From the September/October 2019 issue of Discern Magazine

You Need Some Good News

In a sad world drowning in bad news, it’s not wrong to long for good news. In fact, the message of the Bible is bad news and good news. And in the end, the bad can’t compare to the awesome good news God has planned!

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I follow the news. A lot. On the Internet, radio, TV, magazines. And you won’t be surprised that a vast majority of it is bad. Much of it is depressing and frightening. Some is downright terrifying.

One magazine I read regularly is The Week. It covers big stories concisely and clearly. And it even has a section called “It wasn’t all bad…” These three little “good news” stories are refreshing and uplifting.

They take up a quarter of one page—out of a 40-page magazine.

Good news for a change

I’m not suggesting we should all ignore what’s happening in the world and immerse ourselves in as many feel-good stories and cat videos as we can. While God wants us to focus on the positive (Philippians 4:8), I believe Jesus also showed He wants us to be aware of world conditions when He said to “watch therefore, and pray always” (Luke 21:36).

He said this in His “Olivet Prophecy” in the context of the terrible end-time prophetic events that would lead up to His second coming to save humanity from self-destruction (Matthew 24:3, 21-22, 30).

Jesus said the tidal wave of bad news would actually signal the good: “When you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:31).

The Bible gives us a sneak peek into the news of tomorrow. Jesus will prevent us from annihilating ourselves! He will set up a kingdom of peace and prosperity on earth!The Bible gives us a sneak peek into the news of tomorrow. Jesus will prevent us from annihilating ourselves! He will set up a kingdom of peace and prosperity on earth!

This is indeed good news!

The gospel: Christ’s message of good news

The English word gospel is translated from the Greek word euangelion (Strong’s #2098). “This Greek word was originally used to describe the ‘good news’ of military victory brought from a messenger to his commander. It then came to mean simply a ‘good message’” (NKJV Study Bible, word study “Gospel”).

Jesus came to preach a message of good news.

“Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14-15).

What is the gospel message?

The Bible often calls this message of good news “the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mark 1:14). The Kingdom of God is a theme throughout the Bible. It is the answer to the problems and evils that pervade the kingdoms of this age.

God’s government will be a government of service and love (Matthew 20:25-28). It will bring peace, prosperity and health to people around the world. Everyone will have the chance to experience a meaningful and productive physical life and to prepare for a joyous and glorious eternal life.

The Kingdom of God is like the pearl of great price—of greater worth than anything else we have (Matthew 13:45-46).

Peter, James and John were given a vision of that wonderful future, and it motivated them for the rest of their lives. (See Mark 9:1-9 and our article “What Is the Transfiguration of Jesus?”)

The good news of the Kingdom of God

Picture in your mind’s eye these descriptions of the glorious and peaceful world that will be the result of Jesus’ rule over the earth:

“And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it.

“Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

“He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

“But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken” (Micah 4:1-4).

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5-6).

All this can seem too good to be true. But our Creator assures us it is coming, and beyond this 1,000 years of physical peace will be an eternity of spiritual joy.

God encourages us to seek the Kingdom of God in spite of the troubles of today. Jesus said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

Christ’s gospel and a different gospel

Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom is indeed good news. Yet Paul warned about people turning away to “a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).

There are many different human ideas of the good news, but the true gospel is a biblical message that encompasses the plan of God.

As we have seen, Jesus called it the gospel of the Kingdom of God—the righteous, peaceful government He will bring to the earth when He returns.

Jesus Christ plays many vital roles in this plan. He will be the King in that coming Kingdom at His second coming. At His first coming, He was the Messenger of that Kingdom, and the Savior who gave His life so that God could by His grace forgive us and make it possible for us to have eternal life as children of God in that eternal Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God is the same message the apostle Paul preached. Acts records that he preached the Kingdom of God on his first missionary journey (14:22), and he was still preaching it at the end of the book.

Even under house arrest in Rome, Paul was able to meet with those who came to him, “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence” (Acts 28:31).

Nonbiblical gospels

Different, nonbiblical gospels include many things, such as attempts to justify ourselves, as the Galatians were being tempted to do. (Only Christ’s death can pay for our past sins—we can’t justify ourselves.)

Another different gospel says we don’t need to be resurrected—that we have an immortal soul now and go immediately to heaven or hell when we die. (See our article “Do Humans Have an Immortal Soul?”)

Another gospel says there won’t be a Millennium of peace on the earth. (See our article “1,000 Years—the Millennium.”) Related to that is another gospel that says the Kingdom of God is not a real kingdom, but is figurative or is the Church. (See our blog post “The Kingdom of God Is Real!”)

In contrast to these gospels and perversions of the gospel, the true gospel of the Kingdom of God is truly good news—the best news ever.

If you are being called to understand the good news of the Kingdom of God—if God is inviting you to have a part in that Kingdom—He expects you to respond.The full message of God’s good news is the only hope this world has. Jesus came the first time to be our Savior from sin and its penalty, and He will return with power to save humanity from self-destruction.

The wonderful eternity He is preparing is beyond our imagination (1 Corinthians 2:9), but we can still try! Our online article “The Gift of Eternal Life” can give your Bible study a jolt of positive good news.

Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand

The good news demands a response.

If you are being called to understand the good news of the Kingdom of God—if God is inviting you to have a part in that Kingdom—He expects you to respond.

“Repent, and believe in the gospel,” He tells us (Mark 1:15).

Our booklets Change Your Life! and The Mystery of the Kingdom can help you study what God says about repentance and about the gospel of the Kingdom. These publications are concise, free of charge and solidly rooted in Scripture.

Download them now and start preparing for your part in the best news ever!

About the Author

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett is editorial content manager for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in the Dallas, Texas, area. He coordinates the Life, Hope & Truth website, Discern magazine, the Daily Bible Verse Blog and the Life, Hope & Truth Weekly Newsletter (including World Watch Weekly). He is also part of the Personal Correspondence team of ministers who have the privilege of answering questions sent to Life, Hope & Truth.

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