The word Gospel means "Good News." What exactly is this Good News promised by the Gospel?
Many today would say "material prosperity." How often we hear preachers proclaiming that following the Gospel guarantees material benefits, such as, good health, long life, success in projects, wealth.
But did the original disciples of Jesus actually preach this Gospel of Prosperity?
Listen to what the first disciples actually preached: "It is necessary for us to undergo hardship to enter the Kingdom of God." Poor Paul is today's example: "They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city supposing he was dead." We recall sadly that Paul, along with rest of the apostles, eventually would die a martyr's death for their faith in Jesus.
So what really is the Good News of the Gospel? What does Jesus actually promise to his disciples?
Listen to Jesus' words in his final discourse to his disciples: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you." And almost every time he appears to his disciples after the resurrection he greets them with the words, "Peace be to you." Jesus keeps his promise.
During the final weeks of the Easter Season we celebrate the fulfillment of Jesus' promise. We celebrate the gift believers actually receive from the Resurrected Jesus — not material prosperity -- but his precious presence accompanied by the peace which the world can never give!
And so we rightfully exclaim,"Alleluia! Alleluia!"
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