What is the good news? It is not simply that you and I can be saved in and through Jesus Christ. That is true. But there is a bigger picture here. When Jesus came He announced the good news. He said that the time has been fulfilled. The kingdom of God has dome near (see Mark 1:14-15).
What is the kingdom of God? In what sense is it near? These are the two most important questions that must be answered — and answered correctly — in order for us to fulfill God’s purpose in our life and ministry.
The kingdom of God refers to God’s creation as it should be — under God’s rule. If it is under God’s rule, then everything will be the way it should be — perfect. This is what we long for deep inside our hearts — a perfect world where God rules. Jesus said it is near. He is not just talking about the idea of the kingdom of God; he’s talking about it’s nearness! What did He mean?
He meant first of all that it was near time-wise. The new heavens and the new earth will soon become a reality. This is the reason why our time today is called the last days in the Bible. Pain and death will soon pass away. There will be no more weeping or crying because God will finally dwell among His people (Rev 22:3-5). This is the blessed hope of all true belivers in every generation.
But Jesus meant more than this. God’s rule is actually so near that people can see it and experience it even though it’s not yet fully here (John 3:5). By faith in Jesus Christ, people can enter His kingdom in the here and now. This is where forgiveness and personal salvation come in. Through Jesus we can all become citizens of this kingdom in the here and now. This is the personal aspect of the kingdom of God. This is what we are familiar with. But it’s not the whole picture.
We need to understand the whole picture of the good news. The good news is that in and through Jesus Christ the world — the whole universe — is about to change for the good. God is about to reclaim His creation and transform it. But, in addition to this, people can now experience the reality of this kingdom by faith in and through Jesus Christ even though it’s not yet fully here. In other words we can have a foretaste of it in the here and now! This is our message to the world. It is the most exciting good news the world can ever hear!
But how can we proclaim this so that people will actually listen? They need this information — the good news– but will they listen and believe if we proclaim it the way we’ve always proclaimed it? I will talk about this in my next blog.