The Gospel = "Good News"?

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by LarryCook, Sep 17, 2005.

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  1. LarryCook

    LarryCook Puritan Board Freshman

    OK, everybody in the audience who says the Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news for you personally raise your hand.....ok, that looks like everyone. So that settles it, the Gospel = Good News....right?

    I find it interesting that this is the definition favored by at least one bible dictionary, that is Easton's 1897 Bible dictionary. And I also find it to be the currency of most evangelicals who are out there preaching "the good news" to the lost.

    But I've had in the back of my mind for several years the words of my pastor at Christ Cornerstone in Fort Mill that the Gospel, while truly life-giving to some, most certainly smells of death to those destined to perdition.

    My question is, how many of you believe that we should see the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a doctrine that cuts both ways as opposed to regarding it exclusively as "good news".

    Am I way off base here? Am I close but missing something?

    thanks for all thoughts, especially from the T.E. among us,
  2. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    It is good news. Those that reject this good news, condemn themselves; to them it is the compounding of Gods judgment against them.

    2Co 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.

    2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

    As far as the good news 'smelling' of death to the reprobate, I disagree. It smells of death to us whom believe. We see the rotting corpses!
  3. LarryCook

    LarryCook Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks Scott,

    Few words, but much to digest there.

    And what a reassuring truth this is....that I had no role in opening my eyes. The veil was lifted!

    ...and Spurgeon extrapolates then, that they have no right to quarrel with God for freely giving to others something that they did not desire, and in fact refused.

    So then maybe what I meant to say is that it "is" death to them. Would that be correct? And as for my olfactometer, as a young (infantile) believer it is quite insensitive and does not register that smell except in the case of a hardened and bitter self-proclaiming God hater....and then, woooooo....Katy bar the door and hand me the nose plugs!

    thanks again for you early Sat am reply!
  4. sola_gratia

    sola_gratia Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't know how correct this is, but I see the gospel as having a two-fold purpose:

    Isaiah 55:11 says that the Word of God will not return to Him empty. So that means it must being doing something. 2 Cor. 2:16 says that for some the Word is a "savour unto life" and for others unto death. That means that the Word of God preached will have two results: i) salvation ii) condemnation. We preach the Gospel with the hopes to save, which in God's providence will happen. But when it doesn't, it serves to further their condemnation.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I think overall it is "the good news", but where the veil has not been lifted it is viewed as foolishness.

  5. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    The 'good news' is that the Lord reigns. (Isa 52:7; cf Rom 10)
  6. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    Objectively, the good news is not so good to those who are reprobates. We must keep the senses strait here.

    God uses "bad" things for the elect's good:

    But he also uses "good" things for the reprobates bad:

    Things can be good or bad in and of themselves, but God uses them both to accomplish his purposes, which end can be good or bad, despite the inherant nature of the thing.

    Clear as mud?

    For more help, I would recommend highly reading The Two Wills of God.
  7. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    The gospel is the good news of God. It is not just good in the relation to the one who hears it; as if it were not good because one rejected it. The classic text, as has been pointed out, is:

    If you think about God's work of redemption throughout the ages, you will see that the same act that is life and mercy to one, is death and judgment to another: the Flood, the Red Sea, Calvary.
  8. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think this can be resolved thus:

    The good news in reality, truth & totality - that is objectively IS just that PURE good news & unmingled with law or "to dos".

    Why is it good news to those who are perishing. All in a since are perishing but it is only good news to those who despair of self & know they are perishing 'in & of themselves'. Hence, dying, & "smelling this death", the good news is the only odor of life to those who are perishing & so know they are. Ergo, they are drawn to it by its sweetness & odor of sweetness.

    Those who are truly perishing but yet deny or think they are not, that is not under wrath, death & misery of the fall - the good news is repulsive to them. It has the odor of death to them. Why? Because they are decieved & think they live though they are dead. Since the good news necessarily means abandoning all efforts of self salvation as a way to eternal life and way to God, esp. the most deceptive things such as outwardly 'good works' to the eyes of men & simultaneously agreeing with Scrip. that EVEN one's best work is a godless evil sin & vain self glory - the good news is to that person in that state the odor of death and they are repulsed by it. What they are really repulsed by is the fact that their deeds they think to be good are but shear evil.

    Think about that for a minute. To a pagan (or deceived Christian) who is outwardly great in the eyes of men, gives much money to charity, gives his/her life's work for others and charity, a tower of virtue in the eyes of men, a very religious person - this person must come to find according to the Gospel which requires entire abandonement of self salvation (not just affirming Christ alone in words but functionally as well) that all these 'good deeds' he/she have done are nothing but sin in the site of God and that he/she is a vile sinner just like and even worse than the greedy CEO, prostitue or murderer (because of his/her vain glory). Imagine his/her reaction to a Gospel that implies that (the Law really positively sets this forth, thus they, law/gospel must be distinct but not divorced). He/she thinks they have life and great life at that for what they do, yet the Gospel by it nature says no, no, no! Apart from the Gospel calling them to life, that is hearing it apart from the Holy Spirit's power, hearing its Words only, that person will disdain it and be utterly repulsed by it. It is effectively to their dead in sin ears a repulsive odor for what it implies about them in theirselves and they will try to get away from its odor just as we would from a decaying carrion on the side of the road.

