So often we hear the Gospel (which means ‘good news’) being presented, and it’s anything but good news. Tales of a god who burns people forever in hell just because they don’t ‘repent’ and turn to him. Even if they’ve never heard of him.
I don’t buy that at all.
Instead, the Good News is so much bigger, better and more vast and expansive than all that; so much better than just ‘Turn or Burn’, as so many espouse it.
The Gospel is supposed to be Good News.
And so, here is a piece by Jacob Wright, a young man who is very wise in the things of God, and, well, you’ll see what I mean. This piece is a breath of fresh air. Without more ado, here it is:
The good news isn’t “Turn or burn”. The good news is “Rise and shine.”
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.” – Ephesians 5:14
The good news is “Come! Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” – Revelation 22:17
The good news is “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
The good news is “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sin against them.” – 2 Corinthians 5:19
The good news is “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” – Luke 4:18
The good news is “I have come that they might have life, and life to the fullest.” – John 10:10
The good news is “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” – John 14:9
The good news is “Change your way of thinking and turn towards God, for his kingdom is approaching!” – Matthew 3:2
Let all wondering of who God is be put to rest. We have seen what God is like in Jesus. God is Christlike and in Him is no unChristlikeness at all.
We already know the bad news. The bad news is despair, depression, disease, disaster, and death. The bad news is that creation has been subjected to frustration. The bad news is we’re all lost in life and wondering who we are and who God is and what the point is. The good news is that God is like Jesus, that God has revealed a new way of humanity in Jesus, and that God has highlighted the hope of redemption in Jesus. God is a participator in the human experience, and empathizes fully with us. God takes up our grief and carries our sorrows within himself and through it births a new creation.
God is both in it with us, and has triumphed over all of it for us. God is not angry at humanity, but has woven himself into humanity. God is a father that is waiting to see us on the road back home so he can run to us and embrace us! God is a shepherd that is intent on searching out and finding us who have wandered astray so he can bring us back to safety! God is a doctor who has come to heal us of our sin-sickness. Most of all, God is human, of the same blood as us, which means we are divine, and to be revealed as sons and daughters of God. God is in complete solidarity to the ultimate limits of our sin, suffering, and death, experiencing it all in the incarnation and the cross, and triumphing over all of it in the resurrection.
Jesus is the good news.