Good News? Really?

In Luke’s gospel, he calls what John the Baptist preached “good news.” (Luke 3:18) However, the news that Luke called “good” included burning in an unquenchable fire. (Luke 3:17)

John preached that when Jesus comes, He will separate the wheat (those who repent and follow Him) from the chaff (those who don’t repent and follow Him). Jesus will gather the wheat and protect it from the unquenchable fire, but he will gather the chaff and throw it into said fire. Luke calls this “good news.” Really? Good news?

Truth is – sin leads to death (an unquenchable fire). The good news is that repentance changes everything. Repentance evokes the protection (the salvation) of God, which was won by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. You can’t have good news without first understanding the bad news.

Theologian Darrell Bock explains, “The preacher must bear good news as well as news that exposes sin. A preacher of God’s message must be balanced in delivering both messages. Forgiveness cannot occur except where one realizes responsibility for sin and repents of it.” (Luke: The NIV Application Commentary, p. 117)

Are you proclaiming the good news in its entirety?
Carefully.
Tactfully.
Lovingly.

The good news isn’t good without the bad news too.