    Conversely, to those who see and increasingly see our sins as vile and even the vileness of our inability to see the fullness of our vileness, the Gospel becomes a sweet odor for now our "good works" in and of themselves are the odor of death to us and we flee from them, from relying on them because we see that even when we do outwardly our hearts do not do inwardly as we would like (Rom. 7). What was once "life" to us in our dead in sin state IS now the stench of death and we flee from that. And what was once the stench of death to our dead souls IS NOW the sweet aroma of life and we seek it out with all our being. And when it is near to our ear we breath in its sweetness and cannot enjoy its scent deeply or longly enough.


    [Edited on 9-17-2005 by Larry Hughes]
  9. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman


    Are we not all reprobate?

    Why do we look down on people who have not recieved Grace...

    You cruel people...

    What have you got that you did not recieve?
  10. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    The term reprobate is not something that changes. One is either reprobate or elect. As far as looking down upon them, in the divided sense we are to hate that which God hates, in the compound we are to love even our enemies. No one wants to see anyone perish yet we all give God glory for that time when the rprobate will bow and even confess Christ as Lord as he ushers in His judgment.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    Reprobation, in Christian theology, is a corollary to the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election which derives that since (in this view) some of mankind (the elect) are predestined by God for salvation, the remainder are necessarily preordained to damnation, i.e. reprobation. In Calvinist terminology, the non-elect are often referred to as the reprobate. Similarly, when a sinner is so hardened as to feel no remorse or misgiving of conscience, it is considered as a sign of reprobation.

    The word reprobation is from the Latin reprobatus, reprobo, to disallow; re and probo, to prove.

    1. The act of rejecting with detestation, or of expressing extreme dislike.
    2. The act of abandoning or state of being abandoned to eternal destruction.
    3. A condemnatory sentence; rejection.

    [Edited on 9-17-2005 by Scott Bushey]
  11. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore


    I fail to see where I stated otherwise & the redundent necessity of clarification?

    The message, the pure Gospel which in & of itself is a message of shear grace IS the same message either way. It is a matter of whose ears it falls upon & whether or not the Holy Spirit has or is vivfying at the occasion. Make no mistake though, the message, good news NEVER changes. But if I tell you in essence Christ alone THAT implication to the self righteous, especially the religious, IS the stumbling stone.

    To them, again, a repulsive stench of death, to the believer the sweet odor of life - SAME message different aroma based upon the receiver.

    Christ alone,

  12. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore


    Nobody is looking down on the lost, we all receive grace. Furthermore it is rather arrogant to cast such a false accusation. Christians discussing the Gospel to feed, strengthen & sustain each other is NOT looking down upon the lost but rather loving one another enough to help one another.

    If a man be lost the Gospel is free to him, but he must know, like all of us, that he brings NOTHING & EVEN his "best works, like our own, are apart from Christ's cleansing blood - SIN worthy of death, misery & hell.

  13. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman


    We are to hate what God hates, yes but we don't....

    We all deserve HELL...

    Its Grace and thats it...

    We have no right to condemn anyone, that is God's ( cannot think of the correct word )...

    [Edited on 9-17-2005 by just_grace]
  14. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    God condemns the reprobate; I agree with His decree.

    Care to expound upon your statement: Choice?
  15. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman

    I think I made a mistake or am not able to reply Scott!


    Choice in what regard or is that what you are asking me?

    I agree with Gods judgment because He is God and that is the end of it.

    He takes no pleasure in the death of 'anyone' but wants them turn and repent.

    I have a problem with God having two wills at the moment even if it seems obvious to those who view Scripture without a true deep understanding of it.

    Sorry to argue a lot, but I know my Thomas.
  16. Puritanhead

    Puritanhead Puritan Board Professor

    I was lost, but now I'm saved by God's grace... Grace is something given to someone not deserved... That's why it is called Amazing Grace!
  17. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman

    Amen brother...
  18. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman

    The Gospel...

    Tell someone about it tomorrow...

  19. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Look up a few posts. You opened the post with a statement in bold; Choice.

    I am asking what you meant by that and it's corerelation to the discussion?
  20. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman

    Why would have I done that Scott?
  21. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Seven posts up...........look at it. You started the thread with: Choice......
  22. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman

    Live chat...

    Anyone up for it?
  23. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman

    php chat..

    Seems to be disabled?

    Lets chat about these things..

    [Edited on 9-17-2005 by just_grace]
  24. Puritanhead

    Puritanhead Puritan Board Professor

    I don't see anyone in chat but me
  25. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman

    I am there now...
  26. Puritanhead

    Puritanhead Puritan Board Professor

    me too
  27. just_grace

    just_grace Puritan Board Freshman


    I agree, I am just sticking up for the one else seems to do these days. Christ would do th same I think...
  28. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Gabe is correct. Something that is missed most often is that the Gospel Jesus entended to be preached was not just gospel. It was the Gospel of the Kingdom.

    It is more than just gospel.
  29. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    David, where is anyone joying in the damnation of the lost on here? You are quick to jump to conclusions and rebuke people when there is no need to do so.
  30. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    What everyone needs to see is that the gospel is good news, period. What made it gospel was holy men, chosen of God proclaimed it, led by the HS.

    During Jesus' ministry, the apostles were assuredly NOT preaching that which we speak of today. John the baptist was heralding the coming messiah and repentance. Jeremiahs gospel was as well different. The gosepl that was preached to Abraham mentioned no specific cross.
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