Saturday, December 05, 2015

The Gospel Actually is Good News

If you've ever spent time in a Sunday School classroom, you know that 'the gospel' means 'the good news.' And obviously the Gospel (Jesus coming to save the people of the world from their sins so they can live with God forever) is good news. So what's the big deal? What's the point of this blog post?

If you've ever spent time in the Youtube comments section ... you know that some people take "sharing the gospel" as "reminding someone that they're a horrible person who deserves to go to h-e-double hockey sticks" without giving these people any hope.

At the same time, we see Christians who are like "yah do whatever you want Jesus loves you he just wants you to be happy" and neglect to actually remind them that there is a big problem with just doing what you want.



So many modern day Christians have fallen into the trap of one of these two ideas:

1. You're All Sinners Who're Going to Hell Heck


This isn't necessarily false. It's true that we're born sinners, and thus we're born destined for Hell. But when this is the only message we teach people, no one is going to want to follow Christ. It's a fear tactic, and can actually have the opposite intended affect. People hear this and think "well, if I'm going to hell anyway, I might as well live how I want to."

Yes, the people of this earth are born sinners. But when sharing this message, we forget the message that should follow: there's hope. We're born sinners, but we can be born again children of God. In our race to get the first half out, we forget to mention, "oh, by the way, you can be saved from Heck because God loves you that much."

In our rush to judge, we forget to love. While people do things that are wrong all the time, spewing a bunch of hate at them isn't going to help. That makes it sound like God wants to send people to Hell, as if He takes pleasure in it. But that's the opposite of the truth! God doesn't want anyone to go to Hell which is why He sacrificed His Son so that we don't have to go to Hell. That's the point of the Gospel! That's the goodest any news could be!

But sometimes, people take the "good news" to mean "feel good news." Which brings us to number 2

2. God Just Wants You to be Happy


This kind of message is very popular in mainstream culture. Every time I go shopping I see at least one t-shirt in every other store that says "good vibes only." We live in a feel-good culture. Wondering why sex sells? Because sex feels good (for a little while). Why do people party? Because alcohol and drugs feel good (for a little while). This is why mainstream Christianity is so accepting of everything. It makes Christianity attractive. It takes out all the hard parts of following Christ so you can go to Heaven with all the benefits of living an earthly life.

This type of Christianity is super inclusive and sounds great on the surface. Mainstream Christianity is feel good Christianity, and feeling good feels good. How do you become a part of the Feel Good Gospel denomination?

Step 1: Take a verse out of context!

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 - AKA the only verse in Jeremiah. (Unless you ask the super fundamentalist Christians from the first point. Then Jeremiah 17:9 is the only verse in Jeremiah.)  

Step 2: Interpret the verse to fit your opinion!

Well, since God's plans for me are good, then that means my life is gonna be awesome! Nothing bad is ever gonna happen! Whatever I do, it's good because God said so right there in Jeremiah!

Blimey Cow may have done a video on this already...

Step 3: Tell everyone how great Christianity is!

You can do this with inspirational Instagram posts, clever tweets, and fluffy blog posts! Just don't mention condemnation of sin or anything,  Those are major turnoffs for potential future members of the Church of the Feel Good Gospel.

Step 4: Feel great!

Now that you and everyone who sees your inspirational Facebook posts are encouraged, go on living your life exactly how you want!

In all seriousness, God wants us to be happy. But we don't know the best way to make ourselves happy. He does. And more important than our happiness, God wants us to have a relationship with Him that goes beyond reading the verse of the day and snappy tweets. The Good News is that the gap between us and God was bridged by Jesus's sacrifice. You don't have to water God down because the Gospel is better than any feel good philosophy mainstream culture has to offer.

What I'm trying to get at in this really long blog post is that the Gospel, at its very core, is the absolute best news you'll ever hear. Because of that, it's only natural that we share that good news with others. Not out of a legalistic obligation, but because we care about others, and we want them to hear the good news too.

The greatest commandments are to love God with everything you have and to love others like you love yourself. If you want the good news, you should want others to have the good news too.

The Gospel is the best news; that's what's up.

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