Friday, March 19, 2010

The Good News

On the discussion board for my book, someone asked the question "What is the gospel."

And at first I gave the answer representing what the gospel Jesus spread would have been: the idea that the time of the Kingdom was at hand to a people who had been yearning for it for centuries. By the way, I discuss this gospel in a youtube video here.

But then the person asked me "But what is the good news for me?" And that is an excellent question...what is the Good News today...I decided I'd give my answer here for anyone who cared.

Well, there are several pieces of good news for you:

First piece of good news:
God has declared through Christ that God's Kingdom is now open to all races. You, as a Gentile, no longer are excluded from God. You are no longer a second-class citizen simply because you do not follow the covenant given to Abraham's heirs. That's a HUGE piece of good news that people today simply take for granted. But consider the situation of 1st century Gentiles, many of whom were attracted and respected the Jewish faith but could not bring themselves to convert. The idea that the Jews no longer had God's favor cornered is a huge bit of Good news.

Second piece, related to the first:

God has declared through Christ a new covenant whose joiners receive the holy spirit as a "signing bonus." This is an INCREDIBLE piece of good news if you put yourself in the mind of a 1st century believer. The Jews had only rarely tastes the Holy Spirit, and only for short bits of time. This person or that person of old may have been "in the spirit" for a time, receiving special revelation...but now EVERYONE in God's community has access to it. UNBELIEVABLE. Note that the Spirit is what Christ refers to at the end of Luke when he says "That which was promised" and in John he says it can only come if he dies...and in Acts it is repeated referred to as "the gift"

Third piece of Good News:
God has declared through Jesus' resurrection what God intends to do to everyone later on. Jesus resurrection is proof that God raises the dead (and it also is a warning to those who think they can do anything they want in this life without consequences). Note Paul's words to Felix in Acts 24:14-21 .


Glenn said...

There is a verse in the Bible that talks about Praying for the Dead, most people I know avoid it, I believe it is in John, I could be wrong, if you know what verse im talking about, would you mind sharing your thought on how that might relate to God raising the dead, and how in your book, you talk about praying for forgiveness of sins. If there is any relation.

Sorry this is so vague, but I am at work right now and so do not have access to any references.



David Rudel said...

Hi Glenn,
I'm not familiar with such a verse.
There is a verse in Paul's writings describing "Being baptized for the dead."

Could you track down the verse you have in mind? Thanks.

John P said...

Heterodox christianity? Yes, I think so, I am reading the book, who really goes to hell? and though I haven't gotten through the whole thing I'd say it is a deviant from the norm. So, I'll ask you David, who are the ones that go to hell?

I have found at least one thought perplexing: "Believers pass the Judgment not due to their righteousness but
because God has forgiven their sin." Now, you didn't say "other believers" nor "believers other than myself" so are you saying that you aren't one? Yet, throughout the parts I've read you speak as though you also are a believer.

That statement was in the context of believers judging others. And, I have to say that I am seeing lots of judging on your part also. So, if some can't how is that you can?

Anonymous said...

"It is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." Rom. 2:13
"For when there is a change of the priesthood it creates the necessary action of making a change of the law also." Heb. 7:12
A law has been added to the law that has made the crucifixion of Jesus an accountable sin for all.
"The law was added so that the trespass of Jesus' murder has increased as an accountable sin directly to God." Rom. 5:20 para
Therefore the only Way into the kingdom of God is by the faith of confessing directly to God that you are sorry Jesus' life was lost by bloodshed when he was crucified. And be baptized into this Way for the forgiveness of past sins. However if you don't obey God this Way you will commit a sin that is not forgivable. Since Jesus cannot be crucified again there will not be any more changes made to the law as a intercession for your benefit. This, my friend, is the gospel of God.
Theodore A. Jones

David Rudel said...

Theodore, I don't see the connection between the verses you posted and the conclusion you have made.

David Rudel said...

John P.,

Regarding the question "who goes to hell," please look at chapter 6.

Regarding the piece you quoted...I rather positive I was not claiming that...perhaps I was paraphrasing other people's claims?

In any event, you appear to have confused "judging" as in "Condemning individuals for their deeds" with "judging" as "evaluating the validity of someone's claim."

There is absolutely nothing wrong with critiquing the claims of other Christians, nor is there anything wrong with discussing the errors of a sect. Paul certainly "Judged other Christians" if you are using the term in a very loose sense.