BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF “THE GOOD NEWS FROM GOD”
The sixty-four page easy-to-read GOOD NEWS FROM GOD booklet was written to make the complexity of Christianity, the Bible, church and the abundant life simple and easy enough to understand so that even a novice could come away with a clear grasp of the big picture. The book follows the basic path outlined below:
- The book starts off with an explanation of what the Bible is, how it came about and how it is organized.
- It then reveals the basic story of man’s relationship to God as told in the Old Testament, how it evolved from Adam until the time of Jesus.
- It then moves into the New Testament and deals with Jesus’ life on earth, what he taught, how he was viewed by the religious leaders of his day and ultimately his death, burial, resurrection and ascension back into heaven.
- It then deals with the establishment of the church, how and when to become a Christian, what the terms “grace” and “mercy” mean and what to do after becoming a Christian.
- Then it gives some very practical and biblical things to consider when searching for the right congregation of Christians with which to assemble.
- The final chapter tells about the great commission as well as how and where to order more free GOOD NEWS FROM GOD books to assist believers in fulfilling this great commission.
THE HISTORY OF “THE GOOD NEWS FROM GOD” BOOKLET
THE GOOD NEWS FROM GOD was originally published in May of 2012 as part of an effort to reach out to the lost souls in Hamilton, Texas, with the thought of possibly making it available to others as well. It was a joint effort between lead author, Dennis Ensor (one of the shepherds at Outreach church of Christ), members of the Outreach church family and respected family members and friends from the outside. Even strangers were given a preliminary copy and asked for input–likes and dislikes, ways to improve it. After many great suggestions, much tweaking, polishing, additions, subtractions and re-writes, the final version was published.
The original title was THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD. Because of the hesitancy of some members to hand a book to someone for fear of insulting them by calling them a “beginner,” the title was changed to a less potentially offensive name, THE GOOD NEWS FROM GOD. Over time, we’ve become very attached to the new name. It says it all.
In a meeting of the Outreach membership it was decided that we would like to take on, as an outreach ministry, the distribution of this booklet to anyone who asked, free of charge. Being a small church with a Sunday morning average attendance of about 45 adult members, we weren’t sure about how great the demand would be, or how God was going to provide enough financial support to make it happen, but we put our trust in him and began making the book available immediately.
The response was, and continues to be, wonderful, both for the original version as well as the newer Spanish version (LAS BUENAS NUEVAS DE DIOS) which was completed in September of 2012. By the one year anniversary of the original printing, over 18,000 copies of the combined GOOD NEWS and LAS BUENA NUEVAS had been distributed. Since then, as of October 2014, more language translations have been added and the total distribution has risen to over 146,000 copies. Praise God!
We have also picked up endorsements from respected Christian leaders. For example, Jerry Tallman, who is the Evangelism Instructor at the Sunset International Bible Institute has said, “I highly recommend the GOOD NEWS FROM GOD as an evangelistic tool. It is written in a clear and loving way and can be a great help to Christians in their efforts to spread the gospel.”
We are truly thankful for Jerry’s wonderful endorsement and have hopes that it will give a degree of comfort to Christians who are considering using the GOOD NEWS booklet to spread the gospel in their community.
A long time “Minister/Missionary Evangelist,” Don Wright has said, It is 64 pages, large print and the most readable and Biblical book I’ve ever seen! Trust me, in nearly 56 years of preaching, it’s the most effective tool to share. . . that we have known.
Beginning around the first of April, 2013, we completed the Chinese version of THE GOOD NEWS FROM GOD. This version is actually an English/Chinese combination with English on one side of the page and Chinese on the other.
Since then we’ve also completed the Arabic, Italian, French, German, Telugu (India), Creole (Haiti) and Portuguese versions with more translations in the works. We are always looking for the GOOD NEWS to be translated into other languages. If you have the ability to translate and would like to take that project on as a ministry, contact us to help make it happen.