What is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God?
THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
THE GOSPEL THAT WAS PREACHED BY JESUS CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES IS NOT JUST ABOUT “GETTING SAVED”.
Jesus’ form of “evangelism” was not about “how to get into heaven”. Jesus’ message was about His Father’s Kingdom and how sinners can “live life abundantly” AND “become inheritors and heirs” in God’s Kingdom!
Conversely, 21st century’s form of evangelism has become about how, by “accepting Jesus”, sinners can get a “free pass” into heaven.
- The KINGDOM GOSPEL: The gospel message of Jesus Christ and the Apostles was “the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Matt 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:43-44).
o Jesus taught first, at home in Galilee (Matt 4:23; Luke 4:43-44; Mark 1:4)
o Then Jesus taught, as He was going, throughout the cities and villages (Matt 9:35; Luke 4:43-44)
o Jesus called His disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom in all the world to all nations to the end of time (Matt 24:14)
- “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come”.
What is “the Gospel of the Kingdom”? The gospel message of today falls far short of the “gospel of the kingdom of God” when folks are taught the gospel as: “Accept Jesus has your savior and you’ll go to heaven when you die.”
Here is the WHOLE Gospel of the Kingdom of God:
Repent and believe the gospel;
be baptized into the gospel;
obey the gospel;
be filled by the Spirit of the gospel;
beware of false gospels;
be diligent in the gospel;
persevere to the end in the gospel;
He is coming again / pass on the gospel.
- REPENT and BELIEVE: Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent (metanoeo), and believe in the gospel.“ (Mark 1:14-15)
What does “REPENT” mean?
Verb: in this case “repent” is the English translation of the Greek word “metanoeo” which is formed by the combining of TWO Greek words, “meta” and “noeo”. It is a command to reconsider oneself, and to think differently AND to heed– in other words, to take action in accordance with the change of mind.
Noun: A similar Greek word, “metanoia” is translated as “repentance”, and it is that which is the outcome of the action of repenting. In other words, the “change of mind” that has produced by “heeding” that results in a “change in direction”.
What does “BELIEVE” mean?
QUESTION: Do you believe in Adolf Hitler? Believing in Adolf Hitler does not make you a Nazi! So it is with Jesus Christ and the gospel. Believing Jesus existed and authored the gospel of the kingdom of God does not make one a Christian.
The Greek word translated as “believe” is “pisteuo” and implies entrustment of, faithfulness to, loyalty to, commitment to, submission to, respect to, confidence in, having expectations of…
It is the kind of belief that compels the action of repentance.
- BE BAPTIZED
—————-The command to “be baptised” is the first commandment given by Jesus to the new believer. It follows the example given by Jesus Himself; and it is the expression and symbolization in the believer of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection into new life.
For many, this is about as far as Christian maturity ever goes. They “come forward”, profess “accepting Jesus”, get baptised…and that is the whole of their “Christian” experience, never changing, never growing. Some never grow beyond this point…and to be perfectly honest, if one has spent much time motionless at this point, it is VERY GOOD CAUSE for one to “reconsider oneself” (repent).
- OBEY and BE FILLED (God’s part)
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:37-39)
REPENTANCE LEADS TO “INFILLING”: I see 3 “parts” to “being filled” with the Holy Spirit:
- There is the “infilling” in which the Holy Spirit produces a “new creation” upon belief and repentance. Next week, Steve will share from the gospel of John concerning an encounter between Jesus and a Pharisee name Nicodemus.
- There is the advent of the Holy Spirit, the event in which God’s Holy Spirit began His earthly ministry in the Upper Room as recorded in the book of Acts.
- Then there is the “infilling” that is the result of a regular “diet” of the Believer as he / she “DILIGENTLY” consumes the Word of God.
OBEDIENCE: Catholics believe that their infant baptism has replaced the call of obedience to the gospel. They believe that their eternity has been “sealed” by having been baptized as an infant.
Many Christians live their lives as if there is no call of obedience in the gospel of the Kingdom, having “…turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Jude 1:4)
- Jude issues warning concerning God’s response to this lewd, wanton, and self-indulgent false “gospel”
- “…I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe…” (Jude 1:5)
- The author of Hebrews refers DIRECTLY to disobedience, and calls disobedience UNBELIEF! Look what Hebrews says is the result living in disobedience of the gospel:
- For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:16-19)
- BE FILLED (The Believer’s part)
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:15-19)
QUESTION: What is the difference between receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-39) and this command by Paul to “be filled” with the Holy Spirit?
