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(16) ... What is the "Good News" of the Gospel of Christ?

May 18, 2014

I have been somewhat hesitant in writing this article. However, one evening this week, I sat down at my computer and opened up Word Document and keyed in the title of this article. At that point, I stopped. I was unsure if I really wanted to write this article. Within the hour, something took place that confirmed to me that the Lord was letting me know that I was to continue writing this article.

The Lord confirmed this to me in such a way that the odds would have been astronomical that it was by chance.

It has been a few weeks since I wrote this article. I have decided to share what took place on the evening of 05/14/2014.

As I explained in the above paragraph, on 05/14/2014, I sat down at my computer and opened up Word Document and keyed in the title "What is the "GOOD NEWS" of the Gospel of Christ?" At that point , I stopped. I was unsure if I really wanted to write this article.

I then went into the bedroom and began watching TV. Sometime within that hour, as I was clicking onto different channels, I clicked onto one of the Christian TV stations. At that "exact second," the words "what is the Good News?" came forth from a Pastor's mouth.

Those were the very 1st words spoken at the "exact second" that I tuned in to that TV station. Those are the exact 1st five words in the title of my article. At that point, I thought to myself, "WOW, WOW, WOW, okay Lord, I will write the article."

I have timed a number of times of how many seconds it takes to say "what is the Good News?" It takes 2 seconds. If I had just been 2 seconds later in clicking onto that TV station, I would have missed hearing those words. If I had been even 2 seconds earlier in clicking onto that TV station, I probably would have heard a couple of words spoken by that Pastor before he spoke the words "what is the Good News?"

I tuned in at the  "exact second" that the words "what is the Good News?" came forth from this Pastor's mouth.

The odds are astronomical that it would be by chance for the order of events to take place in the way in which they did that evening. That evening, the Lord was confirming to me to write this article. The Lord did this is such a way, that I was in total amazement at what transpired that evening. 6 weeks later, I am still amazed!

I was a Christian for 38 years before the Lord opened up my Spiritual understanding to see more clearly some Biblical truths that I had not properly understood before in regards to the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

It is very likely that most Christians, including myself, have at some point and time in their innermost being have thought to themselves, "Is God, who created the human race for the purpose of having eternal fellowship with "Him", really going to sentence the majority of the human race to suffer "eternal torment" in "Hellfire?" Well, I guess so, because that is what the Bible says!"

Well, let us examine the "Scriptures" in the Bible very carefully and see if we are really being told that there is really going to be "eternal torment" in "Hellfire."

In the 2nd chapter of Luke, we are told  that there were some shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, when suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared to them and said to them "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you "Good News" of great joy, which is for (ALL) people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

There is a widespread belief in the Church today that the smaller portion of the human race will be saved and inherit eternal life with Christ, while the larger portion of the human race  will be "condemned" to "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from God.

If that is indeed the case, it is beyond all comprehension to me as to why the proclamation was made that the birth of Christ the Saviour is "Good News" of great joy for (ALL) people, if still even after the birth of Christ the Saviour and "His" sacrificial death on the Cross for the human race, that the larger portion of the human race is still going to be "condemned" to "eternal torment" and "eternal separation" from God.

Does that sound like "Good News" for (ALL) people? 

We need to examine much more carefully what the Written Word of God "declares" concerning the "Good News" of the Gospel of Christ and the finished work of Christ on the Cross. After all, there is "NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT" than "our eternal destination!"

The Church today claims to be proclaiming the "Good News" of the Gospel of Christ, and yet the most important part of the message of the "Good News" of Christ "is not being proclaimed today" by the Church, because today’s Church  has not understood how "PROFOUND" the finished work of Christ on the Cross really is.

It seems that God had fellowship with Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden quite frequently, maybe even on a daily basis before they sinned.

"EACH" and "EVERY" human being has been created for the purpose of having fellowship with God for all eternity. This has always been the plan of God from even before the creation of all things. 

"His" plan "cannot be changed," because God "PRE-DETERMINED" our fellowship with "Him" for all eternity from before the creation of all things. God "Himself" tells us that it "cannot be changed," because "HE" tells us in Malachi 3:6 - I am the Lord, I change not;

It is IMPOSSIBLE for God's "PRE-DEDERMINED" plan for the entire human race to fail.  To  attribute failure to God is of the "highest insult" to our Creator !!!

