What is the “Good News”

  • What is the good news

The Bad News

In order to have a proper understanding of the Good News, we have to begin with the “bad news”.

The best way to explain this is by taking the “Good Person Test”.

So, please be honest as you answer the following questions:

BAD NEWS SIN JUDGEMENT HELL

Do you consider yourself to be a “Good Person”?

Most people would say, “Sure, I am a very good person!”

Although, many people are unaware of what the word “good” actually means.  One definition of “good” is: that which is morally right; righteousness.

So let me ask you the question in a slightly different way.

Do you consider yourself to be a “Morally Righteous Person”?

Here’s a quick test using only 4 of the 10 commandments (a portion of God’s standard for determining who is “Good” or “Morally Righteous”) to help answer these questions:

  1. Have you ever cursed or used God’s name in vain?
  2. Have you ever told a lie?
  3. Have you ever lusted or looked with lust?
  4. Have you ever stolen something? (Value doesn’t matter.  Stealing is stealing)

How did you do?

Here’s where the bad news begins…  

If you have committed even one of these sins then the Bible says you are guilty of breaking God’s law.   The Bible says that, “the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” (James 2:10 NLT)

What does the Bible say will happen to those who are guilty of sinning and breaking His law?  It says that if they die in their sin they will be found guilty on the Day of Judgment and sentenced to eternity in Hell. (Acts 17:31, Hebrews 9:27)

This is obviously an extremely serious thing!  This involves your very soul.  

What if you were offered One Million Dollars for both of your eyes? Most people wouldn’t take it because their eyes are precious. And if you wouldn’t sell your eyes for one million dollars, then how much more is your soul worth? 

Remember, death can come at any moment. The Bible says that our life is like a mist or the morning fog.  We are here for a little while and then we are gone. (James 4:14)  

About 150,000 people die each day. 

Seeking Jesus Christ Good News Gospel Cross

The GOOD NEWS

However, there’s GOOD NEWS! Picture yourself in a courtroom guilty of many serious crimes. The Judge sentences you to life in prison or a million dollar fine.

As the guard leads you away, someone you don’t even know comes in and pays your fine in full. That means you are free to go!

How would you feel about that person?

That’s what Jesus did 2,000 years ago. He took our punishment upon Himself and then rose from the grave, defeating death. 

The Bible says that God showed His ultimate love and mercy while we were sinners by sending His Son Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life, and died in our place for our sins on the cross. The innocent took the punishment for the guilty.

Jesus’ body was placed in a tomb and was raised from the dead on the third day. This demonstrated Jesus’ divinity (that He is God) and power over death.

Now it’ possible for you and I to receive God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness and eternal life.

Christian Birth Jesus Christ Water Baptism of the Holy Spirit

How Should We Respond to the Good News/Gospel?

 

All that is required is for us to:

  • Have Faith in Jesus Christ as God’s only Son who died for your sin and was raised to life on the third day (Romans 3:22)
  • Repent of Your Sinful Lifestyle and Live for God (Acts 2:38, 3:19, 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 3:8)
  • Confess Jesus as Your Lord (Romans 10:9)
  • Be Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit for the Forgiveness of Your Sins. (John 3:5-7, Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:18-21, Mark 16:16) (Water Immersion)

Once you do this you will:

We are Meant to Serve and Worship God as a Family

Join a group of fellow Believers or Disciples of Jesus (Church).  Read and study God’s Word (The Holy Bible) daily and share God’s Good News/Gospel with others by following Jesus’ command to: “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19)  

Then strive to love Jesus by obeying Him and His Word until you see His face. (John 15:10)

Abundantly and Indiscriminately Scatter, Plant, & Water the Seed of the Good News

As Disciples we should be witnessing on a regular basis to those around us about Jesus and His Kingdom.

Witnessing is an essential part of our mission and purpose as a follower of Jesus and as a citizen of His Kingdom.

As we seek to witness we should be abundantly and indiscriminately scattering, planting, and watering the seed — the word of Yahweh (God).

What Does It Mean to Abundantly and Indiscriminately Scatter, Plant, & Water the Seed of the Good News?

Let’s begin by looking at some scripture regarding this (always best place to start): 

Jesus’ Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-8, 11-15 NLT)

“One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him:

A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it.

Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture.

Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants.

Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

This is the meaning of the parable:

The seed is God’s word.  The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved.

The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation.

The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.

And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”

Notice here that the farmer scattered the seed abundantly and indiscriminately.

He wasn’t concerned with making sure the seed only landed in good soil.

Of course this isn’t necessarily Jesus’ main point in this parable, but it is applicable to witnessing and spreading the Good News.

It’s the Disciple’s Responsibility to Scatter, Plant, & Water the Seed (God’s Word & Good News), but it’s Yahweh’s Responsibility to Make It Grow

Paul explains this in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 16:

“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.”

An encouraging aspect of this truth is that we can share Yahweh’s Word and Good News with others without having to feel responsible or pressured to make it grow.

Although we should feel a burning passion to do our best to witness effectively by sharing the Good News, providing good reasons for the faith, answering questions, and trying to overcome objections, at the end of the day, WE CAN’T MAKE IT GROW.

It’s not up to us. That’s Yahweh’s work.

Yahweh says that When His Word is Shared It Always Serves Its Purpose.

