Is the good news still good?
Jesus followers often talk about sharing the good news of Jesus with others. The term that comes from old English “good spell” is a translation of a Greek word that appears in the Bible transliterated euangelion. You would have heard it referred to as the “gospel.”
Last week Pastor Tom and I were at The Christian and Missionary Alliance national council in Columbus, Ohio. We heard reports from international workers that represent scores of people groups that have barely, if ever, heard the good news about Jesus Christ. The accounts of thousands of people turning their lives and hearts to Christ in remote areas and Islamic countries was fascinating. You never hear in the news about moves of God in the Kurds in the Middle East. We weren’t aware that the Coptic Christians in Egypt who are so persecuted are risking their lives to meet, and yet their numbers continue to rise. Our tribe, the Alliance is 6.3 million strong outside this country. This movement continues to encounter Muslims who had dreams about Jesus and come in search of Christians to find out more about Him. When you hear the stories of how much God is reaching out to people who don’t know Him, you can’t help but get excited!
I was so inspired by the care our workers give to preserving culture, language and the beauty in each people group that we encounter. This isn’t a colonializing effort that strips countries of their resources, uniqueness or calling – it is a Holy Spirit led and empowered coordinated effort with other major denominations and other parachurch ministries. If there is an established church in an unreached village or region, instead of starting another one, the Alliance often simply puts all of it’s resources behind those who are already serving well.
The budget for our tribe runs about 45 million dollars annually to send international workers out to other countries and fund their work. With all of this investment in bringing “the gospel” to the least reached regions (usually less than 2% Christian) – it is clear that the larger “Christ centered Acts 1:8 Family” we belong to truly believe that we have the BEST news in the world to get out to others.
But is the good news still good in your estimation?
Has Jesus somehow changed over the years and somehow He is unable to move like He has before?
Is He still powerful and mighty to save, deliver, heal, break addictions and strongholds and give us life to the fullest?
I want to challenge you to really consider how much faith you have that Jesus can still move. There are times where we get beaten down by this fallen world and begin to truly doubt whether God is still in the radical life transformation business.
If you find yourself in one of those desperate, doubting and depressed places now, I want to encourage you to reach out to someone who is strong and encouraged and “borrow some of their faith.” It’s important to be reminded by others what Jesus has been doing recently in lives. Hearing testimonies will infuse your faith with new strength and begin to give you vision about what to pray for. Ask for prayer to be encouraged from someone nearby.
The good news is still good. It is still worth giving your life for. Jesus is still on the throne. He sees where you are today and wants to meet with you and enliven your faith!