There's not a lot of good news is being reported these days.
From economic struggles, to violent crimes, to natural disasters, "bad news" certainly abounds.
Yet, despite the current world situation there is good news. In fact, there is great news. It is the good news known as the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The word "gospel" literally means good news. Gospel was a technical term in Greco-Roman literature which announced the birth of a Caesar or the accession of an emperor. It was news spread throughout the land that signaled great joy, the promise of peace, a new start for the world.
In much the same way (only far more significant than any Greco-Roman announcement), Scripture announces good news.
It is the gospel that the King of kings (Jesus Christ) is returning! Yet, he is not just any king. This is the king who died in the place of his subjects so that they would be citizens in his coming kingdom.
This is the king who resurrected from the dead so that death would have no victory over his people. This is the king who will (as promised in the Old Testament) rule and reign over the entire world in righteousness and justice.
The good news is that this all-glorious king is coming — and that his return is certain!
Yet, this is only good news for those who heed the call of this king. And what is his call? Listen to Acts 17:30-31: "Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom he has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
Christ's kingdom is an exclusive kingdom. Citizenship within this glorious and joyful kingdom necessitates repentance — a turning away from your self-autonomy and bowing your knee to Jesus as sovereign king. The pre-requisite to enjoy this coming kingdom is your submission to Jesus as Lord. In the words of the Apostle Paul, "If you confess 'Jesus as Lord' you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)."
The anthem of this coming kingdom is "Jesus is Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3)."
For the one who trusts completely in the perfect life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection of King Jesus, he will be credited with the holy perfection of this King, he will receive the forgiveness from sin necessary to stand in the king's presence, and he will live forever in this glorious Kingdom.
Can you think of any better news?
Are you ready for the return of the king? Have you bowed before King Jesus as your savior and lord?
The Rev. Patrick Slyman is pastor of Pigeon Cove Chapel in Rockport. He can be reached at email@example.com