Preach the Gospel!
Share the Good News!
Spread the Word!
But what Gospel are we preaching?
The Gospel of salvation you say? OK. But do you know that these two words, gospel and salvation, only appear together twice in the Bible.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. - Romans 1:16 NASB
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, - Ephesians 1:13 NASB
The phrase “gospel of the kingdom” show up twice as often.
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. - Matthew 9:35 NASB
"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. - Luke 16:16 NASB
What’s the difference you ask?
I grew up hearing a gospel that could get me saved—forgiven—but it left me at the cross. Once in a while I’d pear around the side of the cross to see what lurked behind it, within that wonderful kingdom. But I found that I never ventured much beyond the cross. Week after week we would hear the message of salvation, the “gospel” was preached.
Discipleship amounted to teaching one another about how to share the gospel with others. How to get them to gather round this cross with us. So there we huddled—around a cross—at least it was an empty cross—we camped out before a risen Lord—but there we camped.
Jesus preached about life IN the Kingdom of Heaven. His discipleship program was not just about dying, but about living. Buried with Him in baptism—risen with Him in newness of life.
Oh—He taught the boys how to die to themselves, sure, and how to put to death that old man. But His lessons were not just about self-control and sin avoidance. He also taught them how to walk in power, and love. And how to demonstrate the kingdom of God.
Here are a few examples of Jesus teaching His disciples about life in the kingdom of heaven.
When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, "This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” -Matthew 14:15-16 NASB
Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
And He said, "Come!"
And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. - Matthew 14:28-32 NASB
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." - Matthew 9:35-38 NASB
Jesus was putting the boys through JSSM—Jesus School of Supernatural Ministry.
Perhaps the biggest discipling moment arrived the day He sent the boys out on their own. (Midterms at JSSM.) He showed them. He helped them see and do. Finally in Matthew 10, He pushed them out of their little nest.
"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. - Matthew 10:7-8 NASB
In effect, Jesus told them to get out there and do this stuff! The kingdom is near you; The kingdom is in you; The kingdom goes with you; Preach the kingdom; Demonstrate the kingdom.
It amazed them that the demons were subject to them. It didn’t surprise Jesus. That’s what life in the kingdom looks like. The supernatural is natural in a supernatural kingdom.
In Jesus’ day, the gospel always came with a demonstration of the kingdom, thus the phrase gospel of the kingdom.
I know that Paul codified the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15. He boiled it down to Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and appearance to the disciples and followers. The essence of the gospel is this, Jesus is Lord, He is King. He brought this kingdom, and He didn’t take it with Him when He left. We could even boil it down further. As my friend Pastor J. said in a recent comment—The gospel in its simplest form is Jesus.
Jesus told the boys how it would be at the Last Supper.
After He told them they would do greater works that He did Himself, and that if they would ask anything in His name, He would do it. (John 14:12,14) He explained how it was all going to work.
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. - John 14:23 NASB
Is it any wonder that kingdom life should look like the life of Jesus? Every citizen of the kingdom of heaven is a residence—an abode—for the triune God. [Tweet This] This is the good news! This is the Gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Christ In You.
Lord, fill me afresh this morning. I want to let you work through me. Speak through my mouth, touch through my hands, love through my heart. Have Your way in me.
Preach the Gospel of the Kingdom as you go!