Let’s face it, growing up Christian can have has its downside.
One example could be the loss of meaning that certain “christianisims” have after repeated hearings.
For me, this would be when someone refers to the Gospel as the “Good News”. Unfortunately, after a lifetime of hearing sermons and songs about the “Good News”, the incredible power of what that actually ment had either lost it’s impact, or never really sank in. That changed recently when I came across this passage during one of my morning Bible studies.
” And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:17, ESV)
According to the MacArthur ESV Study Bible the Greek word for “preached” literally means to bring, or announce GOOD NEWS, and in the NT it is almost always used in proclaiming the good news that sinners can be reconciled to God by the salvation which is through Jesus Christ.
I can’t really put my finger on what was different this time, but MacArthur’s explanation blew me away! How power-packed could our personal evangelism be if we could let the reality of what Paul is saying sink in, and become a major part of how we live out our faith every day?
Jesus came to re-connect broken, and sinful people to God! That, my friends, is the “Good News!” Everything that is wrong with this world can, and will be, made right, because of what Jesus accomplished on the Cross!
Does that not make you ridiculously happy? As true believers,and stewards of the “Good News” should we not be oozing joy? How much easier is it to share this Good News than to bring a message of judgment and damnation? It seems to me that Christians today are percieved to be mean spirited, and critical rather than the winsom and welcoming community that was descriptive of the early church. I truly hope that this is a trend that can be reversed.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. I absolutely believe that it is vital to warn our lost friends and neighbors of God’s coming judgment on un-believers. But how much more effective could our evangelistic efforts be if our attitudes and actions reflected a deep knowledge of what the Good News really is?
Our country seems to be more polarized now than at any other time that I can remember. Politics has so saturated our culture that where you choose to eat chicken, and drink coffee has become a political statement. It’s my prayer that those of us who claim to follow Jesus will come to more fully understand the unspeakable joy that is the Gospel. As a result, we’ll begin to crack the wall of antagonism separating us from those who need to hear the Good News of Jesus. Christians may not have laid the bricks in this wall, but I’m afraid we helped mix the cement.