In my early years as a Christian, I would financially support those who were engaged in humanitarian work and poverty relief, but not those who were engaged in evangelism. Why? Because I was struggling to live out my Christian faith. I did not experience joy. So I was more confident about donating to World Vision, Compassion or Samaritan’s Purse than to a purely evangelistic ministry like Billy Graham or Ravi Zacharias or World Harvest Mission. (My giving patterns haven’t changed much, though I did donate to Catch the Fire Ministries, since they were about to go to Niger, where, goodness, the Good News is good news, since that’s all the good news they have.)
Etymologically, Gospel means good news. Gospel. O.E. godspel “good news,” from god “good” + spel “story, message,” itself a translation of the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, euangelion (eu- “good”, -angelion “message”).
So etymologically good news.
Why? Justice demands crime and punishment. God’s father heart cries mercy. So the lovely Son steps in, incredibly and voluntarily, to bear the punishment for our sins. You avail yourself of this “Get Out of Jail Free” card by putting your faith in him.
Good News Power Point 1–“Get out of Jail Free.” Though perhaps because of deficiencies in my imagination, this has never stirred my heart as strongly as, say, it stirred the young James Joyce’s.
Good News Power Point 2–God slowly changes the deep structure of the personality of the Christian.
At the point of faith, or conversion, we request Christ to enter our hearts. Prayer is a serious and holy business, and when we ask him to enter, he does. Instantaneously, dramatically and quite perceptibly into some lives, and as a slow growing seed that slowly changes the very fabric of thought and characters for others, among whom I find myself. That slow process of change, theologically, is called sanctification. And that is good news.
Good News Power Point 3–Jesus Christ himself.
The third reason the Gospel is good news is Christ himself. Lovely, many-sided, always challenging, a fresh thinker, a well of wisdom, a well for those who are weary and heavy-laden, a well which refreshes our tired spirits. A friend. In him, the weary and bored and fed-up find fresh ideas, re-creation, renewal and wisdom. In our world in which abundance jades, to know Christ, to commune with him through his words in the Gospels, to access his perspective and allow it to transform you, is indeed good news.
Today, my biggest power point would be the living relationship we can have with Jesus Christ!