The Gospel and the Kingdom
There are two fundamental
questions to which we must understand the answers. What is the
Gospel? And, what is the kingdom of God?
Jesus came into Galilee,
preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and
saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is
at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark
What is the gospel? Gospel
simply means "good news." Jesus proclaimed the good news, and told
us to believe it. But what is this good news that we must believe?
It is the good news of the kingdom of God. Jesus taught that God’s
kingdom would replace the kingdom of Satan. Jesus also taught what
the kingdom of God would be like, and how we must change in order to
qualify for it. We must come out of the kingdom of Satan (Luke
11:18, Acts 26:18).
Jesus said that the kingdom of
God is like unto... a tree (Matthew 13:31-32). In the
Garden of Eden, the two trees represented the
kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan
(Genesis 2:9). To have a part in the kingdom of God, we must have
God's Spirit - which places us in the Family of God, makes us
Children of God, and Children of the kingdom of God (Matthew 13:38,
1John 3:2). God's intention was that Adam would take of the "Tree
of Life," which represented His Spirit, and that Adam's family would
grow into a great nation and kingdom of God.
Adam's pedigree, or family
tree, would have begun with God (Luke 3:38). But, by taking of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam chose Satan as his
father, and the kingdom of Satan for all of his
children (John 8:44). As a result of that wrong choice, the death
penalty was incurred for Adam's family (Genesis 2:17). That death
penalty was Bad News for mankind! The Good
News that is able to supplant the bad news, is the Gospel
message. Man can find life and salvation in the kingdom of God
through Jesus Christ (2Peter 1:4, 11).
The significance of the gospel
message is combined so closely with its objective, the kingdom of
God, that the two terms, "gospel"
and "kingdom," are practically
synonymous in the scriptures. They are used interchangeably to the
extent that they become one and the same – inseparable. The gospel
is merely the proclamation and promise of the kingdom of God.
The good news is this: This
present evil world of Satan's will soon be superseded. Mankind is
blind to the good news of the glorious kingdom of God because Satan
is now the God of this world, and the world is his kingdom
(Ephesians 2:2). The gospel is hidden to those who are
lost. The god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds
of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel
of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
(2 Corinthians 4:4)
God's plan will soon be put
back on track when the kingdom of Satan is displaced. Jesus Christ,
the prophesied Messiah, will establish the kingdom of God in all the
earth! The good news for the Church of God is this: We live
according to the rules, customs and way of life of the kingdom of
God - now!
What is the kingdom of God?
First of all let’s understand that a kingdom has four
elements: A king, subjects, laws and territory. When God is the
sovereign ruler in our lives, we are children of the Kingdom –
even now. The faithful members of the Church of God are in the
kingdom of God in embryo (1 Corinthians 15:50, John 3:5-6).
Picture the world in which we
live today, with all of its adultery, idolatry, hatred, wrath,
strife, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, and such ...
(Galatians 5:20-21). That is Satan's kingdom, and it is in exact
opposition to God’s kingdom (Matthew 13:38). We can see the
consequences of Satan’s kingdom in the lying, killing, stealing,
hate and fear so prevalent in the world around us.
On the other hand, the kingdom
of God is the actuality of God’s perfect way of love, truth, peace,
enlightenment, law and life. God’s kingdom is more powerful than
Satan’s. Jesus told His disciples, If I cast out devils by the
Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”
Our entering into the Kingdom
of God is what the Gospel is all about. All hope was lost when Adam
and Eve rejected the way to eternal life. The promise that life
eternal would be available to mankind, once again, is what the
Gospel is all about (Genesis 3:15). Life eternal can take place only in the
kingdom of God. That is why Jesus came preaching the gospel of the
Kingdom. We are converting... better yet, we are being converted
from the ways of this world, to the way of the kingdom of God.
The gospel was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8, Hebrews11:10).
Moses preached the Gospel to the Israelites (Hebrews 4:1-2).
Daniel and the prophets were inspired to write about the Gospel
(Daniel 2:44, Romans 1:1-2).
Paul clearly shows that
converted Christians have come out of Satan’s kingdom and have been
transferred into the kingdom of God. Giving thanks unto the
Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance
of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of
darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”
The spiritual laws of the
kingdom of God rule in the lives of true Christians, even now.
