Somewhere in the history of the American church, we decided that good news was reserved for those who were outside the church. I am of the persuasion that good news is for everyone and the gospel of Jesus is good news. I believe that the discipleship (learning about living the life of Christ in us, our hope of glory) begins long before one decides to follow the Jesus Path. I also believe that everyone needs the gospel proclaimed to them regularly.
What is the good news?
Jesus is our Savior – He is our Deliverer from the bondage of sin, death, and condemnation and this truth is at the very forefront of the gospel. This is what we tend to think encompasses the gospel, but I would suggest that Jesus came to give us more than a “Get out of hell free” card. He came to give us the opportunity to live the abundant life in Him – which begins with our acceptance and confession of Him as our Savior.
But what about the redemptive work of Christ? Isn’t that good news as well? Absolutely! And this is partly why everyone needs to have the gospel of Jesus proclaimed to them regularly. We need to be reminded that Jesus is sanctifying us through and through and that He who began this good work in us will see it through to completion – faithfully. To remind someone that God is at work in their character development is good news to anyone who will embrace His hand in their lives.
Just this week, I had the opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to some in our church family – to the sick and hurting. You see, because of Jesus’ suffering and passion, we can know healing for our infirmities and diseases. We have good news of His healing power and His desire to heal our sicknesses. We should be proclaiming the scriptures about this gospel of healing to those who are sick – for those who are already in Christ and to those who are still considering the Christian life.
Finally, we have a gospel of Jesus for those who are living in great fear, anxiety, and worry. These specific chains come from a question of authority, dominion, and control. We have good news: all authority, dominion, and power have been handed over to Jesus. We all need to be reminded of the good news that Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, especially when we are consumed with worry. He has not fallen asleep or forgotten His responsibility as the Ruler of all things. What is more, this good news is a gospel of constituted authority to all who live in submission to His authority. This means that for those who are in Christ, we have His authority to bind and loose things in heaven and on the earth. We have the authority to pray in His Name and bring healing and forgiveness. This is not an authority of our own, but constituted to us through our submission to His authority.
We have a gospel story to share with the nations, our neighbors, and our coworkers. We have been given good news and should be intentionally having at least one gospel conversation once a month; if we believe this is good news. Who doesn’t want to hear good news?
I had someone say to me, “I work in a Christian organization where everyone is a Christian. I don’t have any friends who don’t know Jesus. Who am I going to share the gospel with?”
First, organizations aren’t Christian – people are. Second, just because people claim to be Christian doesn’t mean that they are walking the Jesus Path. Third, Christians need good news and desperately need to be reminded of the whole gospel of Jesus. Fourth, if you can’t share the gospel with an affirming audience, what makes you think that you’ll be able to do it when you are called to share it with a hostile audience? Let us proclaim the whole gospel with everyone in need of the good news of who Jesus is – Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and King.