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Investigating Christianity

Why the Gospel is Good News for Police Officers

Why the Gospel is Good News for Police Officers
Image Credit: ev from Unsplash.com

Police officers are often the bearers of “bad news”. It’s part of our job.

“You’re under arrest,” “You husband was killed in a robbery,” “No, we still haven’t located your son,” “I’m writing you a ticket for speeding.” We are often the bearer of bad tidings. Maybe that’s why we have a hard time accepting “good news,” even when it could change our lives forever.

The Gospel of Jesus is that kind of good news.  

“Gospel” is derived from an Old English word, “godspel”, or “good story” and was substituted for the original Biblical Greek word “euaggelion” which first signified “a present given to one who brought good tidings”, or “a sacrifice offered in thanksgiving for such good tidings having come”. The “gospel” is God’s “good tidings” toward us, and it’s especially good news for police officers.

Most seasoned officers know that “bad guys” aren’t the only ones who mess up. Everyone violates the law at one time or another, and that includes us. Look at your own life. While it’s true that we might look good when compared to some of the law breakers we meet in the street, none of us can say we are morally perfect. Can you honestly say you’ve never acted out of selfish ambition? Never taken something that wasn’t yours? Never cheated on a loved one? Never had an evil thought about anyone? Never gossiped about a co-worker? Never thought about someone in a sexually inappropriate way?

If there’s an all-powerful God who created everything in the universe from nothing, He certainly has the power to eliminate moral imperfection in Himself. That’s why God is the one morally perfect Being. So, how do you think you would measure up against His standard? Could you stand before the perfect judge and claim you’re blameless? The ancient authors of the Bible recognized that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), so don’t feel bad, you’re not alone.

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As police officers, we – above many others – know that there is a consequence for crime. Misbehavior results in judgment and punishment. The ancients also knew “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). If God is both loving and just, He must hold us accountable for our moral failings. As imperfect beings, we simply cannot be united to a perfect God unless we somehow serve the penalty for sin.

So, far, this doesn’t sound like good news, does it?

God has a solution for our sin problem, however. He promises to offer a way home. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God offers us eternal life with Him, even though we don’t deserve it. God had us in His sights, even when we weren’t looking for Him: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God offers imperfect humans – even imperfect police officers – a perfect eternity. No strings attached. It’s a gift. We simply have to accept it. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). If we believe that Jesus is who He said He was (God incarnate who came to take the punishment we deserve), and accept His sacrifice on the cross (where He paid the penalty for our misbehavior), we will be saved for all eternity, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). ” Salvation (the forgiveness of sins) is available to anyone who places their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

But there’s more.

Those who recognize their sin and accept what Jesus did for them on the cross, experience a new kind of peace. Don’t tell me you’re not ready for that. In many states, law enforcement officers are called “Peace Officers,” even though our jobs seem less than peaceful most of the time. Usually, we are called to establish the peace, even if only temporarily. But this mission doesn’t always result in a peaceful work-shift, off-duty life, or marriage. The burden of persistent “peace making” can take its toll. God offers imperfect humans – even imperfect police officers – a perfect eternity. @thethinbluelife Click To Tweet

Are you anxious, tired, disappointed, frustrated, or just concerned about the future of your community and profession? Having a hard time finding peace?

Let the good news of salvation in Jesus change your life. “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1), and “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

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If you’re a skeptical cop like I was for the first eight years of my law enforcement career, I don’t expect you to accept this good news just because it might provide you with the benefit of peace (although it certainly will). I expect you to skeptically investigate the claims of Christianity. That’s what I did. I used my skills as a detective to examine the New Testament accounts of Jesus of Nazareth. I was shocked to find how well they held up under the standards I had been using to determine if eyewitnesses were reliable.

I’m not a Christian today just because it provides me with eternal peace (even in turbulent times). I’m a Christian because it is true. I’m a Christian because I want to live in a way that reflects the truth. I’m a Christian because my high regard for the truth leaves me no alternative.

If you’re a police officer, I invite you – in fact I implore you – to examine the case for yourself. Jesus has the power to save your soul, renew your mind, and restore your peace. It will change your life because it is true. That’s why it’s good news for police officers.

Written By

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is also an Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and a faculty member at Summit Ministries. He holds a BA in Design (from CSULB), an MA in Architecture (from UCLA), and an MA in Theological Studies (from Gateway Seminary).

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. jim

    May 26, 2021 at 6:38 am

    Very good article Thanks

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