The Good News

Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. (John 16:24)
...I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. (John 16:32-33)
The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. (John 17:22-23)
And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters." (Revelation 14:6-7)
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. (Revelation 18:1)

The judgment of God revolves around the core charge that God is less than perfect love.

The hour of His judgment is coming where every person's final decision about God will be revealed. Their decisions about what God is really like will be reflected in their lives, in the way they talk about Him and how they relate to others. Everyone is in the jury in God's trial and are in the process of determining whether the witness of Jesus about His Father is true or not trustworthy.

The eternal gospel is the truth, the truly good news that God loves the world. Jesus chose disciples to begin the final defense of His Father. In the last days, final events will determine the entire world's decisions related to the charges against God. John 17:23 is the core condensation of the gospel. God wants the world to know that He loves them. God sent His Son into the world to make that clear by His life. Those who accept the testimony of Jesus about His Father's love for them are transformed by that belief; they experience the transforming power of that love and become faithful, truthful witnesses along with Jesus as to the real truth about God's unconditional, irrepressible love for the world.

The gospel defines and exposes the glory of God. Jesus came to reveal the glory of God – the truth about His character of perfect, undiluted love for all. The angel in Revelation 14:6 calls on the world to believe in that love; for in believing the testimony of Jesus about God's constant love for all of us, we then return glory to God – honor His reputation – and vindicate His character of perfect love.

The Hour of God's Judgment

"Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." (John 12:27-28)
Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. (John 12:31)
Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? "Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:31-33)

Jesus knew that though His intial hour of judgment – exposure – testing of His claims about what God is like – was about to climax, His disciples did not yet really embrace fully that God loved them or the world as much as Jesus came to expose. Because of their slowness to believe, it was inevitable that they would run away in fear and leave Jesus alone when judgment began to get intense.

Yet Jesus also knew that He Himself was going to cling to God's love for Him and rely on God's constant presence with Him to bring to its full conclusion His own testimony in God's favor. Jesus was launching heaven's massive counter-defense against Satan's campaign of dissemination and lies about God's character of perfect love by exposing the full truth about His Father before the entire universe on the cross. He did this by allowing evil to fully vent itself against God made vulnerable in human form, to display and expose that every charge of Satan was unsupportable and fraudulent. God can never be intimidated, threatened, coerced or forced to indulge in the slightest reaction of self-defense or desire for retaliation. God's love was shown at the cross to be indisputably irrepressible.

But the disciples in that hour were not clinging to that same love and so fear in their hearts caused them to forsake Jesus wholesale. The tactics of intimidation, threats and shame were effective with the immature disciples who had not yet taken hold of the truth about God that Jesus had revealed to them. This left Jesus (though the Father never really left Him) to bear lonely testimony as to the real truth about God's character of agape love for the world. In the hour of Jesus' judgment the disciples abandoned Him and failed to bear truthful testimony in His favor. Yet Jesus did not fail to bear truthful testimony in His hour of cross-examination about His testimony for God.

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. (John 17:3-6)

The eternal gospel is the glorious good news of God's unconditional, unsuppressable love. But while the disciples were just beginning to believe that testimony from Jesus with their heads, they were not yet embracing it with their own hearts. Yet Jesus was assured that they were on their way to becoming faithful witnesses with Him in God's defense and openly affirmed that in front of them to His Father.

In this last passage we can see that manifesting God's name (character) is synonymous with glorifying God. The glory of God and eternal life are inseparable. Thus, in order to give God glory in these last days when the hour of God's judgment has come, we are called to emulate the example of Jesus who glorified God by manifesting the true character of God. But this goes far beyond a head knowledge about God, as useful as that might be. It means to allow Christ to dwell within us richly and to have full sway over our emotions, our spirit, our body, our mind – over every part of our life so that He can through us again glorify His Father by demonstrating in human beings a full exhibition of what God is really like under duress and pressure. They will see Him in the love which His disciples display.

He cried out in a loud voice, Give God reverence and glory, for the time of his judgment has come. Worship the One who made heaven and earth and sea and springs of water. (Revelation 14:7 FBV)


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