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QUICK – without thinking about it, tell me what the Good News is.
Jesus launched his ministry with the words “Repent, and believe the Good News!”
So what is the Good News he was talking about?
And what exactly does he want us to believe?
If you’re like most Christians, you won’t have a clue.
Most Christians will say something like: “Jesus died for our sins.”
But the truth is that Jesus preached the arrival of God’s Kingdom on Earth. His entire ministry was preaching and teaching about the Kingdom and how to live in it. Remember that Jesus’ people were at that time waiting for a deliverer to save them from the occupying Roman forces, just as his people previously had been waiting for someone to save them from their enemies (the heathens) who were constantly a threat to them. God had promised them such a deliverer, and Jesus preached the Good News that God had kept his promise: The Kingdom that would keep God’s people safe from their enemies had finally been established.
This is incredibly important to understand. You cannot preach or teach the Good News without understanding exactly what the Good News is. Jesus preached the coming of the Kingdom not as an event that would happen thousands of years in the future, but as something that was happening then and there and would continue forever. The founding of the Kingdom that would have no end was the Good News, and it had to be believed (that is, taken on faith) because, as Jesus explained, you can’t see the Kingdom with your eyes: It’s within you.
Jesus was very clear that the Kingdom had come, and that his ability to cast out spirits “by the finger of God” was evidence of it. The Kingdom, as Jesus explained, is a spiritual realm, not a geopolitical one. What the coming of the Kingdom accomplished was to give believers a safe spiritual space where they would be protected from their spiritual enemies, not a safe geopolitical space where they would be protected from their worldly enemies.
This is the Good News that Jesus preached. This is the gospel.
Unfortunately, most Christians today are preaching another gospel – that the Kingdom of God will only come at Jesus’ second coming, and that Jesus will at that time set up a geopolitical realm. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is that the kingdom came with Jesus and has continued for the past 2000 years. The truth also is that a false messiah who calls himself Jesus will emerge at some point out of the worsening chaos to “save the world”, and this false messiah will set up a global government that he will call the kingdom of God, dubbing himself “God” in the process. This is the reason for the lies being pushed lately that Jesus is God and that he is “coming back soon” to set up his kingdom.
Don’t be deceived. When Jesus proclaimed the Good News 2000 years ago, he was declaring the coming of God’s Kingdom at that time, and he never called himself God. He always referred to “The Father” as a separate person. The gospels make no sense if you read them as Jesus being God. Old Testament prophecy is very clear that “God’s suffering servant” and “prophet” (a term used interchangeably with “son of man”) will set up the kingdom that will have no end, and that this will be done in the midst of other kingdoms, not as a final kingdom.
The problem, as I see it, is that most Christians today don’t bother to read the Bible and are profoundly ignorant of scripture. They’ve been relying instead on priests and pastors and ministers and YouTube false prophets to spoon-feed them what they’re told is scripture, and in so doing are learning, believing, and spreading lies.
This problem can easily be resolved by people simply opening up the Bible and reading it for themselves, but most Christians don’t want to do that. And so, we have the major falling away that we are now experiencing, along with a whole generation of Christians who are gearing up to welcome the false messiah as Jesus/God.
Please read the Bible. If you have been given the very great privilege of teaching and preaching God’s Word, please read the Bible, and learn and know scripture before you try to teach others. Don’t rely on other people to teach you; learn from the Master himself (Jesus) and from his Father (God) through God’s Spirit. Don’t rely on people.
The Good News that Jesus preached all those years ago is that the Kingdom had come and that God’s people were now safe from their spiritual enemies if they followed Jesus’ teachings. That is the Good News that Jesus preached, and that is also the Good News we need to preach. Anything else is another gospel.