“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is Good News from a far country.” [Proverbs 25:25]
Let’s face it – there’s not much good news in our world today.
Or is that true?
We as Christians are supposed to believe that the “Gospel” translates perfectly to the Greek “Good News.” If we believe in the “Gospel,” we must believe in “Good News.” Why and how is it possible that at a time when there seems to be so little good news around we’re living in the Gospel age?
Maybe we’re forgetting what the Gospel is. What is the Gospel?
Is there a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is? Does it really mean “Good News”?
Maybe we make the Gospel too complicated. Let’s see if we can’t set out defining the Gospel through the only book we can rely on for such purposes – the Bible.
God is perfect, holy and just – and we’re not. We will stand before a perfect, holy and just God to be judged on the basis of righteousness, a measure none of us can meet through our own merits, efforts, deeds or works. The Good News is that a Redeemer was promised since the fall of man. The Father sent His One and Only Son to live a perfectly righteous life in obedience to God, while preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, raising the dead and offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world and to satisfy God’s perfect standard of justice.
Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be “born again” – spiritually from above – in John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
The work on the cross and through His resurrection is finished, but the judgment has not yet come, as Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
For our part, it’s up to us to repent, which means to turn. We turn from sin and toward God. What is sin? The Bible defines it as the “transgression of the law.”
But there’s more Good News we sometimes forget. Paul makes it clear and succinct a few verses later, in 1 Corinthians 15:24-27: “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet.”
That’s the second part of the Gospel the church often overlooks. Paul did not. The other apostles did not. The prophets did not. Jesus did not.
In fact, Jesus had a name for His Good News – “the Gospel of the Kingdom.” He was actually preaching it to Nicodemus when He talked about how “the world through him might be saved.”
Just to review: Mankind fell, along with all Creation. The Redeemer was promised. He came from above to justify His children through a spiritual rebirth and His sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.
And He is coming again to restore the world to its original perfection, presiding over it as King of kings, Lord of lords, the Lion of Judah, the Word, Son of God, Son of Man. That’s “the Gospel of the Kingdom.”
When I went looking for “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” my newest book, the Gospel of the Kingdom was the key to my being able to find the Gospel message in all 39 books of Hebrew Scripture. In fact, there is far more information about this Kingdom there than in the New Testament. It’s in abundance, which is one of the many reasons Christians should never believe anyone who tries to separate them from the original Scriptures Jesus and the apostles used as the one and only standard throughout their lives and ministries.
What I found in researching the book, was that the Gospel of mercy, grace, the Holy Spirit, repentance, second chances and third chances is a promise offered all over the Old Testament. I think too many Christians believe it’s something new. Jesus didn’t come to offer mankind something new. He came to be our Messiah! He came to fulfill the promises of the covenant – to Israel and the nations.
Should believers ever become complacent about what we think we know when it comes to the things of God – the essential truth, our eternal future, the Gospel?
The Scriptures tell us so much about our new, glorified, resurrected lives. Why isn’t there more curiosity? It’s clearly part of the Good News – the vanquishing of evil, for instance, which is still with us today. There are vivid details of this life on our fully restored planet that will last 1,000 years – an eternity after that.
Do you know where most of that story is found? In the Old Testament.
“The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” is a field guide to the Good News in all 39 books, from Genesis to Malachi. I don’t get in the way with my opinions in this book. I stand back and let the Scriptures tell the story. This book provides proof that our entire Bible is a fully integrated message system outside of time and space – 66 books written by more than 40 different people over a period of several thousand years. That’s a book you can have faith in.
After all, these are the original Scriptures that announced Jesus’ first coming in specific, grainy and miraculous detail. It’s how we, His children, would recognize Him with unmistakable clarity – if we would seek Him. Since these books were perfect in describing how Jesus would come the first time – where, when, how as our One and Only Mediator, fully God and fully man – who wouldn’t want to know what follows and what this coming new world will look like with Jesus presiding over it in glory and majesty?
This book has been, without question, the most important project of my life for the last several years.
If you want to understand the Gospel more fully than you ever have before, I believe this book will help anyone – pastor, teacher, scholar, layman, student, new believer, even unbeliever.
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