The Gospel Truth

Dear Brethren,

What is the Gospel?  And, how important is it?  Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel.'  (Mark 1:14-15)

Gospel simply means 'good news,' or 'good message.'  Jesus proclaimed the good news, and told us to believe it.  But what is this good news that we must believe?  It is the good news of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus' good news was that God's Kingdom would replace the kingdom of Satan that we find ourselves in.  Jesus also taught what the Kingdom of God would be like, and how we must change in order to qualify for it.  We must come out of the kingdom of Satan (Luke 11:18, Acts 26:18).

Jesus said that '...the Kingdom of God is like unto... a tree' (Matthew 13:31-32).  In the Garden of Eden, the two trees represented the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan (Genesis 2:9).  To have a part in the Kingdom of God, we must have God's Spirit which places us in the Family of God, makes us Children of God, and Children of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 13:38, 1 John 3:2).  God's intention was that Adam would take of the 'Tree of Life,' which represented His Spirit, and that Adam's family would grow into a great nation and Kingdom of God.

Adam's pedigree, or family tree, would have begun with God  '...Adam, who was the son of God.'  (Luke 3:38).  But, by taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam chose Satan as his father, and the kingdom of Satan for all of his children  'You are of your father the devil.' (John 8:44).  As a result of that wrong choice, the death penalty was incurred for Adam's family ' the day that thou eat thereof thou shalt surely die.'  (Genesis 2:17).  That death penalty was Bad News for mankind!  The Good News that is able to supplant the bad news, is the Gospel Truth.  Man can find life and salvation in the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4, 11).  The Gospel is the promise of the Kingdom of God.

The good news is this:  This present evil world of Satan's will soon be replaced.  Mankind is blind to the good news of the glorious Kingdom of God because Satan is now the God of this world, and the world is his kingdom (Ephesians 2:2).  'The Gospel is hidden to those who are lost.  The god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.'  (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

God's plan will soon be put back on track when the kingdom of Satan is displaced.  Jesus Christ, the prophesied Messiah, will establish the Kingdom of God in all the earth!  The good news for the Church of God is this:  We live according to the rules, customs and way of life of the Kingdom of God now!  Paul clearly shows that converted Christians have come out of Satan's kingdom and have been transferred into the Kingdom of God. 'Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.' (Colossians 1:12-13).

Picture the world today, with all of its adultery, idolatry, hatred, wrath, strife, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, and such ... (Galatians 5:20-21).  That is Satan's kingdom, and it is in exact opposition to God's Kingdom (Matthew 13:38).  We can see the consequences of Satan's kingdom in the lying, killing, stealing, hate and fear so prevalent in the world around us. 

On the other hand, the Kingdom of God is the actuality of God's perfect way of love, truth, peace, enlightenment, law and life.  God's Kingdom is more powerful than Satan's.  Jesus told His disciples, 'If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you.'  (Matthew 12:28)

The Gospel was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8, Hebrews 11:10).  Moses preached the Gospel to the Israelites (Hebrews 4:1-2).  Daniel and the prophets were inspired to write about the Gospel (Daniel 2:44, Romans 1:1-2).

Too many of the brethren of the Church of God have believed that the Kingdom of God is something that is off in the future that we are waiting for.  Jesus said that the 'Kingdom of God is at hand.'  (Matthew 4:17)  By that He taught that it is for those who will believe the Gospel, even here and now.  Jesus taught the disciples that the true Kingdom of God was spiritual in nature.  Jesus will yet return as an earthly ruler from God, but it will be to establish God's perfect law of love that has been missing.

The question we should be asking ourselves is this:  Am I a good representative of the Kingdom of God, now?  While on earth, Jesus was the perfect representative of the Kingdom.  We are to follow in His steps and be representatives of the Gospel as well.  Paul gave his job description this way: 'I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel.'  (Ephesians 6:19-20)

The Gospel of Christ is the message of the Kingdom that Jesus Christ preached.  He did not come only to proclaim the True Gospel, but He came in order to conquer Satan's kingdom, making possible the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.  His atoning sacrifice  - paying for the sin of the world makes the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God possible. 

The life and miracles of Jesus are not the gospel.  But, we must understand that Jesus' life, death and resurrection are central to the fulfillment of the Gospel and our being in the Kingdom of God.  We have been disqualified from the Kingdom by our own sins. There is no way that we can work our way back into God's good graces to be able to inherit the Kingdom of God (Acts 20:24).  Once disqualified from the Kingdom of God, we are worthy of death.

Jesus is our Savior.  From the foundation of the world it was God's plan that Jesus make the fulfillment of the Gospel possible by redeeming sinful mankind.  'Jesus hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.'  (2 Timothy 1: 9-10)


Sermon:  'The Gospel Truth'
Note:   Realplayer will play mp3 files.