Paul warned the early church: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [endure] him” (II Corinthians 11:3-4).
- What is “another Jesus”? Quite simply, “another Jesus” is an imposter of the true Jesus. The apostle John calls such a person “antichrist”.
- an antichrist is anyone who comes in place of Jesus Christ and is therefore in opposition to the exclusive Lordship of Jesus Christ. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (I John 2:18).
- the devil aims to deceive — and he usually accomplishes this not by blatantly contrasting the true Christ but by subtly counterfeiting Him! Thus, “another Jesus” will most likely appear so close to the true Jesus that one who is not grounded in the Word of God will not know the difference. Jesus warned His followers: “Then if any man shall say unto you, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ or ‘there;’ believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect…” (Matthew 24:23-24).
- Antichrists preach gospels that are NOT the “Kingdom Gospel” and preach a “Jesus” who, for example:
o brings you money, wealth, and prosperity” or
o accepts your lifestyle” are preaching another Jesus.
- Such sermons can certainly sound convincing, especially when some Bible verses are thrown in! However, the “Christs” in those messages are exposed as fraudulent when examined in light of the Bible’s revelation of the true Jesus Christ. Indeed, diligent study of God’s Word (see Acts 17:11) and knowing the true Jesus is the only sure way to recognize counterfeit Christs and identify the “antichrists” who are the false ministers who pervert the gospel for personal gain.
- What is “another spirit”?
- The Bible teaches that the true Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit, Who indwells within the hearts of God’s children. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Corinthians 2:12). However, Paul said that there is “another spirit” which may be received instead of the Holy Spirit, and that is the spirit of antichrist, or the spirit of this world, which is of the devil.
- The antichrist spirit aims to deceitfully draw people away from the true Spirit of God. “Now the [Holy] Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1). That deception is so strong, in fact, that even the deceivers themselves don’t realize they’re deceived. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived…” (2 Timothy 3:13).
- Not every one who does good works or claims to come in the name of Christ has the Holy Spirit within him. Many, in fact, have “another spirit.”
o A fitting example of this is the Catholic pope, who calls himself “vicar” (which means substitute) and claims to represent God on earth. But this is the villainous spirit of antichrist, for no man may substitute the place of Jesus! I John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
- What is “the other gospel”?
- “Another gospel” is any alleged way of salvation which differs from the Gospel Jesus preached. The Pharisees, for example, believed and taught that a person could be justified in the sight of God by keeping the Law. But Jesus set the matter straight when He said that “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).
- False prophets perpetrate and perpetuate “another gospel”: Jesus also said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves…”(Matthew 7:15).
- Paul described such wolves as ones who would seek to destroy the flock of God (Acts 20:29) by preaching another gospel. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospelunto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed”
(Galatians 1:6-8). Paul confirmed here that there is no “other Gospel” because there is no “other way” of salvation. But he warned that there are perversions of the one and only Gospel.
- Colossians 2:8 says, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” These are “antichrists” who promote their own agendas and preach whatever their listeners want to hear (see II Timothy 4:3), many times in the name of Christ! Truly, a harsh judgment awaits these “blind guides”(see Matthew 23; James 3:1), for they obstruct the straight and narrow path to the Kingdom of God.
This may be a difficult word for some to receive, but here is the plain truth: mainstream Christianity is not the Kingdom of God. Catholicism is not the Kingdom of God.
Denominations, churches, cults, and religions are not the Kingdom of God. If we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), shouldn’t we first recognize what we are seeking? Yes, indeed: knowing the truth about the Kingdom of God will set us free from the bondage of dead religious traditions. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
- BE DILIGENT
If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:12-15)
- The KJV renders verse 15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth
- To be “diligent”, an “heir” to the Kindom of God is called to be in constant effort, attentive, not idle or negligent, and care-full!
“All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:8-13)
My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (James 5:10-11)
- HE’S COMING AGAIN / PASS IT ON
Jesus is coming again:
- “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3)
- “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:26-30)
We are commanded to spread the gospel of the Kingdom:
- Jesus sent out His Disciples to spread the gospel of the Kingdom of God: And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Individually, we are commanded to spread the gospel of the Kingdom of God: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; (1 Peter 3:15)