We are told in 2nd Peter 3:9 that the Lord is not willing that any should perish. In the Greek translation, the word "willing" means "intend." (i.e. - The Lord "does not intend" for any to perish) What a HUGE difference this makes in giving us a proper understanding of the actual meaning of this Passage of "Scripture."

Lamentations 3:31 - "For the Lord will not cast off forever." (i.e.- reject, forsake, abandon) This verse is very clear in communicating to us God's promise that NO ONE will be separated from "Him" for all eternity.

The Bible reveals to us the Father's heart. The Cross reveals to us the Father's "indescrible love" for us, "His" creation. God did not create the human race, to then only wind up rejecting and abandoning the majority of  the human race  to total abandonment from "Him" for all eternity.

Philippians 2:10 - 11 is one of the most PROFOUND Passages of "Scripture" in the Bible. “That at the name of JESUS every knee will bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth: And that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

There is absolutely nowhere in this Passage of "Scripture" that states or even suggests that every knee will be "FORCED" to bow the knee to the name of JESUS!  In all religions, bowing the knee is a "voluntary" form of worship.

As explained in the next several paragraphs, we will come to understand more clearly that Philippians 2:10 - 11 is revealing to us that bowing the knee and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord "is not going to be forced" upon (ALL), but that (ALL) will do so willingly.

Throughout the Bible, we find that the "Scriptures" clearly state that God "only accepts a willing heart."

A word study of "confess"  (ἐξομολογήσεται)  in the Greek language (in light of the way that this same verb is used in other New Testament "Scripure") reveals that this verb in the context of this Passage of "Scripture" is rendered "to thank." That meaning growing out of the sense of open, joyful acknowledgement. The sense here is that of frank, open confession.

An individual cannot praise and joyously proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, "if one is being forced to do so," especially if that individual knows that "eternal damnation" & "eternal separation" from God awaits them. It is just that simple!

The traditional teaching on this Passage of "Scripture" has been that even the enemies of the Cross will be forced to bow their knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

This train of thought is in complete “contradiction” to the Written Word of God, because the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, "clearly teaches" that the Lord only accepts praise and worship "from a willing heart." "Forced praise and worship" DOES NOT bring Glory to God.

In  Philippians 2:10-11God IS NOT proclaiming that all those who have not known Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, "are going to be forced" to bow their knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

"ON THE CONTRARY," God is proclaiming to us an "astonishing" and "profound" revelation, that because of the finished work of Christ on the Cross, that (ALL) will come to know Jesus Christ in such a way that (ALL) "will willingly" (not be forced) acknowledge openly with praise, and proclaim joyously that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The "true meaning" of Philippians 2:10-11 has been "greatly overlooked" by the Church today!

There can be little doubt that after the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ and "His" Saints on earth, that Christ is going to give all enemies of the Cross, and "each" and "every person" who did not have the Gospel of Christ presented to them, a  PROFOUND  revelation of what "HE" did for them on the Cross, which was done out of "His" indescribable love for them.

When the Bible speaks of "Hellfire," it is just simply a metaphorical expression. "Hellfire" is not going to "produce physical suffering to the lost" (lost - those without Christ). Rather, the lost are going to experience "Spiritual grief," which will indeed be agonizing, because of the refining FIRE of God's Spirit Malachi 3:2 - "The Lord is like a refiner's fire."

The "completion" of this mighty work of God is going to produce a "PROFOUND" revelation of what Christ did for them on the Cross. The results of this revelation to them will probably burn in them to such a degree, that it will probably produce an agony in them beyond comprehension, which will cause them to fall down to their knees, and with great joy and praise from the most innermost part of their being, "proclaim openly" that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

We are given another PROFOUND Passage of "Scripture" in Luke 3:6, which states: "AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD." The King James translation has every word in this Passage of "Scripture" in capitol letters. This apparently is for the purpose of wanting the readers to take special notice of this Passage of "Scripture," because it is proclaiming something that is quite PROFOUND.

A word study of "see" in the Greek language "reveals" that one of the definitions of "see" can mean "to experience; to become a partaker of." Because of the way that this Passage of "Scripture" is constructed, it is very reasonable to believe that this is the true meaning of "see" in this Passage of "Scripture."

A better rendering of this Passage of "Scripture" would read: "AND ALL FLESH SHALL EXPERIENCE AND BECOME PARTAKERS OF GOD'S SALVATION." 

