"...As you go, preach saying, "The KINGDOM of heaven is at hand..." - Mathew 10:1,5,7
"...[He] sent them in pairs into every city...GO! I am sending you out...and tell them, "The KINGDOM of God is near you!" - Matthew 10:3,9
"The Gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." - Matthew 24:14
The modern church is filled with so many ideas of what the Gospel is, but so few of them define the Gospel as Jesus defined it - "The Gospel of the Kingdom."
Don't miss this important truth: If you do not understand the importance of this "Kingdom," and all the ramifications of that particular English word - Kingdom - you CAN NOT and DO NOT posses a complete and mature understanding of the Bible Gospel.
The goal of God in Christ coming to the world was to provide YOU an entrance into an ENORMOUS, MAGNIFICENT and ETERNAL kingdom.
Salvation for the world was not God's goal.
Salvation for the world is not God's current goal.
Salvation was and is the vital means to God's ultimate end.
Think of this like the old farmer, who was saved, and then said to the preacher: "So I was just saved by the work of the cross. Now what do I do with my life?"
Here's the answer that seems to be so often missing: Salvation makes it possible for you to enter a KINGDOM!
Jesus makes this EXTREMELY important piece of doctrine very clear when he laments having to explain something so profoundly simple to Nicodemus, the ruler of the Jews in Jn. 3:10. Jesus says to Nicodemus (and to us today who claim that we believe the Gospel is central to our faith) "Except a man be born again he cannot SEE the KINGDOM of God (in v. 3)." Two verses later, Jesus says to him, "Except a man be born again he cannot ENTER the KINGDOM of God (in v. 5)."
It is a TRAGEDY that so many modern Christians do not understand that Jesus' clearly stated goal was for sinful men to both see and enter His kingdom, and that the means (or you could say gateway) to allow this to happen for mankind (seeing and entering a kingdom) was the important issue of being born a second-time.
It is a grievous thing that the Gospel of the Bible has been shrunken down into a man-sized pine box prepared for burial. It seems as though the whole evangelical world thinks the Gospel is the simple message salvation and the only purpose of the church is to get lost men saved, etc. etc. This is only a fraction of the truth. The Gospel is not just a tiny message to get humans ready for their coming death. Our churches are not "just here to get people saved."
The Gospel includes that, and churches should do that, but the Gospel is MUCH bigger than that, and so is the purpose of a church.
The real Gospel is most ALWAYS called "The Gospel of the KINGDOM" in the Scriptures. There is a reason for that.
Being born-again is just the beginning for humanity. It's not the end.
Jesus' goal was to help Nicodemus both see and enter the KINGDOM! He told Nicodemus that THAT was His goal! THAT was why Christ came to the earth!
Therefore, the church must make this adjustment in their paradigm of the Gospel and how they communicate it. Yes, we obviously want people to get born-again, but our SHARED goal with Christ, who is our Head, is that mankind might both see and enter a LITERAL KINGDOM!!!
Getting the lost born-again is an important purpose of the modern church, but it is NOT our highest purpose. Establishing His Kingdom is our highest purpose.
We are ambassadors sent by a King who rules a great Kingdom. Our churches are embassies of our King's kingdom laws.
If you have broken His laws... We are commissioned to warn you that you must repent before He returns to judge the world.
The "GOOD NEWS" of the Kingdom is that when you repent, you will discover that He responded favorably to your repentance on the cross of His crucifixion. After you repent, you will discover that He made a way for you to enter into a vast Kingdom by His resurrection! After you repent, you will understand where your citizenship, loyalties and allegiance resides! After you repent you will see his Kingdom and its laws (Ten Commandments) as proof of His love for the world (John 3:16).
But you can neither see it (comprehend it) nor enter it until and unless you are FIRST "born-again."
So let us get people born-again, but let us not think that is all the Gospel is... The Gospel is about a kingdom. Getting them born again is just a doorway into that kingdom.
It is the "Gospel of the Kingdom." It's HUGE!!! It's REAL!!! The King was born in Bethlehem and he left this earth 2000 years ago, and He is coming again! Repent before He returns! It will be too late when He returns.
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