Vol. 8, No. 11
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Do you prefer to hear good news as opposed to bad news? Most, if not all, of us do. But, what we are willing to pay for tells a different story, and the news media knows it. I remember a television news program in the middle 1980's that was solely dedicated to reporting good news. It lasted only a few months. In Sacramento, California a tabloid called The Good Newspaper had a short life of thirty-six months until it went bankrupt. The good news that people say that they want to hear and read they are not willing to support financially. As consumers of the news we don't want to read about the rich celebrity who is healthy and happily married. But, we are eager to learn every sordid detail when he finds himself divorced, diseased and destroyed financially.
Noisy news sells! Bad news pays! On August 31, 1997 Chicago Tribune sales soared due to the tragic death of Princess Diana. Time and Newsweek broke sales records on September 8th and 15th, 1997 for the same reason. For a month after the crash, Britain's biggest newspapers gave thirty-five percent of their total news coverage to the death of the Princess. Paul Harvey said, "Not even the end of World War II got this much ink." Noise makes news! One gunshot gets more attention than a thousand prayers. That doesn't mean that the gunshot is more important--it just sells more newspapers.
What is the best news that you have ever heard? Would the Gospel qualify? The word Gospel means good news or glad tidings (Romans 10:13-16). The Gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God and of salvation through Christ to be received by obedient faith on the basis of his death, burial, resurrection and ascension. It is the good news of salvation, peace and reconciliation between God and man.
People say that they want this good news, but really, do they? The worldwide acceptance of the Gospel has not been overwhelming. As Paul said, "But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, 'Lord, who has believed our report'" (Romans 10:16). Few, compared to what one would think should want to accept the Gospel, actually do so.
Paul defines our business as preaching this good news to lost souls. He wrote, "For 'whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!'" (Romans 10:13-15). Regrettably, much of the "preaching" that is done today is not Gospel. It may be a form of Christianity. It may contain a degree of truth. It may reflect a lot of emotionalism. But, many people are missing out on the real good news of a crucified Savior and salvation to be had in obedience to him (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38).