NOTE: At some point and time in the future, the above Passage of "Scripture" will be fulfilled. This will all be worked out in God's ETERNAL plan for man.

The “GOOD  NEWS” of the Gospel of Christ is the RECONCILIATION of (ALL) things back to God through the finished work of Christ on the Cross.
 
Colossians 1:20 And God was pleased for Christ to make peace by sacrificing "His" blood on the Cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God.
 
Colossians 1:26 This is the "mystery" which has been hidden from ages past and from generations, but now has been revealed to "His" Saints.
 
Ist Corinthians 15:22 tells us “For as in Adam (ALL) die, even so in Christ shall (ALL) be made alive. Once again, take special note that (ALL) shall be made alive in Christ.  

What is important to understand is that God has a purpose and plan for (ALL). At the 2nd coming of Christ, the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ will begin in which "He" and the Saints who have overcome (overcoming Saints - 2nd & 3rd Chapters of Revelation) will rule and reign here on earth.

At some point and time after the 1000 year rule and reign of Christ and the Saints who have overcome here on earth, "everyone else" through  the "refining fire" of God's Spirit, "will be reconciled back to God" because of the finished work of Christ on the Cross. This was the plan of God from the very beginning of creation. This is what the "GOOD NEWS" of the Gospel of Christ is all about.

Ist Corinthians 15:26 tells us "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." (i.e - the last enemy to be destroyed is separation from God) "ALL" will be "reconciled" back to God. yes, even the fallen angels.

God did not create multitude upon multitude of angels and then think to "Himself," "When I created the Angels, I did not know that a large number of them would rebel against ME."

Also, God did not create man in "His" own image and then think to "Himself," "When I created the human race, I did not know that the majority of the human race would rebel against me to the point that the majority of the human race will have to endure "everlasting torment" & "everlasting separation" from ME."

God already knew before "HE" created the human race, that multitudes of people would die without being presented with the Gospel of Christ, therefore, missing out on the opportunity to make Christ their Lord and Saviour. Also, God already knew that the majority of the human race would become enemies of the Cross.

Are we to believe that God would still have made the decision to create the human race, if "HE" already knew that the majority of the human race would be "condemned" to suffer "everlasting torment" & "everlasting seperation" from "Him?"  I THINK NOT !!!

Are we to believe that God who created us to bring Glory to "Him," is such a failure that "HE" is left with no choice but to "condemn" the majority of the human race to "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from "Him," which will not only bring NO GLORY to "Him," but to the contrary, will only highlight "His" failure in "His" original purpose for creating us?  I THINK NOT !!!

Also, I would like to address the issue of "annihilation." There are those who do not agree with the common belief of unsaved people eventually burning in "Hellfire" for eternity or experiencing some other type of "eternal torment," but their belief is that unsaved people will eventually be "annihilated" and exist no more.

This belief cannot be correct, because we are told in Ecclesiastes 3:11 - "He" has made everything beautiful in it's time. "He" also has planted "eternity" in men's hearts and minds." (a divinely planted sense of a purpose working through the ages).

God created us as "eternal beings." Our eternal "Spirit" "CANNOT be destroyed." Remember, God made us after "His" own image!

THE PROFOUND "FINISHED WORK" OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS HAS NOT BEEN PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD BY THE TODAY'S CHURCH!

God from the very beginning had a plan and purpose for (ALL) creation. "HE" already knew how things would turn out. "HE" made no mistakes. In past ages, God's plan and purposes were unfolding and being worked out. In this present age, God's plan and purposes are unfolding and being worked out. In future ages, God's plan and purposes will continue to unfold and be worked out.

There are multitude upon multitude of families who have prayed for the salvation of their loved ones, only to see them die without knowing Christ as their Lord & Saviour.

Even though they will not take part in the 1st Resurrection and rule and reign with Christ and the Saints (Saints who have overcome) during the Millennial Kingdom Age, we can take great comfort in knowing that (at some point and time) after the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ and the Saints who have overcome, that "EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM" will live for (ALL) eternity under the perfect peaceful conditions of the New Heavens & New Earth.

This is what the "GOOD NEWS" of the Gospel of Christ is all about, the "RECONCILIATION" of (ALL) back to God, through the finished work of Christ on the Cross. The finished work of Christ on the Cross made provision for the "REDEMPTION" of (ALL), "WITHOUT EXCEPTION."

