Most people don’t realize the Christian “gospel” means “good news.”
I confess, there was a time when I did not see Christianity as newsworthy. Clearly, since I’ve written this piece, I’ve had a deep change of perspective.
My grandfather strongly felt the same as I once did. On one occasion, after my change of mind, I recall talking with him about this good news. At one point he said, in no uncertain terms, “That’s fine for you, but it’s not for me.”
Yet, he also underwent a deep change of heart. This happened when all avenues finally failed him in his battle with cancer. Soon after his doctor gave him the bad news that there was nothing more they could do, the gospel became really good news to him.
What makes this “gospel” such “good news”? It meets our greatest need.
Think of it this way. If all our woes in this world stem from our estrangement from God then the only solution is to return to God. This is precisely what the gospel of Jesus does for us.
John 3:14-17 reads: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
The serpent was lifted up as a symbol of the curse the Israelites incurred for their incessant rebellion against God, the very curse which Jesus fully bore for us all when he was lifted up on the cross.
My grandfather and I came to this turning point: If we can humbly and truthfully face where we stand with our God, then we are in a position to return to our loving God, on his terms — by repenting, looking to, and trusting in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who died for our sin and rose again (John 1:29, Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
Please don’t wait for crisis or tragedy to strike before you begin exploring the astoundingly “good news” of Jesus.
Robin Martens is pastor of Kinnaird Park Community Church