Good News Of A New World
Good News Of A New World
(NASB95) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God which powerfully moves people toward salvation with regard — as we recall from last time — to everyone who believes, whether first for the Jew, or also for the the Greek...
The gospel, the good news, is a powerful message centring upon Jesus...
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
…and this powerful message works along three avenues:
The gospel, the good news, is a powerful message centring upon Jesus …and this powerful message works along three avenues:
1) The gospel is good news of NEW LIFE of freedom — freedom from all bondages associated with sin, a freedom to live liberated for all the God had in mind for human beings...
2) Last time, we heard that the Gospel is good news of a NEW SOCIETY — the new community of Jesus which embodies & communicates the very love and truth which come from Jesus Himself.
3) Today, we hear in the gospel, the good news of a NEW WORLD...
Your family, your friends, your neighbours, your enemies …and we ourselves...
…all need to hear the good news, not only of a new life, not only of a new society...
…but the good news of the new world that will be brought in by Jesus...
…not the “brave new world” of Aldous Huxley’s dreams — or nightmares...
…nor of the new world made safe for democracy — for which the Americans used to strive...
BUT RATHER to hear the good news of...
…the new cosmos, made by the regeneration of the universe, by the re-creative power of God!
Why is it important that people hear this dimension of the gospel message?
Don’t many people omit this dimension of the message or shrinkwrap this news?
Why is it crucially important today? Well, BECAUSE...
however rich the new life & the new society ARE, they’re still awfully marred by imperfection!
Neither personal perfection, nor social utopia is attainable by us, here on this earth before the second coming of Jesus the Messiah which comes at the end of this human era called the times of the Gentiles...
Our present new life in Jesus, and, our new society indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus, are only weak approximations of what is yet to come with His return!
We can see from many texts that the Biblical gospel is the good news of coming of the Messianic Kingdom-rule of Jesus.
Now the Messianic Kingdom has been inaugurated but not widely received and powerfully imposed upon the world. What do I mean by that? ...saying that the Kingdom has been inaugurated?
I am saying that King has come near, and powerfully died and rose, such that the benefits of His presence and His reign were brought near. And that what happens according to the Bible — when the Messianic King draws near so does the fulfillment of His Kingdom.
But as you know, the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom is not yet come to complete fruition.
Evil and humanistic neglect of the gospel of the Kingdom are still to be permitted for a long season.
The Messianic Kingdom is inaugurated, in that Jesus reigns from heaven in a specific kind of way, but Jesus’ kingdom has not yet been consummated by His coming again and justly putting down all evil and opposition.
This coming again of Jesus, in order to reign and to bless most completely is the great hope set out before us.
I put it to you that the gospel is a good news message of hope for the future!
…hope for the future — in Jesus’ full and complete presence.
This aspect of the Biblical gospel is PARTICULARLY important today because hope is a commodity in very short supply in the modern world.
A kind of existential pessimism has seeped into the hearts of Australians —
— a pessimism which squelches aspirations for eternity. ALSO...
A kind of postmodern solipsism has drifted into our public thinking like a dense fog —
— that is to say, we have become thorough-going skeptics about moral assertions about objective right and wrong — except when it comes to profound climate pessimism and the dangers of any sexual restraint in our society.
In philosophical terms, we’ve become overwhelmed by hopelessness and meaninglessness.
That’s what happens when a society’s elite’s try to insist that no God has spoken credibly or clearly.
What this means in philosophical terms is that we’re overwhelmed by hopelessness and meaninglessness.
In that atmosphere, people feel ...that life can have no final meaning...
…that there can be no designed purpose nor morality...
…that there can be no promise of hope from outside the box of our universe
…that there can be no promise of hope from outside the box of our universe.
In our culture questions about the future have become absurdly difficult.
We’re left either in dizzying pessimism, or, in the thraldom of dangerous utopian humanisms like socialism and communism —
— they confidently assert that they can solve all our problems,
if we just consent to their desires for increasing totalitarian authority.