The very last words of JESUS on the Cross before "His" last breath were, "IT IS FINISHED!" Those 3 words will "ECHO" into ALL ETERNITY. Those 3 words PROCLAIMED the final destination of (ALL) being "RECONCILED" back to God.

From even before the creation of all things, the "RECONCILIATION" of (ALL) back to God through the "SHED BLOOD" of Christ on the Cross has always been our Creator's plan.

In John 12:32, JESUS "declares to us" that "HE" will draw (ALL) people unto "Himself." (Note: "each in their own time'')

We are told in Colossians 1:16 that (ALL) things created in heaven, and on earth, visible and invisible, were created for God's Glory. This is why that it is "IMPOSSIBLE" for any part of God's creation "to remain" in "an inglorious condition" for "ALL OF ETERNITY."

In due time, in the Ages to come, (ALL) of God's creation will bring glory to God as was pre-ordained by God before the creation of all things.

The Bible "message" SCREAMS OUT God's plan of "ETERNAL SALVATION" FOR (ALL); NOTE: each in their own time!

JESUS "declares to us" in John 6:44 that nobody can come to "Him" except the Father "draws them" to "Him!" It is "IMPOSSIBLE" for anyone to come to JESUS and surrender their lives to JESUS, without the "working drawing power" of the Holy Spirit.

You see, there is no individual that is "more special than another individual" as to cause the Lord to draw that individual through the "working drawing power" of "His" Holy Spirit to surrender their lives to JESUS, thereby, saving that individual from "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from "Him," but then sentences another individual to "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from "Him" who never had the "working drawing power" of the Holy Spirit drawing them to surrender their lives to JESUS.

As I have stated before in this article, Luke 3:6 "declares to us" that (ALL) will come to know the Lord, "each" in their own time according to God's eternal plan for the Ages. Luke 3:6 - "ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD."

I shared earlier in this article that a word study of "see" in the Greek language reveals that one of the definitions of "see" can mean "to experience; to become a partaker of." Because of the way that this Passage of "Scripture" is constructed, it is very reasonable to believe that this is the true meaning of "see" in this Passage of "Scripture."

A better rendering of this Passage of "Scripture" would read: "ALL FLESH SHALL EXPERIENCE AND BECOME PARTAKERS OF GOD'S SALVATION."

JESUS told the religious leaders (it was the religious leaders who were responsible for "His" crucifixion) that the publicans and harlots would enter the kingdom of God before them. JESUS did not say that these wicked religious leaders would not enter into the kingdom of God. JESUS was telling these wicked religious leaders that the publicans and harlots would "precede them," go "ahead of them" in their entrance into the kingdom of God.

Most Christians are very familiar with the Passage of "Scripture" that "declares to us" that there is coming a time when God "shall wipe away (ALL) tears," and there shall be "no more sorrow," and there shall be "no more pain." This is "declared to us" by the Lord in Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:1 gives us greater insight into what Revelation 21:4 is really "declaring to us."

Revelation 21:1 - "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away."

It is important for us to take "SPECIAL NOTICE" that it is after the Lord's handiwork of a new heaven & new earth that is "declared to us" in verse 1, that then verse 4 "declares to us" that there will be "no more tears," and "no more sorrow," and "no more pain."

Well, since the Bible already tells us that "1000 years before a new heaven & new earth takes place," Christ is going to set up "His" Millennial Kingdom here on earth, in which "HE" and the Saints who have overcome, will rule and reign.

The Saints will already be in their "new Glorified bodies" when they come with Christ to rule and reign with "Him." Therefore, all their tears, and all their sorrows, and all their pain, "will have already been removed from them" for (ALL) eternity. Therefore, Revelation 21:4 "is not referring" to the Saints who are already in their "new Glorified bodies," and have been ruling and reigning with Christ throughout the "previous Millennium" which takes place "prior" to the Lord's handiwork of a new heaven and a new earth.

That then raises the question, who is the Lord referring to in Revelation 21:4 ?

Since Revelation 21:4 is "declaring to us" that (ALL) tears shall be wiped away, it becomes clear that the Lord is "declaring to us" that (All) in this Passage of "Scripture" is referring to the rest of humanity, beginning with Adam & Eve.

