THE GOOD NEWS FROM GOD TO THE SONS OF THE KINGDOM

WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS?

Part 1

September 8, 2012

 

 

 

      We begin with Part 1 of the “Good News of God” brochure, published by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania. It contains three questions: (1) What is the news from God; (2) Why is the good news urgent?; and (3) What should we do?  We will respond to each question in order.
 

1.     What is the news from God?        

    The Apostle Paul put us on the correct path when considering any news from God.  He wrote:

 

“God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things.”

– Hebrews 1:1-2

 

    So, the news that God wants us to know today would not come through Jeremiah or Isaiah or even Daniel. It would come through his Son, Christ Jesus.  Accordingly, the appropriate question is “What is the news from Christ Jesus?”  We will answer that question.        

 

    Up until Jesus, the people only received ‘news’ from prophets such as Jeremiah, Isaiah and Daniel, who each prophesied about peaceful conditions on earth where man would thrive. But when Jesus arrived, he began preaching about a new era for mankind.  Not just peaceful life on earth, but everlasting life in the kingdom of the heavens.  Jesus taught:

 

“Repent, you people, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.”

Matthew 4:17

 

“Then he went around throughout the whole of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the kingdom and curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity among the people.”

Matthew 4:23

 

    In his first major sermon, called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus informed us of the invitation to enter into the kingdom of heavens:

 

“Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.  Happy are those who mourn, since they will be comforted.  Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth. Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled.  Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy.  Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God.  Happy are the peaceable, since they will be called ‘sons of God.’  Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.  Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake.  Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you.”

– Matthew 5:3-11

 

“For I say to you that if your righteousness does not abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens.”

– Matthew 5:20    

 

    Yes, the good news that Jesus taught was that all mankind who desired it are invited to enter into the kingdom of the heavens.  And there’s more!  Jesus taught us to refer to God as our own Father:

 

“You must pray, then, this way: ‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. Give us today our bread for this day; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’ For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; whereas if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

– Matthew 6:9-15

 

    And if God is our Father, we are all brothers:  

 

“But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your teacher, whereas all you are brothers. Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One.”

– Matthew 23:8-9

 

    This relationship carries with it a weighty responsibility:

 

“However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you; that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.”

– Matthew 5:44-45

 

    So that we are not mistaken, we can look to the Apostle Paul who reiterated that we are indeed sons of God:

 

You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one [person] in union with Christ Jesus.”

– Galatians 3:26-28

                                    

“For all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons.  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!”  The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

 Romans 8:14-16

 

“Now because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into our hearts and it cries out: “Abba, Father!”  So, then, you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, also an heir through God.”

– Galatians 4:6-7

 

    As children and heirs, we inherit our Father’s belongings – including the heavenly kingdom: 

 

“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.”

– Matthew 25:34

 

   Only Jesus could reveal this good news.  Neither Jeremiah, Isaiah nor Daniel knew this good news because it was hidden from them:

 

“I became a minister of this [congregation] in accordance with the stewardship from God which was given me in you interest to preach the word of God fully, the sacred secret that was hidden from the past systems of things and from the past generations.  But now it has been made manifest to his holy ones, to whom God has been pleased to make known what are the glorious riches of this sacred secret among the nations. It is Christ in union with you, the hope of [his] glory.”

 Colossians 1:25-27 

 

    It was hidden even from the angels:

 

“Concerning this very salvation a diligent inquiry and a careful search were made by the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for you. They kept on investigating what particular season or what sort of [season] the spirit in them was indicating concerning Christ when it was bearing witness beforehand about the sufferings for Christ and about the glories to follow these.  It was revealed to them that, not to themselves, but to you, they were ministering the things that have now been announced to you through those who have declared the good news to you with holy spirit sent forth from heaven. Into these very things angels are desiring to peer.”

– 1 Peter 1:10-12     

 

    But our adoption as sons and daughters of God has been the Father’s purpose from the beginning of creation, even before Adam and Eve:          

     

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in union with Christ, just as he chose us in union with him before the founding of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love.  For he foreordained us to the adoption through Jesus Christ as sons to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

 Ephesians 1:3-5

 

    This is good news indeed!  Praise to the Father for revealing to us, through His Son, His eternal purpose from the founding of the world – the sacred secret that mankind could be adopted as spiritual sons and daughters of God and enter into the heavenly kingdom to be with our Father and His Christ.For further discussion of this good news, please see: “Foreordained from the Founding of the World” “Hold Fast to the Sacred Secret” “Freedom of the Children of God” and “The Glorious Heavenly Hope.” 

 

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2.     Why is the good news urgent?    

 

The good news is urgent because the Father wants us all to recognize our sonship and become reconciled to him now!  Many today are waiting for the ‘end of the system of things’ or ‘Armageddon.’  But the reality is, we do not know when that day will occur or whether our own end will come first ‘because time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all.’ (Ecclesiastes 9:11) Rather than wait for the end of the system, the Father wants us to come to him NOW!  Without delay!      

 

    And there is another reason why the good news is urgent.  All who accept their sonship with the Father and become a part of ‘the body of Christ, which is the Christian congregation’ (Colossians 1:17-18, 24; Ephesians 1:22-23), are asked to be ambassadors substituting for Christ to help others come to appreciate their sonship with the Father.  The Apostle Paul tells us:

 

“But all things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of the reconciliation, namely, that God was by means of Christ reconciling a world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and he committed the word of the reconciliation to us. “We are therefore ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through us.  As substitutes for Christ we beg: ‘Become reconciled to God.’” 

– 2 Corinthians 5:18-20   

 

        When we understand the good news, we are moved to share it with others.  But from the very beginning, Jesus recognized that not all would take up this ministry.  We learn:

 

“And Jesus set out on a tour of all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the kingdom and curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity.  On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples: ‘Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few.  Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.’”

 Matthew 9:35-38

 

    There is much work to do.  Will you respond to the urgency of the good news? Will you become a kingdom ambassador, a harvest worker? For further discussion, please see: “Ambassadors Substituting for Christ.”  

                 

                       _______________________________                        

 

 3.     What should we do?    

 

    We must accept the Father’s invitation to be His faith-sons now, with a promise of being adopted as spirit sons and daughters in the heavens.  We undergo water baptism as symbolic of our entry into the spiritual brotherhood of sons and daughters of the Kingdom, and we undergo the ongoing baptism into Christ’s death as described by Paul where we live our lives and worship the Father as Jesus did:

 

“Consequently, what shall we say?  Shall we continue in sin, that undeserved kindness may abound?  Never may that happen!  Seeing that we died with reference to sin, how shall we keep on living any longer in it?  Or do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” 

 Roman 6:1-3

 

“Therefore we were buried with him through our baptism into his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised up from the dead through the glory of the Father, we also should likewise walk in a newness of life.  For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall certainly also be united with him in the likeness of his resurrection; because we know that our old personality was impaled with him, that our sinful body might be made inactive, that we should no longer go on being slaves to sin.  For he who has died has been acquitted from his sin.” 

Romans 6:4-7             

 

“He now called the crowd to him with his disciples and said to them: ‘If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and follow me continually. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for the sake of me and the good news will save it.”

– Mark 8:34-35

 

    For those of us who have already been baptized in water, we must go on following the Lamb wherever he goes (Revelation 14:4), into the Kingdom of the Heavens where he is preparing a place for us:

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God, exercise faith also in me. In the house of my Father there are many abodes. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going my way to prepare a place for you.  Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you home to myself, that where I am you also may be. And where I am going you know the way.”

– John 14:1-4

 

     This is the good news the Father wants us to know.For further discussion, please see: “Observing the Oneness of the Faith” “Fitly United in the Same Mind” 

 

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    We welcome your comments.

 

“Elaia Luchnia”

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