That leaves most Australians with a sad choice between dispirited or resentful pessimism OR dangerous superficial activism. What horrible choices to live with ! !
There is widespread fear in secularized countries because of
the nuclear stockpile,
unstable rogue and terrorist states,
various ecological disasters and
increasing social tensions — despite the growing government authoritarianism.
Multitudes of people are understandably anxious or fearful.
So I ask you: Is there anyone who has good reason for solid hope?
Who has hope in our world?
Evolutionists say that they have reason for hope: BUT
(i) they predict their hope in so many million years into the future
which is not as hope-inducing as they might think! AND
(ii) Much of their scientific speculation about the distant past or far-off-future seems more like speculation than hard science! AND worse
(iii) When they talk about “improvements” through mutations ,
they ignore objective stochastic math theory and properly corroborated principles in genetics;
improvements don’t come that way;
new genetic information isn’t produced that way;
death and suffering come that way! AND that’s why
(iv) talk of exposure to radiation and chemical mutagens produces the opposite of what the average person in the street wants to hear nowadays; such wild talk produces fear and dread not hope!
(v) everyone is reminded by evolutionists that their theory in part depends upon global extinction events; and that doesn’t give any reason for hope to anxious people either!
Socialists and Marxists say that they have reason for hope; that they can produce a just and gentle utopia on planet earth. BUT
(a) that can only come after world revolution occurs by coercion, tyranical suppression and violent unjust coups. AND worse
(b) most broadly educated people cannot accept their Marxist reading of history; they can’t accept their explanations which they use to justify Marxism and they can’t accept their whitewashing of what has happened under supposedly benevolent socialism. And most sensible people
(c) cannot be so naive as to accept that radical evil lies only in political structures and institutions and not in the human heart(!); they intuitively know that evil people can corrupt institutions at any stage of their development! SO can we lastly derive great hope from
(d) their refusal to acknowledge the importance of God, the value of the created order and the need for God’s intervention now that everything has been so spoiled by human wrongdoing?
The Marxist utopia is a proud self-confident dream, a hope without a firm foundation …a dream which has always given way to real nightmares whenever it has been tried in the laboratory of history.
So how is the Christian hope of the gospel different?
Our optimism arises from confidence in the real God of the Bible and history.
Jesus IS coming again in sheer magnificent glory!
Jesus is coming again to judge …coming to save …coming to reign in person
We are going to be made like Jesus when we see Him personally.
Believers in Jesus will be transformed, when He comes, so that our bodies will become like His resurrected body.
Not only will we be physically affected, so also will we be spiritually and morally matured.
And not only us, but soon after all of nature itself will be set free from corruption, restored into its proper and wonderful purpose.
And this gets even broader description:
In our reading, it’s clear that this restoration of nature, when read in its earlier context of , must be occurring when the final fulfillment of the New covenant promises are occurring — and we know from elsewhere in the prophets that this occurs only when the Messiah comes in glory!
This same promised future is laid before us in the NT — not only in our earlier reading from but also in summary form in ...
There will be a new heavens, a kainos heavens, and a new earth, a kainos earth.
And kainos means something that has been been made new in quality, unused, unworn — it’s not so much about something being new or recent in time.
You see we’re told elsewhere that the universe will be purged and reborn.
The Lord Jesus Himself spoke of this in READ
This is just like the description that Paul gives to our personal regeneration at our conversion in .
You could say that the universe will have its own born-again experience!
This is the same kind of language which Jesus Himself uses of our personally being born again — or born from above — in when He speaks to Nicodemus.
What I’m saying is that, as a result of Jesus’ work, that there is going to be
an apo-kata-staseōs pantōn , a restoration of all things!
READ ( //’s & )
Paul points out that all the redemptive saving work of Jesus has this in view.
