What is Good News?

Posted on Posted in Mixed Nuts

By Mike Herchenroeder

Good NewsWhen you hear the term “Good News,” what comes to mind?  For Westerners, verses like these frequently come to mind:

 “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

“You are saved by grace through faith.”

 “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”

“…then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.”

When the people of Papua New Guinea think of the Good News, they frequently think of other things. Here are some of them:

 On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  (Rev 22.2)

In PNG, where most people live off the land, when there is a drought, people go hungry. When, there is flooding, and gardens are destroyed, people go hungry. There, the promise of heaven with the tree of life producing fruit twelve months out of the year is good news indeed.

They will beat their swords into plowshares

and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation,

nor will they train for war anymore. (Isa 2.4)

The old men in PNG who remember the time before the Good News came, say that it was a time of constant war with communities fighting other nearby communities. They say that as the word of God spread among the communities, the wars stopped.

For he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 Jn 4.4b)

To most Papua New Guineans, the world is full of spirits who are mostly evil. To survive and to succeed, one needs to avoid or make offerings to the nearby spirits. Knowing that the Spirit of Christ in them is more powerful than any of the other spirits, gives them freedom from fear of the evil spirits.

Mike serves as the branch director.

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