So, Revelation 21:4, along with other Passages of "Scripture" that have been shared in this article "declares to us" that "not one single person" will suffer "eternal torment" & "eternal separation" from God.

NOTE: The Book of Revelation in the Bible explains to us that after the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ and the Saints on earth, then comes the "Great White Throne Judgment," and then at some point and time after the "Great White Throne Judgment," the Lord's handiwork of a new heaven & new earth will take place. The "Great White Throne Judgment" will put into motion the final step in the Lord's plan of reconciling (ALL) unto "Himself" through the finished work of Christ on the Cross. This will be accomplished through the "mighty burning working power of God's Spirit" working through each individual who comes before this "Great White Throne Judgment."

The "Scriptures" do not reveal to us the length of time that this process will take. It is after that this process has been completed by the "mighty burning working power of God's Spirit" in each individual who has come before the "Great White Throne Judgment," that the Lord will do "His" handiwork of a new heaven & new earth. There will be "no more tears," and "no more sorrow," and "no more pain" for anyone, for (ALL) eternity.

Today's Church is greatly lacking in it's understanding of what our purpose of being here on earth is all about. IT IS NOT ABOUT who is going to get saved, because (ALL) will be saved (each in their own time). THIS IS ALL ABOUT the Lord proving "His" servants, because it will be only the "Servants of the Lord" who have been faithful, who will rule and reign with Christ.

There will be many "Servants of the Lord" who will be found not to have been faithful servants, and therefore, they will not rule and reign with Christ. In fact, JESUS addresses this issue in some of "His" rather difficult to understand parables. I discuss this further in my article "Not "ALL" Christians will rule and reign with Christ," which I have posted on this website. 

NOTE: The New Testament was written in the ordinary language of the common people of its day, which included "idioms"  that were used in their everyday language.

("idiom" - a figure of speech) In fact, every language has its own "idioms," which really makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE when trying to come to a correct understanding of a particular Passage of "Scripture" in the Bible which contains an "idiom."

It is important for us to know that JESUS used "idioms" in "His" teachings, which were understood by the people during that period of time.  

When I first wrote this article in May of 2014, did not have the information that is printed below. Two years later, in September of 2016, I came across the information that is printed below, which is published by the Pittsburg Bible Institute. It was a great blessing to come across this "priceless" piece of information which has not been properly understood by the Church today. 

It is as if the Lord led me to this "priceless" piece of information which I found on the Pittsburg Bible Institute site, because it "strongly validates" what I have written and shared in my article. I decided that the information which is below would be a powerful way to end my article. Thank you Lord!

Published by the Pittsburg Bible Institute:

“The Lake of Fire and Brimstone signifies a fire burning with brimstone; the word 'brimstone' or sulphur defines the character of the fire. The Greek word THEION translated 'brimstone' is exactly the same word THEION which means 'divine.' (emphasis mine) Sulphur was sacred to the deity among the ancient Greeks; and was used to fumigate, to purify, and to cleanse and consecrate to the deity; for this purpose they burned it in their incense.

In Homer's Iliad (16:228), one is spoken of as purifying a goblet with fire and brimstone. The verb derived from THEION is THEIOO, which means to hallow, to make divine, or to dedicate to a god (See Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon, 1897 Edition). To any Greek, or any trained in the Greek language, a 'lake of fire and brimstone' would mean a 'lake of divine purification.' The idea of judgment need not be excluded. Divine purification and divine consecration are the plain meaning in ancient Greek. In the ordinary explanation, this fundamental meaning of the word is entirely left out, and nothing but eternal torment is associated with it.”

Charles Pridgeon; Is Hell Eternal, or Will God’s Plan Fail; pgs 116 & 117.

Here, Brother Pridgeon makes a vital point: brimstone is for purification, not punishment. This thought went unquestioned until the Dark Ages. His purpose was understood to purify and consecrate, not separate and punish. This Lake of Divine Fire will purify, refine, restore and consecrate til there is nothing left that is contrary to Him.

An interesting note here, going along with the train of thought is that the Greek word for fire is pur, and is where we get such words as pure, purify and purgatory. Fire in this sense is for purification, not destruction.

NOTE: I do not understand how that a Christian can read this article in it's entirety without serious questions being raised in their mind and Spirit about the traditional teaching on "Hell," the "Lake of Fire," and "eternal torment" that is being taught today in the Church, and is widely accepted as "truth" by most Christians today.

 

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