When Jesus came and brought the gospel of Christianity it was welcomed by the masses as exceptionally good news. Thousands followed him to hear the words of life that he spoke. After he was crucified, his disciples continued preaching and teaching his ways and they were likewise welcomed as the bringers of good news.
Of course not everyone was thrilled at this new teaching. The established religion of the day opposed it violently, even putting many to death for preaching the words of God. They whipped, beat, imprisoned and crucified many who chose to follow or teach the new gospel. And yet despite the suffering inflicted, they could not destroy this teaching or halt the spread of this good news.
One of the charges laid against the early teachers of this gospel was that they had, “Turned the world upside down” with this teaching (Acts 17:6). Truly, the new teachings of the gospel of Christ were good news and tremendously powerful.
Many people will accept many things, but not many would choose to suffer abuse, torture, ridicule or even die rather than renounce their beliefs. But such was the enormity and power of this good news.
Consider also the state of the apostles shortly after Jesus had been put to death. They were subdued and meeting in Jerusalem, wondering what to do next after their Lord and teacher had been taken from them. But then as they were gathered together on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit with the power of God came upon them, transforming them into powerful and charismatic preachers of the good news. Peter stood up amongst the people and at his preaching on that day, three thousand people turned to the Lord upon hearing the good news of the gospel (Acts 2:14-42).
Such is the power of the preaching of Christ that it cannot be merely called good news but it is “Great News”. Never before or since has there been such a message as powerful as the gospel and truth of Christianity.
Why is this message so powerful? In this world man is plagued with all manner of evil, both from within and without. Man suffers at the hands of his fellow man and even more so at his own hands by succumbing to the desires of his flesh. Man suffers disease, sickness and death, often brought about by his own passions and desires. Man sins continually through lies, cheating, envy, jealousy and commits acts of murder, adultery, substance abuse, theft, insurrection and all manner of wrongdoing. As a consequence of these and many other things, man is constantly in a state of stress.
Just watch the evening news or pick up a newspaper and you will see the sin and evil rampant in this world that has man in its grip. It is tremendously stressful to see or read these things. Pressure and tension build until most people reach the point where they wish it would all go away or they could escape the tension.
To be released from this stress would truly be not just good news, but Great News. And that is exactly what Jesus and his disciples offered in their teachings, and why the people flocked to hear these words of the good news of the gospel of Christ.
The truth of the Gospel is about freedom, and it is available today just as it was in those times. The good news of the gospel offers freedom from bondage, freedom from sin, freedom from stress and freedom from all the pressures of this world. And if you have freedom from these you have the one thing that this world cannot give to you… peace.
For those who receive the truth of the gospel there is an inner peace, which comes from knowing Jesus and applying his teachings in your life. When you are at peace within, then it no longer matters what the world throws at you because it can’t affect you unless you allow it to. Peace within in these days of great disaster and troubles is truly great news and a real blessing to all who find and receive it.