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The Good News
As far as I can remember, I have always heard people proclaiming the “good news” and the “gospel.” The sad thing is that I equate the good news and the gospel with those leaflets distributed by people going from house to house with the men in long-sleeves and neckties and women in dresses holding colorful umbrellas to protect them from the sun.
I have always hated to hear those people say “we bring good news” or say “have you heard the gospel?” All I can think of is that they are such a nuisance and all the good news I need is how to get us out of poverty.
It has come to a point when the phrase “good news” means another pamphlet to crumple and toss to the bin. It has come to a point when ‘gospel” for me means religious rubbish.
It is always true that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” So many people have reached out to me telling me about having a personal relationship with Christ Jesus but all their well-meaning counsel have not made an impact in my life because I’m not ready… until God has found it necessary to deal with me Himself.
After an adversity of such intensity – when God has seen it fit to strip me of everything I have – I am ready to turn to God. I am surprised to find that God is so different from the God that I know all my life. The more I study about God, the more I learn that people have complicated God so much – that is why it is so hard for me to grasp the meaning of a personal relationship with God.
If only those people I have met before bearing the good news have explained God clearly and simply, I may not have suffered so much in my life because I may have known God earlier as He is supposed to be known.
In my quest to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”, I have now the simplest understanding of what a real Christian is.
According to one preacher: To be a Christian is not hard – It is Impossible!!!
Christianity is a Lifestyle
First of all – we are called Christians because we are followers of Christ. Christianity is NOT a religion, it is a lifestyle!
So to be called a Christian is to live a Christ-like life and to follow His teachings. If you study the teachings of Christ, you will agree that it is impossible to live a Christ-like life – but the Bible says that “with God, nothing is impossible!”
Anyway… I started this post with the “good news” that most preachers talk about. That phrase is now printed on T-shirts and has become more popular. I doubt if the celebrities wearing those shirts know the meaning of the “good news.”
Christians use the term gospel, otherwise known as the good news, to refer to the general message of the biblical New Testament. The word gospel is derived from the Old English “god-spell” which means good news or glad tidings.
Now – what exactly is this good news and how does it affect us?
We all know that Adam and Eve have sinned against God and that because of that sin, we are all condemned to suffer eternal damnation in hell. That is as simple as it is! Left on our own, we are all going to hell when we die.
It’s easy for God to forget us in our sinfulness and make us suffer eternal condemnation but God cannot allow that – we are His creation and He loves us – but He cannot just forgive and forget because God and sin cannot co-exist.
If God is to forgive man, then a price has to be paid but what does man have that is of value to pay for man’s sins – nothing!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
We all know this verse – John 3:16 -- we often recite this by memory but do we really know its meaning?
Man has sinned against God but in order for God to forgive man, a HUGE and VALUABLE price has to be paid – and who is more valuable than God’s only son, Jesus Christ, who willingly and lovingly agreed to DIE to redeem man from eternal punishment, to restore man to God’s original plan – that man should have eternal life!
So Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) came to earth as man. He stripped Himself of His divinity and lived like man, suffered like man, and died like man. In His lifetime, few have believed that He is the Son of God who came to save mankind. In His resurrection, only those who have witnessed His ascent to heaven believed.
Now – here is the good news: Jesus has died on the cross for our sins and has risen from the dead on the third day! God’s promise has been fulfilled – Jesus has conquered death and man’s sins have been redeemed -- but there is something man has to do – God said “whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Christ Has Died and Has Risen!
This is the good news – this is the gospel of the Lord! Christ died and has risen again! All you have to do is to believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept the fact that Jesus is your own personal Savior and the Lord of your life!
Many people has rammed this fact down my throat but I have just taken it as one of the many religious stuff from the Bible – but there are many times in your life when some “aha!” moments come to you and you realize something for the first time.
I have always thought of Jesus as a deity, as a spirit who roamed the earth 2012 years ago, but I was wrong because Jesus, the Son of God walked the earth as the son of man. He is a historical figure many have dismissed as another prophet who died a martyr’s death. But Jesus has risen from the dead and proved that He is the Son of God as He has claimed to be.
Now my mind cannot refuse to believe what is written in history – that the resurrection of Jesus has occurred beyond a shadow of doubt. But it is not enough for my mind to accept this fact, it has to reach my heart – my faith has to be from my heart that Jesus loves me personally and He has died for me to save me from eternal damnation. This I know – that without Jesus dying for me, I am going to spend eternity burning in the lake of fire.