The Gospel Is the Good News About God
May 26, 2022 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3–5, emphasis mine).

We are in a war over the truth about God.

Satan is the liar who has misled the world about God. The eternal gospel, the eternal good news, is that God is not the kind of being that Satan has presented Him to be.

Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9 NIV84). The good news is that God is exactly as Jesus has revealed Him to be—the God of infinite love, mercy, and grace who became human, who gave up divine privileges and sacrificed Himself to save us from eternal death.

But Satan has a false gospel (not just every false religion, but a false gospel within Christianity) that presents a god cloaked in the attributes of darkness, in the characteristics of the evil one; a god who is angry, wrathful, unforgiving; one who is the source of inflicted pain, suffering, and death; a being who will use his power to punish his intelligent beings in eternal torment (or as long as they deserve before he uses his power to kill them).

The gospel is the good news that God is not like what Satan has represented Him to be. So where has this false version of God come from? What is it built upon? It is built upon the lie that God’s law functions like human law, made-up rules (like the laws that humans make) that require the law-giver to use power to enforce those rules. Once a person accepts this lie about God’s law, belief in all the other distortions of God’s character eventually follow.

But God is the Creator of reality. His laws are the protocols upon which life is built to operate. Breaking God’s laws results in pain, suffering, and death—from unremedied sin; the pain, suffering, and death is not inflicted by a wrathful god! “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV84), for “sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15 NKJV), and “the one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; [but] the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8 NIV84).

God is the source of life. Satan is the source of death. God sent Jesus as “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6 NIV84). Satan is the “murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). And God sent Jesus to “destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14 NIV84). “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11, 12 NIV84).

 

Believing the Lies

But sadly, billions prefer the false gospel to the truth. They prefer a god who is the source of inflicted death as punishment for sin over the Creator God who is the source of life. They prefer a god who uses his power to torment and destroy over the Creator God who uses His power to save and to heal. They prefer a god who makes up rules and enforces those rules with power and might over the Creator God whose laws are the protocols that life, health, and happiness are built to operate upon. They prefer a god who will torture unrepentant sinners to make them pay over the God who forgives even those who tortured Him on a cross.

Yes, God is the source of life. It is Satan who is the source of pain, suffering, and death. Yet billions reject the good news that Jesus Christ revealed about His Father—preferring instead a dictator god who runs his universe like Caesar ran Rome.

It is time for us to reject the penal-legal lies about God. It is time for the church to throw off the shroud of the Dark Ages god who requires blood payments be made to him so that he won’t torture and kill us. It is time for us to worship the only true God, Jesus Christ, “who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water” (Revelation 14:7 NIV84).

The gospel, the good news, is about God! He is not the one from whom we need protection. But sadly, because of the belief in the lie about God’s law, that God is required by law to inflict punishment upon unrepentant sinners, billions are more afraid of the loving God who is working to save them than the sin in their lives that will actually kill them. Why? Because they believe the lie that God is a heavenly legal judge who must find them guilty of any unrepented sin and then use His power to punish them.

 

Breaking the Lies

If they could only see the truth that “if God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:31–34 NIV84 emphasis mine). The good news is that God is for us and that Jesus joins with His Father to also intercede for us.

  • The good news is that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in perfect unity in their intercessions for us—for our salvation. They intercede in our hearts convicting us of sin, implanting a desire for good, and wooing us back to Them with Their love (Genesis 3:15; Romans 2:4, 8:26); They intercede by holding at bay the principalities and powers of darkness that tempt; and They have also interceded, in the Person of Jesus Christ, to provide a different option than the death that sin brings. In Jesus, the Godhead has opened a new path that leads to eternal life. In Adam, all humanity is dead in trespass and sin, but “God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV84).
  • The false gospel is of a god who requires someone to intercede with him to keep him from lashing out in anger, wrath, and so-called justice with inflicted torment and death.
  • The good news is that God loves people and surrendered His power and sacrificed Himself to save and uplift sinners (Philippians 2).
  • The false gospel is of a god who loves power and will torture and kill people to maintain his power and authority and to satisfy his so-called holiness, a god who requires some payment be made to propitiate his wrath.
  • The good news is that God pardons freely (Isaiah 55:7).
  • The false gospel is of a god who requires a legal payment of a human blood sacrifice in order to pardon.
  • The good news is that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV84, emphasis mine).
  • The false gospel is of a god who, if he receives the right blood payment, will declare us to be legally righteous in a heavenly registry even while we remain unrighteous.
  • The good news is “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19 NIV84).
  • The false gospel is of a god who keeps a record of our sins in order to punish us, a god who must have his wrath propitiated by blood in order to be reconciled to us.
  • The good news is of “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NIV84)
  • The false gospel is of the lamb of a god that takes away the punishment inflicted by the offended god.
  • The good news is of the God who is so committed to protecting the liberty of His intelligent beings that He who would rather suffer and die on a cross than take away their freedom to kill Him.
  • The false gospel is of a god who says, “If you don’t obey me, I will torture you in hell.”
  • The good news is of the God who loves us like a parent, One who has given His rebellious children rules to protect us and lead us to Christ for healing from sin (Galatians 3:24).
  • The false gospel is of a god who is like a dictator; he gives rules to dominate, subdue, and control.
  • The good news is of the God who took sin upon Himself (Hebrews 2:14, 15; 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and accepted the pain, suffering, and death that sin brings in order to destroy death and bring life and immortality to light (2 Timothy 1:10)—in order to provide the cure that heals all who trust Him.
  • The false gospel is of a god who executed an innocent in place of the guilty and requires the blood of that innocent be paid to him to stop him from killing the guilty.
  • The good news is of the God who examines us perfectly and identifies every wicked way and sinful defect—and then He cleanses, cures, heals all those who trust Him, creating within them new hearts and right spirits and making them new in Christ (Psalm 139:23; 51:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • The false gospel is of a god who examines legal records of sinful acts to determine if the right blood was claimed and applied to every single entry in the legal registry, searching for any unpaid sin in order to execute the guilty sinner.

Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NIV84). It is time to reject the lies about God and to take the true gospel, the good news about God that Jesus revealed, to the world!

I long to see Jesus. I want Him to come and bring an end to the pain, suffering, misery, and death that sin causes. He is waiting for His people to throw off the lies about Him, to embrace the truth that He has revealed, and take the eternal gospel, the eternal good news about our Creator God of love, to the world—and then He will come and take us home. Will you join me in this work? Will you join me in rejecting the lies about God and taking the true gospel to the world?

 

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, international speaker, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DLFAPA), Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DFAPA), and Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association (FSPA). He is President and Founder of Come and Reason Ministries and has served as President of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.