The News or the Best News
13 Oct 2001, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
THEME The Process of Salvation
SCRIPTURE READING Psalm 96:1-13
Since September 11 "The News" has not been good. "The News" on TV seems to get worse and worse. Today we will look at the "Good News".
Today we will review the Bibles record of Good News Better News and the Best News. The Best News in Scripture is being finally in the presence of our God and and Saviour in a new earth society free from the polution and the contamination of sin.
Where do we start with the News in Scripture? Old or New Testament?
Our Bible starts with the BEST news. Humanity in the perfect sinless image of his creator God. Face to face personal relationship in perfect fellowship.
GOD'S IMMEDIATE PRESENCE - THE BEST IS LOST
Gen 1:26-28 states that God created humanity male and female in his own perfect image. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" In verse 31 God says that everything that The Godhead had made was "very good". Perfect and sinless as the Godhead are perfect in all aspects. Now that is the Best news.
Genesis 3 tells us that sometime later the Best was lost. Our first parents were banished from Eden and the actual immediate presence of God.
Gen 3:22-23 Humanity was banished from their source of eternal life and God's face. Bad news - the worst news.
In Gen 3:15 The Old Testament softened the shock of the loss with the announcement of the Good news . It prophecied the reverse of the bad news. God served humanity Hope. God said to the serpent, known as the Devil and Satan, there will be enmity between you and the seed of the women. You will injure "his" heel but "He" shall deall a final & fatal blow to your head. Now that is really Good news.
The Old Testament outlines the process and progress in the salvation news. Job runs through the Good news to Better news and finally back to the Best news. Job 19:25-27 makes this very clear. He said, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." That is Good news. "He shall stand ...upon the earth." That is Better news. "in my flesh I shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold and not another." Face to face eventually on the new earth. Now that is the Best news.
The Psalmist in Psalm 96:11-13 announces the final Best news when all creation & creatures are blessed with the justice of God. "the Lord cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth." The Best news.
Isaiah also spoke for God about the final day when God would be present again in person. In 25:8-9 he says,"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke (curse of sin) of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord has spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: ...we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. The Best news. But not just yet.
After God announced the Good news in the Old testament we find Better news in the New Testament.
Matt 1:21 "He," the seed, our Saviour - the Divine Human came as promised. Good news becomes Better news.
John 1:14 In flesh He lived with humanity. God's presence with us "and we beheld his glory, the glory...of the Father, full of grace & truth." The perfect Better news. He came to die for us. Salvation progresses from the Hope promised in Good news to the reality of Christ with us on earth for a time. A guarantee of the Best to come finally.
1John 1:1-4 John testifies to the fact that he had experienced the Better news. "we have heard", "have seen", "we have looked upon", "our hands have handled".
John 14:1-3 Jesus advises us not to be stressed out by the fact that after His resurrection He would return to the Father. The Good and Better news would be replaced with the Best. He would return to take us to live with him in Eden restored, eternally in His presence.
Matt 24:1-28 Jesus listed the signs of the last days and His return, not so we are preoccupied with events but that we be in a constant state of mind to be ready to meet Him to receive the Best. We are to be aware of the signs and events, but our focus is to be centred on the promise of the Best. We are to be focused on Jesus Christ. see verses 29-31. We are to occupy this planet in a state of readiness for departure when He comes. see verses 36-51. It is Good news that He came and justified us the sinners. That is done. Better news is left to be completed in us. Our sanctification Col 1:27 "Christ in you the hope of glory."
HOPE OF THE BEST NEWS
ACTS 1:10-11 The Best News. Our Saviour will return to us & we will see Him. Hope of face to face encounter. In Titus 2:13 Pastor Titus says the Best is the "blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Pastor Paul makes it very clear that eventually Jesus Christ the divine "King of kings and Lord of lords" will appear in person.1Tim6:14-16.
John in Rev 1:15 saw the best news. He had a preview of when, "The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, and his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever." Again in Rev 21:3 he saw God living with men on the new earth. Yet again and finally in Rev 22:1- 4 he saw the Best restored. Eden restored, "no more curse", "the tree of life", the dispencer of our eternal life is there. They shall see his face, our Source of Life, in person wow! That is the Best News.
The focal point or issue is the reuniting of Christ and the saints. The real Best news is concerning the saints.
THE REAL BEST NEWS
Rom 8:21-27 Pastor Paul saw as the Best news, the "redemption of the body" from death and corruption. Again in 1Cor 15:51-58 he sees the Best as the "change" from corruption and death to new bodies with eternal life guaranteed forever without death. Wow! That is the Best. In 1 Thess 4:13-18 Paul explains the Best news as Christ's return in person, visibly, to change those living and resurrecting those saints who are dead. A face to face encounter. Finally redeemed from all iniquity and the possibility to sin. The Best at His appearing. The redeemed "overcomers" to share His throne in the New World Order. The very Best. Holy politicians with Christ govern the universe. see Rev 3:21
There is one final word.
HOPE OF THE BEST REQUIRES - Progess in Salvation growth.
Rom 8 especially verses 9,11,14, As children of God and followers of Jesus Christ our Saviour we are to be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit. We are to be progressing from Good news to Better news ready for the Best news. Pastor Peter makes this clear in 1Peter 1:3-7. Growth toward final salvation. see also 2 Peter 1:5-11 and 3:11-15. His Spirit will lead us Rom 8:14
That is the very BEST news.
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