Good News to All

June 11, 2016

As I reflect on all the injustice around the world, I am confronted with the question that a Christian must come to terms with. How can the Gospel be ‘good news’ to the world? For the elect, for the chosen, it’s obviously good news. And even if you don’t believe in predestination, for Christians who die and go to heaven, it’s still obviously good news. But what about for those who are ‘perishing’, the reprobate, those who are cast out into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth?

Even the most liberal of theology outside of universalism cannot merely say that the Christian message is good news to everyone. And even in that simplicity of universalism, its entailments on the nature of heaven quickly turns the facile ‘goodness’ of its doctrine to something vapid and incongruous with our innate human longing for justice.

For the vast majority of Christians who do believe in some version of hell, how can we keep a straight face and proclaim to the world that the Gospel is “good news”? Is it merely good because someone has a chance to go to heaven? In which case, the gospel is good in the sense a lottery ticket is good! No, when Jesus talks about his kingdom, there is no hint of chance; there is sovereignty of God, the finality of his rule, and the good pleasure he has in all that he does.

That kingdom of God, i think, is what makes the Gospel message good news to all. Even though there are some who will be in hell (and we wont know who), the unveiling of God’s sons, the inauguration of God’s kingdom, the restoration of the universe has begun. The Eden is restored and made more beautiful. Those around us (Matthew 5:16), even those who do not believe, cannot help but praise God in some way, even as some of them are headed to destruction.

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