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Good news, bad news

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Good news/bad news

Have you ever said, “I have good new and bad news.” Well, there was one young man who picked up his wife from the airport. They had been trying for a while to get pregnant. As they drove away from the airport, the wife said, “Good news! I’m pregnant!” Delighted, the young father-to-be looked at the sonogram and said, “Wait, what’s that?” The expectant mom smiled and said, “That’s the other one…” After pulling over to prevent a wreck the young couple decided to name them Alexis and Zoe, A-Z.

Image result for good news

Everyone loves good news and we all dread it when it’s bad. This was even true back in the day of Solomon who wrote in Proverbs 15:30, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” 

News in the Bible

The Bible is full of good news – from cover to cover. And it is full of news that isn’t so good.

Old Testament

Good NewsBad News
God created the heavens and the earthAdam and Eve’s first sin
Noah and His family will be saved from the coming flood by building an arkThe entire earth will be destroyed by the flood.
God will give Abraham a son; God wants him to sacrifice his only son
Joseph receives a coat of many colorsHis jealous brothers sells him into slavery
Joseph gets promoted to head of house Even though he was innocent, Joseph gets sent to prison
Joseph tells Pharaoh that there will be 7 years of plenty7 years of plenty is followed by 7 years of famine
Joseph tells Pharaoh his plan and he becomes 2nd in command of all of Egypt and keeps his family from starving.Joseph moves his family to Egypt and as a result the nations of Israel becomes salves to the Egyptians
The Jericho walls fell seemingly by themselvesBut before they fell, the spies sent out 40 years earlier told the people about the giants and how impossible it would be to conquer the land – that caused them to wonder in the desert for 40 years
Fire came from heaven and consumed a drenched sacrificeThen Queen Jezebel vowed to hunt down and kill the prophet, Elijah
Esther’s story tells of how she saved her people from annihilationHaman is caught in his plot and is hung on his own gallows he had built for Esther’s uncle
Ruth met and married BoazBut first she had to become a widow and move to a strange land
Nineveh repented of their sins and God changed His mind about destroying themBut before that, Jonah ran from God’s assignment, was swallowed by a great fish and then barfed up.

New Testament

  • An angel brought Mary good news and told her she was highly favored and chosen to be the mother of God’s son, followed by Mary having to explain to Joseph she was pregnant.
  • There is the good news given to the shepherds about the birth of Jesus which was followed by a decree from King Herod to kill on the male children 2 years and younger.
  • There is the good news of all the miracles and wonders that Jesus did, followed by the bad news of Him being betrayed by one of his own, crucified and died. But then there is the glorious news of his resurrection.
  • There is the good news of eternal life for those who believe by faith and accept Jesus as Savior and there is bad news for those who reject Him.
  • There is the good news of Jesus coming and again and the bad news for those who are left behind.

Reliable and Fake News

Today, we can turn on the TV, open an app, or browse the internet for all the news from around the world – some more reliable than others. But in Bible days, news traveled by word of mouth – which is only reliable as the mouth that is speaking and the brain that remembers what the mouth was supposed to say.

As early as a few centuries before Jesus, the Romans began to release something similar to what we call a newspaper. They had the Acta Diurna that reported on what the Roman army was doing. The Acta Senatus reported on the Roman Senate. The Acta Publica reported on trials, sacrifices, obits, and the like. However, without the printing press, there was no Roman youth who went door to door every morning to toss the paper in a subscriber’s driveway. Instead they were posted in public places periodically.

From there news-hungry humans developed and grew the concept of the newspaper all the way up to today’s 24-hour continuous coverage on CNN and Fox News. Yet still, even today the reliability of the news depends only on the integrity of the reporter. The result leaves us trying to sort through and decipher what is reliable news and what is fake news. And it seems that there is much more bad news reported than good news.

A Good and Joyful Message

Perhaps the best news we could ever hear comes from one who says, “Repent, and believe the good news!”  In the midst of world full of bad news, how refreshing it is to hear good news. John the Baptist and Jesus proclaimed the good news that the Kingdom of God was near. God’s message of the New Testament is “Good News.” The first four books of the Bible are called the Gospels. The word gospel means “Good news.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “gospel” as “a good or joyful message.”

The heart of the Gospel is a birth, death, and resurrection

We all find a birth announcement as good news. The birth of Jesus was such good news that an angel told the shepherds about it and then a multitude of angels sang from a heavenly choir. Obituaries, on the other hand, are not often seen as good news (unless you are just a cold-hearted person of an extremely rich relative). When Jesus died, his mother, friends and disciples grieved like anyone would. But then three days later Jesus rose from the dead and the news was the best news ever. This is the good news that is available to all of us today – salvation and everlasting life simply by having faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9-10 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” To the church at Corinth, Paul wrote, “I told the Good News to you….For I delivered to you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he has been raised on the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:2-4).

The reliability of the Gospel

Since we have raised the question of the reliability of news – how reliable is the news of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection? The Bible gives us several eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive after he was dead and buried:

People who saw Jesus after His resurrection

  • Mary Magdalene (John 20:14-16)
  • Mary, the mother of James along with Salome and Joanna (Matthew 28:9)
  • Peter (Luke 24:34)
  • Two Disciples on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-16)
  • The Disciples with Thomas Absent. (John 20:19-24)
  • All of the Disciples (with Thomas this time) eight days later (John 20:26-28)
  • Seven of the Disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-2)
  • The Eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-17)
  • Over 500 people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6)
  • James, Jesus’ half-brother followed by all the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:7)
  • Saul after Jesus’ ascension (Acts 9:3-5)

Luke wrote the Jesus presented himself alive

Additionally, Luke, who wrote the book of Acts wrote in Acts 1:3, “To these he also presented himself alive after his suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Jesus spoke of his own resurrection

Jesus also spoke of his own resurrection. In Luke 24:39, Jesus said, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And in Revelation 1:18 He said, ” I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

In Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ (which is also now a movie), he writes his own story of coming to faith. Strobel, a former editor at the Chicago Tribune and confirmed atheist begins to try to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was really the Son of God following his wife’s salvation. Using his reporter skills, he interviews biblical scholars seeking historical evidence (“Can the Biographies of Jesus be Trusted?”), scientific evidence (“Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus’ biographies?”), and psychiatric evidence (“Was Jesus crazy when He claimed to be the Son of God?”).

Instead of proving the non-existence of Jesus, Lee becomes thoroughly  convinced that Jesus is truly the Son of God and that everything the Bible records is true and accurate. If you struggle with believing that Jesus is the Son of God, I encourage you to read the book and watch the movie, then reach a verdict of your own. (see links at the bottom of the page)

What about you? Will you have the beautiful feet of one who brings the good news of eternal life to someone else today?

The Case for Christ DVD or Book at CBD

The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD  -     By: Lee Strobel

The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo
By Lee Strobel / Look Above LLC
A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed or didn’t believe as an avowed atheist.

Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.

Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.

The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass MarketThe Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market
By Lee Strobel / Zondervan

If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

#goodnews #badnews #gospelnews

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