Most kids believe in good news.
Tell a child that you are taking them to the mall to get a new toy, or that there will be no school tomorrow, and you will likely be greeted with a happy face and a jubilant “Yaay!”
Not only that, you’ll also likely trigger a looping replay of the aforementioned good news by said child to everyone and anyone he or she meets in the next hour or so.
That used to be all of us. Until worries and responsibilities of things like homework, exams, and chores, and experiences of unfulfilled promises, failures and other disappointments crept into our lives as we grew up, and we suddenly find one day the innocent hope and belief of childhood all but evaporated and replaced with the hard, stoic realism of maturity.
When that happens, we no longer accept anything anyone says simply on the basis that they are trustworthy and they claim to be telling the truth. We question and we test. We run Google searches to sniff out gimmicks, hoaxes, and catches.
And most of all, we stop believing in pure unadulterated good news. Everything that sounds good becomes naturally too good to be true. We start getting used to bad news and disappointments, even to the point of expecting it, and always adding in some element of “realism” to balance and dilute the good news.
Even news we report is no longer just “news”. Almost every piece of news we hear or read daily is bad news – a plane crash here, a terror attack there, a crime near home, a new trend to worry about. An article reporting purely good news these days is about as rare as a loose perfect diamond on the street.
But good news isn’t meant to stay hidden. Neither is it meant to be watered down by realism.
Is there bad news? Sure, the world is living and seeing it everyday: Man failed, and man continues to fail. Because of the first man’s (Adam’s) failure, all men continue to fail, and terrible things happen in men’s lives and in the world at large. No matter how hard he tries, man will never make it out of eventual judgement and hell, because he’ll never be good enough for God.
And the ultimate bad news? Even if man refuses to believe this or rejects it to choose another way on his own, it doesn’t change this ultimate truth and reality, and his end sentence will remain the same. God is God, and man can’t argue against God and win.
Unfair? Well, but God didn’t stop there. He gave us the Good News. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to do for man ALL that man could never do for himself, and He gave a very simple offer that if man receives Jesus as his representative to God, man would become perfect in God’s eyes, in Christ.
The word “gospel” means “good news”. The gospel of Jesus Christ is simply the Good News of God. What this means is once we receive Jesus, our reality changes from living in the realm of bad news and always trying but failing, to living carefree as children of God in the realm of “good news”.
If you gave a child 2 options, to choose between good news and bad news, between life and death, he would simply just pick what he clearly sees as the better option. A child wouldn’t complain or argue against the options or look for a third option, he would simply weigh both and go with the good one.
And the good news doesn’t stop there. God has said that if He did not even spare His own precious Son, but delivered Him up for us all so that all who believe on Him will be saved, how would He not with Jesus also freely give us who believe ALL things (John 3:16, Romans 8:32)?
ALL things include health and healing, a long and fruitful life, productive and full days, a happy marriage, abundance of joy with children, good relationships, protection for your family, favour and success in work, more than enough money to provide for yourself and to bless others.
ALL things include peace in the midst of a storm, wisdom and clarity of mind in difficult situations, even hope and faith when you have none. ALL things include whatever help or grace you need that you don’t have on your own.
ALL can’t be ALL if God blesses you in some areas like having peace and wisdom but not other areas like money or relationships.
Freely can’t be freely if God heals and blesses some but doesn’t do it for others because of reasons like an unconfessed sin, not enough faith or obedience, or something wrong with your family.
But thankfully and praise be to God that the truth is, in Christ, ALL is ALL, freely is freely. That’s the Good News, pure and unadulterated.
Why are Christians called “born again” believers and “children” of God?
Because a child trusts his parents implicitly to look after him and be good to him.
Because a child believes good news simply without question or doubting if he qualifies.
Because a child gets excited about good news and naturally shares it to all around him.
God wants us to just take Him at His word and believe in His promises in Christ like a child – when He says it is finished at the cross, that’s exactly what He means. ALL sin paid, ALL healing completed, ALL provision released.
What if we fall sick? We have the sure confidence that healing is ours. What if somehow we don’t get healed and die anyway? We’re immediately with Jesus in heaven, more alive and more joyful than we’ve ever been. What if the world gets darker? It will, but we have the confident hope that before things get too bad, Jesus will come and seize us away in the rapture to live forever in a new and glorified body.
As Christians, we will only live in the realm of “good news”. So child of God, seek out and believe the truth about the reality you have in Christ through the eyes of a child, and share the Good News with others who need to hear it. Because good news is what we have in Jesus.
Because when we encounter Jesus, we encounter grace.
(Next week: What About Maturing in Christ?)