What is the gospel of the kingdom of God? It’s not about Jesus dying for your sins or going to heaven when you die. In fact, Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom is not new at all; it’s the message the prophets of old proclaimed–that one day God was going to make everything wrong with the world right and extend his reign from heaven to earth. In this lecture, you’ll see how John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, the twelve, the seventy, and Philip the evangelist, and Paul the Apostle all preached about God’s coming kingdom.
first off, what is the gospel?
- τό εὐαγγέλιον (to evangelion): good message
- holding this message results in salvation
- 1 Corinthians 15.1-2 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you– unless you believed in vain.
- 2 Timothy 1.10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
- Romans 1.16 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.
- thus, getting the gospel wrong is huge!
- since believing in the gospel results in salvation, getting the gospel right is absolutely paramount!
begin by looking at an interesting incident (why did Jesus rebuke peter?)
- Matthew 16.21-23 21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
- Why in the world did Peter rebuke Jesus?
- he had told him he was going to suffer and die
- Why was this so shocking to Peter? Surely he had heard Jesus preaching the gospel!
- note v. 21: “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples…”
- this was the first time they heard about it
- how did they react? outrage
- if he didn’t talk about his crucifixion prior to this, what was he preaching for 16 chapters!?!?!?
John the Baptist preached the kingdom gospel
- Matthew 3.1-2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- what is the “kingdom of heaven?” (same as kingdom of God)
- heaven probably substitutes as a circumlocution for God or else it derives from Dan 2.44 “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed”
- this OT verse may account for the two phrases (kingdom of heaven AND kingdom of God)
Jesus preached the kingdom as gospel
- Mark 1.14-15 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
- Matthew 4.17 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- this is the SAME message as John the Baptist!
- Matthew 4.23 23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
- Matthew 9.35 35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.
- Luke 4.42-43 42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
- Luke 8.1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him,
Jesus called the kingdom the seed (sower and seed)
- Matthew 13.3-4 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
- Matthew 13.19 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
- the seed is the word of the kingdom!
- according to Jesus, believing in the kingdom is the starting point
sending out the 12 (three parallel accounts)
- Matthew 10.5-7 5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
- Luke 9.1-2 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
- Mark 6.12 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.
sending out the 72
- Luke 10.1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go…. Luke 10.9-12 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.‘ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
many believe that the kingdom gospel was only provisional
- it was just for “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”
- or it was the offer the Jews rejected
- or it was replaced by the cross message (many Christians today think the cross has replaced the kingdom)
- looking at Philip and Paul, both of whom preached after the crucifixion, we can see that Jesus’ followers continued right on preaching the kingdom
- though they add to it the crucifixion and resurrection, neatly summarized by the words “the name of Jesus Christ” or “teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ”
Philip preaching in Samaria
- Acts 8.12 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Paul preaching in Ephesus
- Acts 19.8 8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
- this verse shows that Paul preached the kingdom
- gospel of grace = kingdom message
- Acts 20.24-25 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.
Paul preaching in Rome
- Acts 28.23 23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
- Acts 28.30-31 30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
- Matthew 24.14 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
- how many of the Christian missionary organizations preach “this gospel of the kingdom” that Jesus preached?
- the world is getting to know that Jesus died for them, but they don’t know about the kingdom
- this tells us our mission is to preach the same kingdom message as Jesus
three tines of the gospel fork (three elements of the gospel)
- kingdom: everything wrong with the world made right
- cross: Jesus died for your sins so you can be forgiven
- resurrection: God raised him from the dead proving he is the Messiah
- Other Restitutio podcasts and posts on the kingdom of God
- visit KingdomUprising.com for more resources on the kingdom
- check out Anthony Buzzard’s The Coming Kingdom of the Messiah and Greg Deuble’s They Never Told Me This in Church
- Intro music: “District Four” by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.