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Christ Came to Proclaim the True Gospel!

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Christ Came to Proclaim the True Gospel!

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The Bible could be summarized as a book about God and His kingdom. Yet very few truly understand either subject! Jesus Christ explained in Luke 16:16, “The law and the prophets were until John [only Old Testament scriptures had been preached previously]: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it” (Luke 16:16). Do you know how to do this?

Everywhere Christ went, He preached “the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14). He, in fact, stressed that this is why He came to Earth! Notice Luke 4:43: “I must preach the kingdom of God…for therefore am I sent.” In addition to becoming Savior for all mankind, preaching this message was central to His purpose!

Yet God foretold that a burst of new prophetic knowledge would come before He intervened in world affairs (Amos 3:7). The picture of prophecy long understood in the Church has been greatly amplified over recent years in a largely internal series of sermons I have given titled “The Greatest Untold Story!”—now more than 500 in number. This undertaking, led by God, has detailed how the kingdom will come to Earth. Every time you pray “Thy kingdom come,” you are asking God to do something He has been planning for millennia!

Our prophetic literature is largely correct, just incomplete in light of what God has shown. Because of this, we have begun the process of revisiting our materials to ensure they are up to date. My booklet Which Is the True Gospel? will be one of the first updated. I included an advance excerpt here...

Meaning of “Gospel”

The word gospel is an old English word meaning “god spell” or good news. The word kingdom is also an old English term, simply meaning “government.” Therefore, it is accurate to say that Christ preached “the good news of the government of God.” We will learn the who, what, where, when, why, and how of this good news, and how it relates to the Bible’s greatest prophecy. 

The kingdom of God is the dominant theme of not only the New Testament, but of the whole Bible. Yet, incredibly, most know little or nothing of it. This world’s ministers are oblivious to this gospel, and never preach about it. Therefore, virtually the whole world stands in complete ignorance of the single greatest truth in God’s Word!  

How Many Times Mentioned?

The word gospel is found over 100 times in the Bible. Sometimes it is found alone, and sometimes “of the kingdom” follows it. Other times, it includes “of the kingdom of God,” or the equivalent phrase “of the kingdom of heaven.”  

Note that it says, “of heaven,” not “in heaven.” It is heaven’s kingdom, and there is a big difference between the two. Just as kingdom of God means God’s kingdom—not the kingdom in God—the same is true of the kingdom of heaven or heaven’s kingdom. 

Grasp this crucial point! 

Throughout the New Testament, the word “kingdom” is found 27 times, “kingdom of God” 75 times, and “kingdom of heaven” 34 times. All are clearly one and the same. 

What Paul Preached

Paul preached the kingdom of God to the gentiles. Yet, some believe that he preached a “different” gospel—again, unaware that it was Paul who pronounced a curse on anyone who did this (Gal. 1:8-9). However, while Paul preached the kingdom of God, notice two verses in Acts showing that he did not neglect the subject of Christ’s role in the salvation process.  

First, Acts 19:8 establishes which gospel he preached: “And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.” In many of his epistles, he taught the kingdom to Gentile congregations. His message was always the same. He continually preached, taught and referred to the kingdom of God. 

Next, Paul states in Acts 20:25, 21, “I have gone preaching the kingdom of God…repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” He preached the same gospel to both Jew and Gentile.  

Now notice Acts 28:30-31: “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ.”  

Luke, the writer of Acts, differentiates between preaching about the kingdom of God and preaching about Jesus Christ! While both are vitally important, they are clearly two separate subjects!  

In Acts 8:12, the deacon Philip also preached both of these same teachings: “But when they believed Philip…concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” We see that Philip not only preached the kingdom of God, but he also differentiated it from the teaching about Christ.

Notice that these in Samaria were baptized only after “they believed” the right message—not some human idea about it. Also, Christ’s name was taught as an all-important, but additional, understanding. 

Jesus is not the gospel. However, He does stand directly alongside the true gospel and will rule the entire earth when He returns and establishes His kingdom. Do not lose sight of this! 

Finally, consider another verse where Paul himself made a distinction between the gospel and the person of Christ. II Corinthians 11:4 contains this powerful warning: “For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached…or another gospel which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him” (the margin more correctly renders this last phrase “with me”). Paul wanted the Corinthians to reject false teachers and hold to what he had taught them. The point here is that Paul distinguishes between the teaching of a false Jesus and that of a false gospel. These are—and always have been—two separate things.

Some get confused when they read I Corinthians 15:1-4, thinking that Paul contradicts himself from other passages we have seen by stating that “the gospel” (vs. 1) is “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day” (vs. 3-4). Simply note that “the gospel” reference in verse 1 is not connected to Christ’s death for our sins and burial in verses 3 and 4. Careful reading reveals this. When correctly understood, rather than saying that Christ is the gospel, this passage confirms the opposite, and supports Acts 8:12, 20:21-25, 28:31 and II Corinthians 11:4! 

Since Jesus preached “repent and believe the gospel,” it should now be clear why. His role must always be preached in conjunction with the kingdom of God, because one cannot enter the kingdom unless he understands and accepts that “Christ died for our sins,” and that person has repented of his sins. 

Ask yourself: If Christ is the gospel—is the kingdom of God—then why did Paul (four times) and Philip speak of them as two separate matters?

All the Apostles Preached This Same Gospel

What evidence is there that other New Testament writers preached this same message? A great deal!  

The apostle Peter also preached the kingdom of God: “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 1:11). So did the apostle James: “Hearken, my beloved brethren, has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him?” (2:5). 

Matthew’s account mentions “gospel of the kingdom” three times. Notice: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (9:35). In most of His parables, Christ taught the basics of the kingdom of God. Matthew alone makes over fifty references to it. 

Luke records that Jesus Christ commissioned His disciples to preach this same message: “Then He called His twelve disciples together...And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God” (9:1-2). Soon after, He sent seventy others to preach, and they also carried the message of the “kingdom of God” (10:1, 9). 

Standing before Pontius Pilate on the night He was betrayed, Christ gave an important clue to understanding the kingdom: “My kingdom is not of this world [this present society]” (John 18:36).

It is important to understand that the kingdom of God is preceded by a seven-year runup. The Bible describes this period as “the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). Everything will change and all mankind will be given opportunity to seek God—qualifying to enter the kingdom of God when it arrives. Coming to understand the true gospel is the only path to achieving the staggering potential every human being possesses—including you! As the apostle Paul explained to the Corinthians, “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him” (I Cor. 2:9). Do everything you can to understand the “good news” Christ brought and to enter the kingdom of God it explains!

Studying this Personal is an all-important first step. Look forward to the updated version of Which Is the True Gospel? In the meantime, you may wish to study our related book The Awesome Potential of Man.

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