Whether it is video gaming, television, Netflix, internet or sports—we love mindless escape, as we hang out in various worlds of non-reality, as often as possible.
Ratings, views, tweets and sales are the barometer of success in our media crazed-culture. Advertising dollars and high-value sponsorship’s flow toward enterprises that attract the largest audience and demonstrate an upward trend in ratings. Sadly, these influences can also affect how we conduct “business” in the spiritual arena. I am certainly not against the appropriate use of high-tech tools to advance the work of the gospel and the church. God can use various means of delivery via television, radio and internet when these are properly managed and biblically motivated. But we also must be honest in admitting that in many ways the culture has influenced the message more than our message has changed the culture. Yet, the only life-changing and lasting good news in our world today is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We must take care to broadcast the unchanging New Testament hope of the gospel and guard ourselves from communicating popular notions that feel good but ultimately fail to clarify the truth that sets us free.
The real news that delivers us into true good news is that we are all under God’s divine judgement because of our sin, rebellion and depravity. God’s solution through the finished work of Jesus on our behalf is ultimate good news. Jesus stated, “I came into this world for judgement, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind” (John 9:39). His bold and consistent message of repentance was rooted in the truth of man’s lost condition and condemnation of sin (Matt. 4:17, Luke 13:5, Luke 24:46-47). The message of the early church was repent and believe, an essential message for those under judgement of sin and in need of the mercy of a holy, loving and forgiving God (Mark 6:12, Act 2:38, 8:22, 20:21, 11:18, 17:30).
The truth of our sin and separation from a holy God is what makes the work of Christ essential, powerful and sufficient. That sinful man can be cleansed, forgiven and transformed is true, Christ-honouring and God-glorifying GOOD news. To declare that we are all “basically good” undermines the wonder of the true gospel.
So, in a world of confusing media and watered-down messaging, may the Holy Spirit give us discernment to test all things (1 Thess. 5:21) and cling to the sound doctrine of the gospel. In this, God is rightly glorified and we are truly edified. In knowing, believing, obeying and defending the gospel, we find true hope and lasting encouragement. Anything less will be superficial and short-lived. Surely, our broken world and our difficult lives require nothing less, nothing else and nothing more than the living and clear gospel of Jesus Christ