Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Exactly Is The "Good News"?

The Bible speaks of the "good news." What is that good news? In Acts 10:34-43, Peter covers several facets of that message that have amazed many down through the centuries.

First, in verse 34, Peter mentions something that is truly good news for everyone regardless of nationality or ethnicity. He says that God is impartial, that God doesn't care what nation we are from. To become accepted by him, our motives and conduct are what he looks at.

Next, in verse 36, he relates something that anyone who has ever dealt with injustice from governments should be absolutely elated over, namely, that Jesus' rulership is even over and above all earthly governments, being "Lord of all others." (this is not an ineffectual rulership. In time, Jesus will act to remove human rulership and bring relief and benefits to all his earthly subjects.)

In verse 39 he relates something that may at first seem like a huge disappointment--Jesus was put to death by devious lies from the Jewish religious leaders and carried out by Roman rule. But in verse 40, there is yet more, almost unbelievable, good news--God brought Jesus back to life. As proof of this good news, Peter indicates in verse 41 that there were many eye witnesses of the risen Christ. Backing up the numerous eye witnesses, Peter mentions in verse 43 that a number of Hebrew writers (prophets) points to Jesus and the impact he would have on those accepting and rejecting the message.

Finally, in verses 42, Peter mentions that this is not a hidden message or one that people would have to travel great distances to hear. Instead, Jesus "ordered" that those who had knowledge of the resurrected, empowered Christ should spread the message near and far.

So although the "good news" is multi-faceted (just as a diamond has many facets depending on its cut), it is still one single diamond--Jehovah, through his written word (The Bible), points to Jesus as the solution to mankind's problems. Or, as Peter put it in Acts 4:12, "God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." (New Living Translation, copyright 2007)

Granted, this is not good news for the governments of this world that oppress mankind. This also is not good news to any that insist on creating their own set of rules, their own standards and measure of what is right and wrong—those that reject the Bible’s clear and simple moral code. But to those that are sincerely and humbly looking for what God wants of them and willing to follow what is outlined in the Bible, the promise of rule by God is very appealing and is the greatest news they have ever heard.

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