“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.” (Luke 2:13 & 14)
Who in the western world has not heard this scripture? Both Christians and non-Christians alike, have seen these words written on Christmas cards and heard them uttered in Christmas specials. But what does it really mean and what was the real reason the angels were praising God that day? Sadly, most do not know the answer to these questions. Because of people not understanding the significance of this announcement, we have completely misrepresented who God is and the mood He has towards us. Most people have concluded that the aim of this announcement was to declare that Jesus would bring peace and goodwill between mankind. Let’s get real, if that was what the announcement was about then Jesus really failed at His purpose and God really messed up. Today we have more wars, hatred and bitterness than perhaps any other time in history. So, either God was a complete failure or we have failed yet to see what the announcement was really for. I can tell you, the answer to this dilemma is the later part; we have failed to understand the message of the announcement.
Remember I wrote in the last blog that Isaiah prophesied that God was going to make a covenant of peace with all humanity, one that would never be broken and would NOT be dependent on the behavior of men? It simply would be that God, out of his goodness, mercy and grace would make this covenant promise with us. He promised us that He would never stop being kind to us, nor rebuke us and that He would always be at peace with us. (see Isaiah 54:7-10 and blog titled “God Is At Peace With The World And Not Judging.”)
Does this mean that God is happy when we do things that only hurt us? Of course not, but it does mean that even at our worse, He is still staying at peace with us. That means no judgment comes with it, as I wrote in a previous blog, ALL judgment was already poured out on Jesus on the cross. He took yours and mine and even the person whom you cannot stand’s, judgment. God’s wrath was unloaded on Jesus, so it never would be on us. Jesus was our replacement! There isn’t any judgment left. (See John 12:31 & 32 and blog titled “Huh, What Judgment?”). This is the reason Paul wrote that “God was in Christ NOT imputing the world’s sins against them.” At the cross, God stopped judging men and instead judged one man, Jesus. As our sin nature came from one man, Adam, even more so now, to have right-standing with God, it was gifted through one man, Jesus. (See Romans 5:17) So, this idea that God is always mad at the world, you and me, ready to unleash his judgement on all humanity is just not biblical. (See 2 Corinthians 5:18 & 19 and blog titled, “How Do You View God? How Does He View You?”).
I understand there are scriptures that can seem to contradict this and cause confusion in one’s heart. I promise I will be tackling these scriptures in future blogs after laying out the foundation. In no way do I dodge these scriptures, instead I love to help people get clarity on them, removing fear out of their heart between them and God. So, keep looking for future blogs and I will eventually get to them. But most importantly I want you to see that God is not angry, judging or unleashing His judgment on us today. He is at peace with us and that was the message the angels were announcing that day.
Let’s look at it again, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth goodwill, peace towards men.” Do you see it now? God is telling us that it is His goodwill and His peace towards us. God is not your enemy and you are not His. The promise of the covenant of peace that Isaiah prophesied four-hundred years prior was coming to pass. And because we had nothing to do with this gift of God’s good will and peace towards us, guess who got the glory? Not you or I but God did. This is the reason why the angels declared, “Glory to God in the highest”. When we accept the belief that we have something to do with earning God’s peace and acceptance, guess who then gets the glory? You and me! This leads to a self-righteous, judgmental attitude that God cannot stand. All you’ve got to do is read social media for two minutes and smell the rank of that mindset in both Christians and non-Christians, alike. The world is obsessed with self-righteousness and why? Because we do not know how good God really is to us. We are, instead proud of how good we think we are.
With this understanding let me end this blog with the words of Paul. “How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the GOSPEL OF PEACE.” Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Paul calls the gospel a gospel of peace! To all the proclaimers of the wrath and judgment of God, does your gospel sound like the same gospel Paul writes of?
Changing how the World Views God,
Are you looking for a Gospel of grace church that preaches the finished work of Jesus? Do you enjoy ministries like Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack and Lynn Hiles? If so, Reveal Church might be the perfect fit for you. Come join us Sunday mornings at 10 am. We meet at Copper Stone Executive Business Center at 3632 Land O Lakes Blvd. Land O Lakes, FL. 34639. Children’s church is provided for all ages. Pastor Brian has been ministering the gospel of grace message since 1999, with powerful truths that will continue to empower you to walk out God’s best for your life as you stay at a place of rest in Christ. Come be a part of this powerful start up gospel of grace church and help us reach the Tampa Bay area with the message of the finished work of Christ. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday!