5 Minute Lessons on the Kingdom of God
What Was the Message of Jesus?
Read time: 4 minutes
What was the Message of Jesus?While the kingdom of God was the central message of Jesus, many modern-day evangelists have virtually ignored it. A gospel of American invention has replaced the New Testament message of the "gospel of the Kingdom." Many evangelists and even professors of Bible colleges would be hard-pressed to expound on the "gospel of the Kingdom." Yet it is one of the first words from Jesus and the last message He spoke before returning to heaven (Mark 1:14-15; Acts 1:3).
When John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness he said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:1-2). His hearers understood he was referring to the future age prophesied by the Old Testament prophets. It would be a time when the Messianic King would defeat the enemies of Israel and usher in the Messianic Age of an everlasting kingdom of peace and prosperity. The long awaited expectation had arrived in Jesus.
Jesus told the crowds, "I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: because that is why I was sent" (Luke 4:43). The 12 Apostles also traveled with Him and were commissioned by Him to preach the same message as He did (Matthew 10:1, 7-8). They went out and preached that people should repent (Mark 6:12), showing the connection of accepting the rule of God (kingdom) by the call of repentance. They also confessed their sins and were baptized as they believed in the Messianic King-Jesus (Matthew 3:1-2, 6, 8; John 4:1; Acts 19:4-6). Jesus tried to explain that He had to be a suffering Messiah to overthrow Satan's authority legally and permanently (Luke 24:26; Colossians 2:15). Later 70 others were commissioned to preach the kingdom message also (Luke 10:1, 9).
The gospel of the Kingdom has to be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14). In the interim Christ's disciples would be the witnesses of the Messiah King. The gospel of the Kingdom is not an invitation to "invite Jesus into your heart," neither is it centered on heaven awaiting believers at death. It's focus is on accepting the rule of God by rejecting Satan's, receiving the grace of the cross that results in personal relationship with God (Acts 26:18-20), for its by grace that we are saved (Ephesians 2:5). The kingdom is received through the New Birth (John 3:3, 5). The kingdom is the realm in which one accepts God's rule (1 Thessalonians 1:9). It is a realm in which one must enter now (Colossians 1:13-14), yet it is a realm in which one will enter in the future (Matthew 25:31, 34). In this age there is death; in the kingdom of God, eternal life (Mark 10:29-30). In this age the righteous and wicked are mixed together (Matthew 13:47-51). In the future all wickedness and sin will be destroyed (Matthew 13:41). At present, Satan is viewed as the "god of this age," in the future kingdom, God's rule will have destroyed Satan and righteousness will displace evil (2 Corinthians 4:4-5; Revelation 11:15; Matthew 13:36-43).
Have you accepted the offer of God's kingdom? Have you turned from darkness to light? Have you turned from the authority of Satan unto the authority of God? Have you received the gift of forgiveness and the inheritance of eternal life? If not, repent for the kingdom of God (rule of God) has arrived.
God calls upon all men everywhere to submit voluntarily to His rule. Thus the kingdom now is said to be in a mystery form (Mark 4:11), and is not seen by natural observation. When God however, asserts His rule universally, the kingdom will appear in glory and will manifest to all (Daniel 2:44).
Read Mark 1:14-15 & Acts 1:3."14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." - John 7:16
"To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:" - Acts 1:3One of the first words of Jesus and the last message He spoke before returning to heaven was:
- things concerning tithing
- things concerning the order of worship
- things pertaining to the kingdom of God
Read Matthew 3:1-2."1In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. " - Matthew 3:1-2When John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness he said:
- Ask Jesus into your heart
- God has a wonderful plan for your life
- Repent [have a change of heart & mind] for the rule of God has come. [I have interpreted the kingdom of God as the rule of God for the following reasons: The word "kingdom" is made up of two words, "king" meaning "absolute ruler; one who rules or presides over." "Dom" meaning "domain, the territory He rules, that is, His subjects"]
Read Acts 26:18."To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." - Acts 26:18Vine's Greek dictionary under the subject of the "kingdom" states the following: "Since this earth is the scene of universal rebellion against God, the kingdom of God is the sphere in which at any given time, His rule is acknowledged." The "kingdom of God" has the idea of a group of people that would accept His rule. Look at Acts 26:18 above. In preaching the "kingdom of God," whose authority are we rejecting and whose authority are we accepting?Answer
Read Luke 4:43."And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent." - Luke 4:43Jesus told the crowds that the reason that He had been sent was to proclaim:
- the four spiritual laws.
- the prosperity message
- the kingdom of God
Read Matthew 10:1, 7-8."1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. " - Matthew 10:1, 7-8The twelve Apostles traveled with Jesus and were commissioned by Him to preach:
- the law of Moses
- the 10 commandments
- the same message as He did
Read Mark 6:7, 12."7And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 12And they went out, and preached that men should repent. " - Mark 6:7, 12A person shows that they accept the rule of God [kingdom], by:
- joining a local church
- reading the Bible
Read Acts 8:5,12; Matthew 28:19-20."5Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 12But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." - Acts 8:5, 12
"19Goye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." - Matthew 28:19-20Philip the evangelist preached the kingdom of God and Jesus as the Messiah king. People responded to his preaching by identifying with Christ through the act of:
- asking Jesus into their heart
- joining the local church
- baptism. [Early New Testament believers expressed their faith in Christ by an act of water baptism. This was an act of faith that identified them as becoming Christ's disciple (Matthew 28:19-20).
Read 1 John 3:8, Colossians 2:15."He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." - 1 John 3:8
"And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. " - Colossians 2:15Satan's authority was overthrown legally and permanently by:
- the work of the cross
- by an animal sacrifice
- praying without ceasing
Read Luke 9:59-60; Luke 10:1,9."59And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. " - Luke 9:59-60
"1After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 9And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. " - Luke 10:1,9Those that follow Jesus are commissioned to preach:
- inspirational messages
- the philosophies of man
- the kingdom message
Read Matthew 24:14."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." - Matthew 24:14The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.Answer
Read 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Acts 26:18."For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;" - 1 Thessalonians 1:9
"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." - Acts 26:18The gospel of the kingdom is not an invitation to "invite Jesus into your heart," neither is it centered on heaven awaiting believers at death. It's focus is on accepting the rule of God by rejecting:
- Satan's rule
- your wife's authority
- your local church's teachings
Read Mark 6:12."And they went out, and preached that men should repent." - Mark 6:12The Apostles preached that people must:
- ask Jesus into their heart
- repent, that is accept God's rule by turning to God and His rule
- attend a local church
Read 2 Peter 3:13."Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." - 2 Peter 3:13According to God's promise, we look for:
- a new car
- an abundance of money
- new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells
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