In the Bible, we read a story of Jesus’ follower Paul in the city of Athens. Walking among the large and beautiful statues and temples, Paul says to those gathered on Mar’s Hill (the Areopagus), “Men of Athens, I see that you are in every way very religious.” Walking through those suburbs of Sydney known as Punchbowl and Greenacre, I think Paul would say the same thing. There are several mosques, Islamic schools, Catholic Schools, Eastern Orthodox schools, two uniting Churches, three different Catholic churches representing different heritages, two Eastern Christian churches, a Christadelphian Church, a Mormon church, a Baptist church, Churches of Christ, a Korean church and an Anglican church—along with a Korean Buddhist and Cao Dei Temple (did I miss anything?). Many houses have statues of the Maronite Saint, St. Charbel, or Mary, and many others have religious symbols associated with Islam.
If someone were handing out points for religiosity (just how “religious” something is), certainly Punchbowl and Greenacre would be front and centre.
However, when we stand before God our judge and maker on the final day, we will not be judged on the religiosity of our suburb. No, we won’t even be judged on the basis of our religiosity.
No, Jesus tells us that what matters most is what we think of him. What matters is how we respond to his claim to be Lord and King, to be God’s promised messiah, and how we respond to the good news he brings—to the Gospel.
Despite their religiosity, Punchbowl and Greenacre are in desperate need of the Good News Jesus brings. People need to meet the real Jesus and discover his kingdom.
Who Is Jesus?
Billions of people across history have called him their messiah or the Christ. Billions of people have worshipped him as God. What does Jesus say about himself?
He declares himself to be Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament (John 8:58, see Exod 3:14), able to forgive sin and transform uncleanliness to cleanliness (Matt 9:1-2; Mark 1:40-45). He says that he is the only way to God and the subject of the entire Bible (John 14:1-7; Luke 24:25-27).
What Is the Gospel?
The “Gospel” is a fancy word that means “good news.” However, it’s not just any good news. “The Gospel” is used specifically for the good news preached by Jesus and his disciples, handed down to us in the Bible. The Gospel is the good news that though we deserve God’s judgment for sin, God has made way for us to be set free from judgment and enjoy all the goodness of his promises through Jesus the Messiah.
Punchbowl and Greenacre
I have in mind the area between the A6, A22, A3, and A34 highways in Sydney, NSW. This area encompasses large parts of Punchbowl and Greenacre, along with portions of Wiley Park, Bankstown, Roselands, and Chullora. This website derives its name from both major suburbs in this area, so perhaps you might call this area “Punchacre.”
If want to learn more about Jesus, you have come to the right place. On this website, you will find resources about Jesus, the Bible, and the Gospel. You can contact us and we will connect you with an appropriate person to grab a cuppa and read the Bible or talk about Jesus and his Gospel.
If you are a Christian, this website is an invitation to grow deeper in your faith and connect with other Christians so that together we could reach this beautiful community with the Good news Christ brings.
Ultimately, Jesus’ plan to introduce himself to the world is through churches. If Punchbowl and Greenacre are going to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they need healthy churches that proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord. They need Christian who take seriously the call to love their neighbor as themselves through selfless service, hospitality, and sharing the Gospel. Let’s talk about building up the churches that are already here and planting some new churches.