In Isaiah 55:10-11 Yahweh says:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

When we do our part in sharing the Good News with others it allows Yahweh, His Holy Spirit, and His Word to go to work in the individual’s life and heart.

It will allow the person to have a chance to accept or reject it. Either way it serves its purpose.

To Those Who are Being Saved We are the Fragrance of Life, but to Those Who are Perishing We are the Aroma of Death

In 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Paul writes:

“…thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life.”

When we share the Good News with others we don’t need to try to figure out how they’re going to respond or if they’re the right person to talk to.

Once again, Yahweh and His Word will reveal their hearts.

To those who are perishing they will likely reject us, hate us, and consider us the smell of death, but to those who are being saved we, as ambassadors for Christ, will be the greatest aroma they’ve ever smelled — the aroma of true life.

Harvesting

 

Another important thing to keep in mind when abundantly and indiscriminately scattering, planting, and watering the seed of Yahweh’s Word and Good News is that you may not be the person God is going to use to bring them into the Kingdom.

That is to say that the crop may not be ready for harvesting at the time of your witnessing to the individual.

This is where we surrender to whatever role Yahweh has us in with each witnessing opportunity.

At one time He may be using us to plant the seed for the first time in a person’s heart.

In another situation He may be using us to water the seed that has already been planted in their heart by someone else.

We have to rely on Yahweh to use whoever is best to bring in the harvest.

That very well may be us or it may be a friend, family member, or coworker of the person we’re witnessing to.

The important thing is to do our part and trust Yahweh to do His by using the right person to bring them into the Kingdom when they’re ripe for harvesting.

This is a part of trusting Yahweh who says:

“Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him”
(Hebrews 11:6)

and

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

 

So, if those we are witnessing to are sincerely seeking, Yahweh says they will find Him.

We have to rest in this promise of Yahweh, especially since we may never know during our life in this world if some of the people we have witnessed to have entered the Kingdom.

If we are truly about the Kingdom then this will probably make a lot of sense and we will be eager to do it.

If we are just focused on converting new members to our church, then this will probably not make much sense and we will only witness to people we feel we can bring into our church.

Unfortunately, this latter mindset severely limits the seed (Yahweh’s Word/Good News) from being abundantly and indiscriminately scattered, planted, & watered throughout the world.

Disciple Making

 

Before Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father He gave His disciples this command in Matthew 28:18-20:

 

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

 

What do we do when we are the person Yahweh wants to use to bring them into the Kingdom? This is when we move into the next level of “Disciple Making”, which is to baptize them and teach them to obey Jesus.

When we are not the person Yahweh has chosen to bring them into the Kingdom we should pray for them to meet someone who is also trying to follow in this command of making disciples by baptizing them and teaching them to obey Jesus’ commands.

The Inspiring Story of How Frank Jenner Scattered, Planted, and Watered the Seed of the Good News

 

Frank Arthur “Bones” Jenner (often misspelled Genor) lived during the early to mid 1900’s and was known for evangelizing everyday on George Street in Sydney, Australia.

His way of witnessing was to stop people and ask them, “excuse me, if you died tonight would you go to Heaven?” Then he would give them a Gospel Pamphlet/Tract to take with them.

It’s estimated that Mr. Jenner personally witnessed to over 140,000 people during his life using this witnessing method.

Throughout most of his life he didn’t know if he had ever brought anyone to Christ with this witnessing method.  This must have been quite difficult and discouraging at times.

I can only imagine how great it must of felt that day toward the end of his life when he was told that he had, in fact, contributed to hundreds, if not, thousands of souls being reached and saved.

 

This is a short video about Mr. Jenner and his witnessing on George Street in Sydney, Australia:

 

Witnessing

 

Like Mr. Jenner, I try to witness everyday by talking to people and handing out cards of my own.  

When witnessing, I try not to overthink it or talk myself out of it.  

If the Holy Spirit nudges me to witness to someone and I’m in a position to do it, then I just do it.  Think of Nike 🙂  

This is a part of doing it “Abundantly and Indiscriminately”.  

Don’t try too hard to determine if the person the Spirit is nudging you to witness to is the right person or not.  

The more you follow the Holy Spirit in this way — the more people you will be able to witness to each day.

Remember… JUST DO IT 🙂

Here’s the Gospel Tract/Card that I mostly use when witnessing: Joshua James Ford Kingdom Bible Fellowship Gospel Tract Card

Here are some other pretty good ones that I have used in the past or that I still use from time to time:

Million Dollar Gospel Tract Kingdom Bible Fellowship

Million Dollar Bill Lincoln Kingdom Christian

Good Person Comic Gospel Tract

If you consider yourself to be a Disciple of Jesus, I encourage you to follow in Mr. Jenner and my footsteps by thinking of similar ways in which you can witness everyday.

I recommend making your own cards or tracts, but if you want to purchase pre-made tracts like the ones above you can do so by going to: LivingWaters.com or TractPlanet.com

Now Go! Get out there and Scatter, Plant, & Water that Seed 🙂

Living as a Branch on Jesus Christ’s Vine

What a Great Blessing to Have the Ability to Become a Branch on Jesus Christ’s Vine and to Receive Everlasting Nourishment.  Let’s Strive to Produce Fruit, so that We May Remain on it.

~ JOSHUA JAMES FORD

John 15:1-8

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission ofTyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.