The gospel simply is good news.
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:14-15
Two different tales:
- The gospel of going to heaven when you die. The verse does not mention anything about manmade hoops to jump through, nor does this passage refer to a mental assent to a list of beliefs so that when you die you can go to heaven. Yet most people within and outside of the established church would say that this is the good news.
- The gospel according to Jesus: the gospel of the kingdom. Jesus says, “The good news of God is that the time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe this good news.”
Jesus tells the good news differently. Can you see it?
The gospel is not first and foremost about us. It is “of God.” The good news is not something we consume so that we secure a new life of eternal bliss and ease. It is about the present reality, through the person of Christ that the kingdom-the rule and reign of God-is here, now.
What does Jesus want us to do in response to this good news?
- Repent. Examine our entire way of doing life. This is to think again, give a second thought to determine if we are living in God’s story.
- Believe. This is not a mere mental assent. Rather it is to place our confidence by acting and living as if we trust that the good news is true. Trusting in Christ as the one who can restore us and reclaim us into this new kingdom life.
We are invited to join in and participate with God, through Christ, in an unfolding story. Entering into this story involves our whole lives. Every part of us is changed through the good news. The good news (gospel) also compels us to live outwardly on mission. This good news is not for us to hoard but for us to share through our lives, our conversations, and through the everyday living of a faithful -yet forgiven- community of followers of Jesus.
So the gospel changes everything! Therefore, we are centered on the gospel, surrounded in community, sent on mission.
-Main thoughts written by Todd Hunter, with some adaptation by Todd Harrington