But, we will not be fully in the kingdom of God until our
resurrection as spirit-born children of God. This I say,
brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”
(1Corinthians 15:50) Jesus clearly shows that the children of the
kingdom must endure until the end (Matthew 8:12, 21:43, 24:13). To
enter into the kingdom of God is to enter into life itself (Mark
The kingdom of God is the same
as the kingdom of heaven. Jesus began to preach, and to say,
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew
4:17) Most men have not yet submitted to God’s authority, doctrine
and rule over their lives. They do not believe the gospel. The
kingdom of God is not a church, organization, location or a period
of time relegated to the future. Right now, God’s kingdom is extant
– it is spiritual in nature.
The true saints of God are
those who are in compliance with the laws of the kingdom of God.
They will reign and rule in the kingdom of God with Jesus Christ in
the millennium (1Corinthians 6:2, Revelation 5:10, 20:6). The
saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the
kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” (Daniel 7:18)
Too many of the brethren of
the Church of God have believed that the kingdom of God is something
that is off in the future that we are waiting for. Jesus said that
the kingdom of God was at hand.” By that He taught that it is for
those who will believe the Gospel, even here and now. Jesus taught
the disciples that the true kingdom of God was spiritual in nature.
Jesus will yet return as an earthly ruler from God, but it will be
to establish God’s perfect law of love that has been missing.
Keep in mind that the people
of Jesus' day had a concept of a "Christ" or Messiah that would
usher in an earthly empire of power. The transition in their
thinking began to come about as Peter explained: "Let all the
house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus,
whom ye have crucified, both Lord and [Messiah].” (Acts
In the kingdom of God on
earth, there will no longer be nations warring against each other.
Men will not live a way of life that includes selfishness, greed,
pride and rebellion. The kingdom of God will be a way of giving,
helping, sharing, sacrificing, serving and caring. We are to choose
this way now – and be children of the kingdom – lights to this
The question we should be
asking ourselves is this: Am I a good representative of the kingdom
of God, now? While on earth, Jesus was the perfect representative
of the kingdom. We are to follow in His steps and be
representatives and ambassadors of the gospel as well. Paul gave
his job description this way: I am an ambassador in
bonds: that therein I may speak boldly to make known the mystery of
the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:19-20)
All the days of His life,
Jesus never departed from the kingdom of God. Had He sinned, even
once, He would have left it. The rules of the Kingdom bring about
perfect peace, unity, and order to the Family of God. When Christ
establishes the millennial kingdom of the Father over all the earth
at His return, He will administer the laws of the kingdom with
perfect justice and righteousness. Know ye not that the
unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”
The gospel of the kingdom of
God was not a new concept that originated at the time of Jesus'
ministry (Luke 23:51). As the God of the Old Testament, Jesus had
foretold the eventuality of the kingdom of God from the foundation
of the world. "[God] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was
preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of
restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all
his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:20-21)
Adam and Eve's sin initiated
the "foundation of the world." With God's plan subverted, the
foundation of this world, in which we live, was established. From
that very moment it became necessary for mankind to be delivered
from the clutches of Satan.
The gospel of Christ is the
message of the kingdom that Jesus Christ preached. He did not come
only to proclaim the true gospel, but He came in order to conquer
Satan’s kingdom, making possible the establishment of the kingdom of
God on earth. His atoning sacrifice - paying for the sin of the
world – makes the fulfillment of the kingdom of God possible.
"That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have
been kept secret from the foundation of the world." (Matthew
The life and miracles of Jesus
are not the gospel. But, we must understand that Jesus' life, death
and resurrection are central to the fulfillment of the gospel
and our being in the kingdom of God. We have been disqualified from
the kingdom by our own sins. There is no way that we can work our
way back into God's good graces to be able to inherit the Kingdom of
God (Acts 20:24). Once disqualified from the kingdom of God, we are
worthy of death.
Jesus had to pay the penalty
for our sins and apply His sacrifice to us in order for our debt to
be paid. His sacrifice only pays our debt; it does not grant us
eternal life. We know that we can have eternal life because Jesus
lives. God the Father raised Him from the dead and gave Him Life.
That same gift of eternal life is good news promised to us, if we
repent of sin (not serve sin), and look to Jesus as our Savior. The
good news that Jesus preached comes to fruition because of His life,
death and resurrection. Because of Jesus, we can have eternal life
in the kingdom of God.
Jesus is our Savior. From the
foundation of the world it was God’s plan that Jesus make the
fulfillment of the gospel possible by redeeming sinful mankind.
Jesus hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not
according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus
Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and
immortality to light through the gospel." (2Timothy 1:
Satan’s kingdom will be
abolished, and the glorious good news of the gospel will come to
fruition in the kingdom of God. The kingdom and dominion, and
the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be
given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose
kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and
obey Him [Christ, the Messiah].” (Daniel 7:27)
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