Matt. 24:14 says, “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.” In the Mount of Olives discourse, Jesus was explaining to His disciples what the signs of the end of the age would be. Here in verse 14, e makes a very clear statement: this Gospel of The Kingdom shall be reached in all the world… then shall the end come. When will the end come... when the same message Jesus preached was preached in all the world. Let’s get into God’s Word.
The Kingdom of God is THE message we are to preach. It is the message to be preached until the end of the age (second coming of Jesus). It is the message the church - above all else - is to communicate. The Law and Prophets were until John (the Baptist): since that time, the Kingdom of God is preached…(Lk 16:16). John the Baptist preached it (Mt 3:1-2). Jesus preached it (Mk 1:14-15). The 12 Apostles preached it (Lk 9:1-2). The seventy disciples preached it (Lk 10:1, 9). Phillip preached it (Act 8:12). Paul preached it (Act 14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 31, Rom 14:17, 1Cor 4:20, 6:9, 15:24, 50, Gal 5:21, Eph 5:5, Col 1:13, 4:11, 1Thess 2:12, 2Thess 1:5, 2Tim 4:1, 18, Heb 12:28). James preached it (Jam 2:5). Peter preached it (2Pt 1:11).
You may wonder why I listed so many verses for Paul. It is because some Christians believe he preached a different message than Jesus preached. He did not. There is one Gospel. The Gospel of the Kingdom. The Gospel of salvation. The Gospel of eternal life. The Gospel of peace. The Gospel of grace. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are all the same Gospel, and often they are used interchangeably in the same story (See “Eternal life” and “Kingdom of God” in Lk 18:18-25, as well as “Gospel of the grace of God“ and “Kingdom of God“ in Acts 20:24-25). It is obvious this is the same Gospel.
So has this been the message of the Church? Or has our message changed over the centuries? I ask, because the New Testament speaks profusely about the Kingdom, but I have not heard many messages about it in my years of being a Christian. Most Christians would be hard pressed to give a solid definition of what The Kingdom of God is. The average Christian would probably think the Kingdom of God is heaven. This is partially true - but far from entirely! The Kingdom is much more than heaven. We will talk more on this aspect in the weeks to come.
I believe a major problem in the church is the lack of teaching and clear communication regarding the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We say to receive Jesus as “Lord and Savior,” but we often do not define what “Lord” means. Most of us can understand savior pretty easily. However, “Lord” is a strange word to our modern English vocabulary. The Jews understood “King,” for they lived under kings. The Romans understood “Lord,” for Caesar was declared Lord. King and Lord meant the same thing - ruler, master, sovereign, boss, etc.
We don’t comprehend this very well, because our form of government is very different from a monarchy-type government. With us, everything is up for debate, elections, reps, majority votes, vetoes, etc. So when we tell someone to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, most people have no idea what Lord even means in reality. We just stress “Savior.” Get saved! Get forgiven of sins! However, this is incomplete. It is not Biblical.
The idea that one can receive the benefits of Jesus, without receiving His person and Lordship, is entirely foreign to the New Testament. Many want the benefit of salvation, without the inconvenience of coming under the authority of The King. However, the Bible does not separate the benefits of Jesus from His Lordship. He is both Savior and Lord - not “or” Lord. We cannot divide the Person of Jesus up into what we like and what we don’t.
Jesus is King. To be in the Kingdom of God means to come under the authority and rule of the King of that Kingdom - Jesus Christ. There is much more to say about this, and I hope to go into much more detail over the next several weeks. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!