"But. I think that must be the most powerful word a human being can speak. It's small, but it has the power to sweep away everything that has gone before it. Coming after bad news like what we just heard, it has the power to lift the eyes and restore hope. More than any other word that can be spoken by a human tongue, it has the ability to change everything.
- The plane went down. But no one was hurt.Sadly, sometimes the but doesn't come. Sometimes the sentence stops, and all we get is the bad news. Yet those moments only magnify for us the times when the but does come. And they are glorious.
- You have cancer. But it is easily treatable.
- Your son was in a car wreck. But he's fine.
Thank God the bad news of human sin and God's judgment is not the end of the story. If the Bible had ended with Paul's declaration that the whole world will stand, silenced, before the judgment throne of God, there would be no hope for us at all. There would be only despair. But (there it is again!) thank God there is more!
You are (I am) a sinner destined to be condemned. But God has acted to save sinners just like you (and me)!"