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Written by David McNabb   
Saturday, 10 April 2010 15:33

I HAVE SOME GOOD NEWS

by David McNabb
Read the entire issue of The Bible Guys Apr/May 2010 in PDF format

 

When He was on trial, Jesus was asked, “What is truth?”  That remains one of the greatest questions a man can ask.  If Pilate only knew that the Man to whom he posed that question had already answered it, saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).  The message of Jesus’ coming is called the “Gospel.”  It is well-known that the word gospel, translated from the Greek word ευαγγελιον (euangelion), means “good news.”  This is also the source for the word evangelist, which means “bearer of good news.”  Evangelists are God’s heralds – the town criers of the Holy Jerusalem.

Today’s world is characterized by an insatiable thirst for news.  Whether an event is of extreme historical importance, or if it is simply what your friend is having for lunch three states away, you can be instantly informed.

 

Historically, news was carried by messengers, and spread by town criers.  With the advent of the printing press in the mid-1400s, the ability to mass produce news in print form was a reality.  This innovation, however, was subjected to the limitations of the speed with which the word could reach the print shop.  News still arrived by messengers on foot or horseback, so the concept of “breaking news” may have not even been imaginable.  A lot has changed since the 15th century, and today, newspapers are found in great numbers in every major market, and in many minor ones, being printed weekly, bi-weekly, and even daily.

With advancements in both transportation and communication, the ability to deliver information steadily improved.  In the late 1830s, the first commercial electric telegraph was constructed.  This technology would eventually lead to the development of the telephone, which Alexander Graham Bell patented in 1876.  With the telephone and the telegraph, information could be immediately delivered by electric pulses over very long distances.  Soon, an earthquake in California could be reported in New York on the same day it had happened!  Not only that, but you could also be informed of whether your new grandchild was a boy or a girl shortly after its birth.  With the addition of cameras and internet access to these phones, the exchange of information is available to all.  Any event can be videotaped by a cell phone and uploaded to the Internet to be seen by the world.

In 1893, Nicola Tesla demon-strated wireless radio transmission before the National Electric Light Association.  In 1901, Guglielmo Marconi established wireless com-munication between St. John's, Newfoundland (Canada) and Pold-hu, Cornwall (England).  Today, most radio stations offer news seg-ments each hour, and some stations have a “news/talk” format, broad-casting news and also programming that often emphasizes politics and current events all day.

In the middle to late 1920s, not only were they able to send audio over the airwaves, but pictures as well.  Now you could not only read the news, but you could hear it – and even see it!  In the late 1970s, Ted Turner debuted the first basic cable system.  With this new me-dium, a possibility for news net-works was created.  Mr. Turner launched the Cable News Network, CNN, on June 1, 1980.  It would later be joined by other 24-hour news networks, such as MSNBC, Headline News, Fox News, and many others, including channels that focus only on business or sports news.  Now you do not have to wait until the network news at 5 or 11 o’clock.  You can get your news on the TV any time of the day or night.

Technological developments in the 40s, 50s and 60s revealed the initial potential of the computer.  In 1969, a computer network was created called Arpanet.  Arpanet would later merge with other net-works, and together with advances in the 70s, would produce the In-ternet.  In September 1981, funda-mental protocols for the Internet were established, and today it is arguably the most powerful form of communication ever known to man, practically interconnecting the entire world.

With all of these media availa-ble to us, what do we get?  We get an endless parade of violence, opi-nion, and celebrities.  We are bar-raged with the evidence of sin and its effects on a daily, hourly, and even more frequent basis!  All of this news is either bad news, or irrelevant gossip.

Most of the news presented is biased and opinionated, while some news sources claim to be more fair and balanced.  One might pose the question, what is news?  Can news be biased?  Can news be balanced?  The answer is, of course, no.  If you are trying to promote an agenda, or seeking ways to offer different sides of a story, then you are no longer reporting on the facts, but are rather expressing opinions.

While gossip and opinion ob-viously appeal to the carnal man, the spiritual man is interested in truth.

Jesus’ coming is called good news.  It is not an opinion or a myth, but news – real news.  When the angel appeared to the shepherds, he said, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For un-to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).  The shep-herds went and found the baby, just as the angel had said.  The angel was not offering a biased report, nor was he trying to be fair and balanced.  He was just reporting the news.

Men of great faith, who wit-nessed Jesus’ ministry with their own eyes, recorded those events in the pages of what we call the New Testament.  Three of Jesus’ twelve, Matthew, John and Peter, describe the things that they saw.  The death of Jesus was a fact, they were witness to it.

The resurrected Lord also ap-peared to the disciples, as they also record.  He also appeared to Paul several years later.  But both Peter and Paul make statements that show that their faith was not based on what they saw, but on the facts that were first declared by the mouth of God through His holy prophets.

Peter was one of only three dis-ciples that witnessed the transfigu-ration of Jesus (the other two being the sons of Zebedee).  As he de-scribes that event in 2 Peter 1:16-21, he says, “For we have not fol-lowed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my be-loved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”  Although he saw and heard amazing  things that day, he goes on to say that the word of prophecy is more sure than even his own experiences.

Paul, who saw a vision of the risen Jesus, likewise declares, “More-over, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I deli-vered 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” (1 Cor. 15:1-4).  He gives greater weight to that which happened “according to the scriptures:” the death and resur-rection of Christ Jesus, than to his own testimony, because the “good news” is not opinion or legend, nor is it hearsay, but fact.  Being absent when those events occurred, Paul says that he preaches the gospel (good news) that he also received.

Paul said in 2 Cor. 5:7, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”  This does not mean we walk by some random belief or hope.  No, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).

Holy men of old spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost.  This unbiased reporting, with no effort to balance it by the words of man’s wisdom, is what makes the Gospel truly good news.  We are not expected to believe someone’s testimony, or someone’s experience, we are only expected to believe the report of the Lord!

Prophecies about the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus were written centuries before the events.  Jesus fulfilled the volume of prophecy that was written of Him.

The heralds of God’s news net-work reported the good news, and from the days of Isaiah until now, we ask, “Who has believed our re-port?” (Isa. 53:1; Rom. 10:16).

And what is that report?  Here is some of Luke’s file footage: “Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.  And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.  And when they had fulfilled all that was writ-ten of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a se-pulchre.  But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.  And we declare unto you glad tid-ings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to re-turn to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:26-39).

The good news is the same to-day.  Jesus died for your sins, and was raised for your justification, just as the Scriptures required.  In a world where news seems to be eve-rywhere and nowhere at the same time, it is the word of the Lord that brings us the tidings of great joy and great hope.

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through pa-tience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pet. 1:24-25).


 

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 April 2010 13:53
 
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