatch couldn’t you tell by his looks what kind of message it contained? If it brought good news, you would see it in his face in a moment. If it told him that his boy, away in a foreign land, a prodigal son, had come to himself as did the one in Luke 15, don’t you think his face would light up with joy? And if his wife were with him, he would not wait until they got home, or until she asked for the letter. He would pass it to her, and her face would also brighten as she shared his joy.

But the tidings that the gospel brings are more glorious than that. We are dead in trespasses and sins–and the gospel offers life. We are enemies of God–and the gospel offers reconciliation. The world is in darkness–and the gospel offers light. Because men will not believe the gospel that Christ is the light of the world, the world is dark today. But the moment a man believes, the light from Calvary shines on his path and he walks in an endless day of unclouded sun.

It was my privilege to go into Richmond with General Grant’s army, where I heard that the Negroes were going to have a jubilee meeting. These people were just coming into liberty; their chains were falling off, and they were just awakening to the fact that they were free. I have heard many eloquent men, but I do not think I have ever heard eloquence such as I heard that day in that black church from a chaplain of a northern regiment:

"Mothers!" he cried. "You rejoice today. Your children have been torn from your embrace and sold off to some distant state for the last time–you are forever free!"

"Young men!" he called. "You rejoice today. You have heard the crack of the slave driver’s whip for the last time–you are forever free!"

"Young maidens!" he exclaimed. "You rejoice today. You have been put on the auction block and sold for the last time–you are forever free!"

I was never in such a meeting. Men and women, boys and girls, everyone shouted, "Glory to God!" They believed that it was good news.

But my friends, I bring you better tidings than that. No slave ever had such a mean, wicked, cruel master as those who are serving Satan. And to the poor sinner who has been so rebellious and wayward the gospel brings a message of forgiveness: "Be ye reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20). It is His message of friendship. He died that we might be reconciled to Him. Is not this gospel of reconciliation a glad gospel?

God offers a pardon to every sinner on earth if he will take it. I do not care who he is or what he is like. He may be the greatest libertine that ever walked the streets, or the greatest blackguard who ever lived, or the greatest drunkard or thief or vagabond; but I come with glad tidings for him..

"Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17). I know that the word whosoever means every man, woman, and child in this world. It means a growing lad, a gray-haired man, a maiden in the blush of youth, a young man breaking his mother’s heart, a drunkard steeped in misery and sin. My friends, will you not believe this good news? Will you not believe that it means you?

[taken from Select Sermons, Moody Press]

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