Before the Gospel was good news, it was bad news.
In the beginning, God created the world and it was good. Then it went bad. There was an uprising in heaven and evil was cast out, only to make its residence on the earth.
And evil set about the work of destroying all that was good. Eve ate the apple. Then so did Adam. Wickedness and disobedience spread in the hearts of man like a virus.
The world grew in unrighteosness; scorning the things of God and making for themselves idols in which to worship anything other than the one who created it all. God looked down from heaven and saw the world had grown sadistic so he sent a flood in an effort to choke out evil. He spared an honest man and gave him the task of starting the world over. And yet, evil persisted. It grew in the hearts of man. Conquering. Spreading. Consuming.
Even unto today, evil is alive. This world is broken. Sin is in the heart of man. You. Me. We have all fallen short of the glory of heaven. We can never hope to obtain the righteousness that is Christ’s. And yet, this is the requirement of heaven. We are to be like Christ himself. Spotless. Sinless. White as snow.
We know we aren’t. We know in the deepest, darkest corners of our heart is an evil. Lurking. Waiting. Corrupting. We know we can’t help to obtain the perfection of Christ. The perfection heaven requires. Even if we decided right now to walk in righteousness. Even if we decided right now to muscle our way past every wrong decision. Even if we decided with just sheer might to obstain from that which is evil, we would still have a past.
No, there is not one who is righteous. There is not one who can stand beside the Christ and be counted worthy.
Please give ear to me and hear, there is nothing you can do. There is no amount of work you can do to earn your way into enternity with the God of heaven. You can’t go far enough. You can’t love enough. You can’t work hard enough. It is not a simple matter of good works outweighing bad ones. No, just one bad one is enough to tip the scale in the favor of hell. You are helpless. Broken. Lost. Destined for an eternity separated from Christ. Doomed for destruction.
And there is nothing you can do about it. Indeed, it is as if chasing after the wind.
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest.