One of my great privileges is teaching theology at Columbia International University Seminary and School of Ministry. In this semester’s theology class, one of the assignments for my students was to put the Good News about Jesus in their own words, avoiding Christian jargon. They are then supposed to share that paragraph with one face-to-face friend and also with one online friend.
I’ll be posting some of these paragraphs over the next couple of weeks.
Here’s the third one. What do you think?
God originally designed a plan that would bring Him great joy; a plan which involved creating a perfect world which He would run in relationship with humans. God created the world as an organic system that would function perfectly if the humans would merely follow God’s leading. Unfortunately, humans disregarded God’s input and tried running the world differently; a way they thought was best. Their foolish and arrogant choice to rebel caused immediate consequences; the breakdown of the system, separation between mankind and God, and pain instead of love. God has to punish disobedience because it hurts Him, it hurts the system and it hurts other humans. The system is still broken today because humans are unable to perfectly follow God and fix the system. This means that our separation to God will continue indefinitely, with each person eventually spending eternity in isolation. God wants to spend eternity with us, though, so He devised a rescue plan. God decided to came to earth as a human, perfectly follow the instructions for right living, and restore the relationship humans can have with Him. Jesus was that person. He lived a perfect life on earth, died on a cross to take our punishment, was raised from the dead three days later, and now teaches us how to follow God so we fix the world that we broke. The world isn’t perfect yet, but Jesus promises that one day it will be. He also promises that God will forgive us if we acknowledge our disobedience, ask Him for forgiveness and to choose Jesus as our boss, savior and God.
1. What evidences do you see of this world’s brokenness?
2. How does this presentation of the Good News view the after-life?
May 6, 2013 at 6:58 am
What people need to hear is the gospel of the kingdom (which Jesus preached), because that is what He commanded His people to tell the world. But that gospel is not about Jesus, it is about the kingdom of God and one’s personal place in that kingdom, and that all human beings who enter it will rule with Jesus.
Telling the world anything less no matter how good it may sound disobedient and is a false gospel. Remember King Saul, who saved the best of what he was commanded by God via Samuel destroy, and said that that animals would be an offering to God? God rejected him because he did not do what God told him to do. God has rejected mainstream Christianity because those in it have substituted the gospel Jesus preached with a gospel about Jesus, a message He never commanded His people to preach.
May 6, 2013 at 11:18 am
Thanks for your comments, Anonymous. So you believe the gospel is about the kingdom but not about Jesus? What about His statement to the religious leaders of Israel: “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (Jn. 8)? I would argue that the gospel is all about Jesus, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity. Your thoughts?
May 6, 2013 at 10:31 am
The world’s brokenness (suffering, depravity, imperfection, sin) only testifies to the truth of sin in this world and therefore mankind has a need of a Savior, Jesus Christ, Every human born into this world, is broken from their beginning in the world of the five physical senses; taste, touch, hear, smell, see. Those who never truly hear with their heart also do not understand, and believe in the spiritual realm of god, Jesus Christ, the gospel, and will remain without Him because they cannot, do not see their sin, brokenness, or their need of Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice to take away their sin. They remain in this darkness and will not see the light and may or may not realize we all will face the judgement seat of Christ…An example of this would be when a person who attempts to justify, or make a wrongness as if it is right either denying, or truly not knowing the real truth, significance of these differences and without repentance, accepting god’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, will continue in their deception for eternity. A person when in their sin cannot, will not see their sin for what it is. Yet, to their ignorance, insolence, or denial, they continue without Him in their rebellion and this only leads to their ultimate demise of what the bible teaches is as eternity in hell (eternal separation from god). Yet, faith in god comes by hearing through the five senses which all ultimately lead to the spiritual realm and without one’s belief and faith in the correct spiritual realm of Jesus Christ, will remain in their deception for all of eternity. Those who know, are known believe that god has saved them from this hell through Jesus Christ (blameless, perfect sacrifice) also realize who they were (blind before,being eternally saved) and.are now brought into the light and life of god the Father.
The revelation of heaven is beyond man’s full comprehension. The bible states glimpses of heaven which ignite the spirit who reigns within every believer.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NASB)
54 But when this [a]perishable will have put on [b]the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5 (NASB)The Temporal and Eternal
5 For we know that if [a]the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a [b]pledge.
6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by [c]sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for [d]his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. 12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we [e]are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one [f]according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ [g]according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [h]he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and [i]He has [j]committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
May 6, 2013 at 11:15 am
Thanks for your comment, Wendy. I certainly agree with sin has affected our total selves. I haven’t really thought of our brokenness in terms of our five senses. What would be some of the Scriptures which support your idea here? Thanks again for posting! Larry