But the apostles so cherished their privilege as bearers of the good news that they carefully avoided making financial gain therefrom, or even giving the appearance of doing so in connection with their preaching. The apostle Paul describes his course of action in this regard at 1 Corinthians 9:15-18 and 1 Thessalonians 2:6, 9.
The good news has been bitterly fought, the source of the enmity being identified by the apostle: “If, now, the good news we declare is in fact veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing, among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.” (2 Cor. 4:3, 4) The earliest enemies of the good news were the religious leaders of the Jews. Their enmity, however, resulted in good to the Gentiles or people of the nations, in that it opened up the opportunity for Gentiles to be fellow partakers of “the promise in union with Christ Jesus through the good news.”—Rom. 11:25, 28; Eph. 3:5, 6.
Enemies of the good news caused the Christians much suffering and required the apostles to put up a hard fight before rulers in defending and legally establishing the good news so that it might spread with the greatest possible freeness.—Phil. 1:7, 16; compare Mark 13:9-13; Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29.
CHRIST’S PRESENCE, ABSENCE AND RETURN
It is noteworthy that, for six months before Jesus came to him for baptism, John the Baptist preached: “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near,” and when Jesus appeared, John pointed to Jesus as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!” (Matt. 3:1, 2; John 1:29) He announced the presence of the King and turned the people’s attention toward Him.—Acts 19:4.
Christ and his disciples, while Jesus was on earth, announced: “The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” (Matt. 4:17; 10:7) Jesus, anointed as Christ, the King, said to the Pharisees, his enemies: “The kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20, 21) This was the theme or central point of the good news during Jesus’ earthly ministry. However, after Jesus’ death the disciples are not reported as proclaiming the Kingdom as having “drawn near” or being at hand. Rather, they preached a good news about Christ’s having ascended to heaven, after laying down his human life as the ransom price for salvation, and of his then sitting at God’s right hand; also, of Jesus’ return, and of the Kingdom to come at a later time.—Heb. 10:12, 13; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 11:15; 12:10; 22:20; compare Luke 19:12, 15; Matthew 25:31.
When Jesus Christ was answering the question asked by his disciples, “What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” Jesus enumerated certain things due to occur at that time. He said, among other things: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:3, 14; Mark 13:10; compare Colossians 1:23.) In the Revelation given to the apostle John about 96 C.E., he saw an “angel flying in midheaven,” who had “everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying in a loud voice: ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived.’” (Rev. 14:6, 7) These inspired statements indicate that in the “last days” there would be an unparalleled proclamation of the good news of the Kingdom.
[Heb., ra·tsohnʹ, delight, acceptance; Gr., eu·do·kiʹa, well thinking].
Both the Hebrew and Greek nouns and related forms of these words have reference to that which pleases or to one’s being pleased, and are translated “delight,” “pleasure,” “pleased,” “good pleasure,” “liking,” “approval,” “good will,” and so forth.
GOD’S GOOD WILL
In the Bible these terms are used with regard to the pleasure, approval or good will of God. (Ps. 51:18; 106:4; Eph. 1:5, 9) God sets forth clearly what is required to please him, and he determines whom he will accept as his friends, as recipients of his good will. Those rejecting his Word or rebelling against him do not receive his good will, but, rather, experience his displeasure.—Ps. 2:5; Heb. 3:16-19.
MAN’S GOOD WILL
The same words are also used with reference to the approval of men, or of good will on their part. (2 Chron. 10:7; Esther 1:8; Rom. 15:25, 26) The apostle Paul spoke of some who preached the Christ through good will. (Phil. 1:15) These sincere Christians were expressing good will toward God. Such ones would accordingly experience the good will of God. (Prov. 8:35; 10:32; 11:27) An example of the good will of man toward others is the apostle Paul’s expression concerning his fleshly brothers, the Jews: “Brothers, the good will of my heart and my supplication to God for them are, indeed, for their salvation.”—Rom. 10:1.
“MEN OF GOOD WILL”
When an angel announced the birth of Jesus, he appeared, not before the religious leaders of the Jews, who were God’s enemies, but before humble shepherds. After he told the shepherds of the birth of the Messiah, an angelic host proclaimed: “Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of good will.” (Luke 2:14) The angels were not proclaiming peace to God’s enemies, who were not at peace with him. “‘There is no peace,’ my God has said, ‘for the wicked ones.’” (Isa. 57:21) The Authorized Version renders Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” But God was not here expressing good will toward men in general; neither did he mean that his peace was extended to those inclined toward him merely in a friendly and indulgent way. Rather, God had reference to those who would please him by genuine faith in him, and who would become followers of his Son.
Modern translations harmonize with this view, making the matter clear. The Revised Standard Version reads: “peace among men with whom he is pleased!” The New English Bible translates the phrase: “his peace for men on whom his favour rests.” Dr. James Moffatt’s translation renders it: “peace on earth for men whom he favours!” and An American Translation reads: “Peace to the men he favors!” Other modern versions read similarly.
(Goʹshen) [perhaps, mound of earth].
1. A region in Egypt where the Israelites resided for 215 years (1728-1513 B.C.E.). (Gen. 45:10; 47:27) While the exact location of Goshen is uncertain, it appears to have lain in the eastern part of the Nile Delta, the entrance to Egypt proper. This is indicated by the fact that Joseph, leaving his Egyptian quarters, met his father (who was traveling from Canaan) at Goshen.—Gen. 46:28, 29.
Pharaoh kept cattle at Goshen, and the Hebrews also pastured their flocks and herds there. (Gen. 47:1, 4-6; 50:8) The description of the region as ‘the very best of the land of Egypt’ is apparently a relative term meaning the most fertile pastoral land, best suited for the particular needs of Jacob’s family. Goshen may have been the same as “the land of Rameses,” or perhaps the latter was a district of Goshen. (Gen. 47:6, 11) Beginning with the fourth blow on Egypt, Jehovah specifically singled out “Goshen” to be left unharmed.—Ex. 8:22; 9:26.