Ready for the Good News Behind the Bad News Behind the Good News? (April 14, 2023)
Friday, April 14, 2023
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The Good News behind the bad news behind the Good News
There's a lot of talk about the Gospel today. “We have to get back to the Gospel!”
Often it's a correction to some extreme teaching in the Charismatic movement -- like a hyper-prosperity Gospel or something else. Maybe something woo-woo in the New Age with a veneer of Christianity over it.
But then those who really emphasize the Gospel will say that we are sinful, Jesus came to die for our sins, and he was raised from the dead. There may be a little more, but basically, that’s the framework.
Dallas Willard referred to it as a “gospel of sin management.”
I don’t understand why they’re not emphasizing the Kingdom though. Far and away, it was the central motif of Jesus’ teaching and modeling. He began by saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near to you.”
He told Nicodemus that the whole thing of being born again is to see and enter the Kingdom (John 3.3-8). When Pilate asked if Jesus was a king, he said, “For this purpose I was born.”
The Book of Acts (the primal history of the young Church) begins by saying that Jesus spoke of “things pertaining to the kingdom of God” during the 40 days between his resurrection and ascension.
We can imagine that Jesus was prioritizing his message at that time as never before, right?
The last verse in Acts says that Paul was “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Lord is a term like Emperor. It’s what got the first Christians in trouble with Rome.)
Let's not "bury the lede"
In journalism, the lede is the most newsworthy part of a story. Journalists are taught to keep it front and center. A writer “buries the lede” when the priority news of a story fails to appear at the beginning where it’s expected.
Are we “burying the lede” when we communicate and live in a way that does not keep the Kingdom of Christ front and center? Or maybe it’s not even being emphasized at all in our lives and words.
It’s not enough to say that you don’t have to go to hell. Or that Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life.
There is a Great King! You’re born again to see and enter his domain. That kingdom is coming in it’s fulness at the Appearance of the King.
The message is get ready now! Start living now in the light, life, and power of this kingdom.
Orient your life now to what’s coming, or you will not enter the kingdom at his appearing. You’ll be cast into outer darkness.
Dominion: we are image-bearers of God
It's not just the bad news of a fallen, broken Everything … and then the Good News of the Gospel. I mean it is that. But there's more to the story further back.
We are his image bearers designed to exercise dominion under the Sovereign.
When we are born again, we are requalified for that capactity. Now we have to grow into that function.
Paul wrote that we grow up into the headship of Christ (Eph 4.15). We are to “put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according ot the image of Him who created him” (Col 3.10). It's a growth continuum, a process.
So do you see why the Enemy is attacking the image-bearers? Male and female? Ungodliness. Deceit and corruption.
But in the end, he won’t stop it. There will be core people who live in this way. We can “taste the powers of the age to come” now (see Heb 6.4-5).
If we start living this way (Hebrews does say it's a "new and living way") .. we'll sweat less and the devil and his minions and toadies will sweat more!
There was the Good News of the Kingdom in the Original Creation. We’re talking the first 2 chapters of the Book.
Then the bad news of Genesis 3 and following came. But then the Good News of Christ the King manifests at his First Appearing -- the Gospels and the New Testament.
Don't get stuck in Genesis 3!
It’s like this – The Good News behind the Bad News behind the Good News!
We have to think and talk more about this!
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Appreciate you. Until next time.
Brian Del Turco