He say this briefly in READ
And Paul says this even more fully in the 15th ch. of 1st Corinthians which we can study and even memorize more fully in the future. (See ---> especially)
Something broken and spoiled will be purged, and restored:
the present worsening cycle of futility:
birth, growth, suffering, weakness, decay, death, loss, decomposition.
This will all end after the final coming of Jesus,
because of the gospel work of His first coming!
There’ll be shalom
— well-being, joy, peace and the glory of experiencing God to the full.
There is going to be an end to sorrow, to pain, to death for the people of Jesus the Messiah.
Even the groaning of the physical world will be ended.
So we can rejoice in the hope of the glory of God —
— and all this comes to us as
the outcome of the earlier death and resurrection of Jesus.
We will be completely healed and restored and reconciled in the direct physical presence of the Lord Jesus!
God will be in the midst of His people.
He will reign directly and perfectly upon this renewed creation …forever and ever.
Jesus’ glory will fill everything with His splendour.
Fellow believers in the grace of Jesus Christ,
don’t ever be ashamed of this future aspect of the gospel.
We must gladly proclaim it and defend it.
Let’s not be afraid of doing that!
Tell this to a world of people who live in despair & without hope.
Most men live lives of quiet desperation.
And tell this to the proud that one day an account of their lives will be taken
if they reject the gospel grace of our Lord Jesus.
And yes, some people will ridicule this future aspect of the gospel, as if we are naive; remind them of the historical fact of the bodily resurrection of Jesus; remind them of the evidence of His design and creation of this world.
And yes, some will criticize our message as if we ONLY ever offer people pie in the sky, by and by.
But that is NOT true; our gospel is A broad and well-founded message!
Don’t lose heart with this message;
WE need to hear it ourselves and so does the wider world!
It’s important to notice that most of new religious movements that have been spawned in the previous two centuries — new messianic cults — many strands of the NAM — the major cults — are all movements that try to offer exciting hope for the future.
Sadly they are not based on the full saving work of Jesus.
But collectively they testify to the serious interest and deep need that is abroad in our world today...
So, I am saying that we cannot afford to neglect this future aspect of the Biblical gospel message!
We must also work in careful and cheerful obedience to Jesus to silence the objection that this sort of gospel is just an excuse for personal laziness or a dying social conscience.
Marx was occasionally, partly right about some things:
Religion has often been used as an opiate, an anaesthesia, upon the common people.
Some teachings have been used to drug people into acquiescence with present-day injustices in the name of merely waiting for justice and comfort in the sweet by and by…with pie-in-the-sky!
But true logic with Biblical gospel works the other way!
It says that if the vision of the future IS as I have painted it from the gospel…
…well, then, we actually KNOW God’s ideal.
We KNOW what the Lord will one day bring to fruition in a way that pleases Him.
And SO we ought to know HOW to work with Him towards those goals, utilizing the proclamation of all the other dimensions of the gospel as we work.
Let’s not be naive perfectionists about this;
let’s recognize that there are some limits of how far we can go in practice in promoting the wider acceptance of the ways and values of Christ’s Kingdom.
Some things simply await the return of our great Saviour and Judge, the Lord Jesus.
The Lord willing we can come back to this challenge later next year.
But in the meanwhile, let us do the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way — always explaining our work with the glorious truths of the gospel of Jesus.
In this way, the gospel can remain such exciting, wonderful good news...
…good news of a new life, a new community, and a new world!
These are the 3 powerful dimensions of the experienced effects of the death & resurrection of Jesus: they’re similar to the familiar trio we found in Corinthians: faith, hope, and love.
Here is an outline of our message ...for individual and for society
…for this time and for eternity.
There is a satisfying fullness to the authentic Biblical gospel.
So my friends, do not let you appreciation and your promotion of the gospel of Jesus become stale or narrow.
Pray for a fresh vision of Jesus and His gospel …
and for the loving enthusiasm that powerfully imparts it to others!