is the Gospel?
The word Gospel
in our Bibles literally means good news
or glad tidingsand is the English translation
of the Greek word 'evangelicon'. The Gospel of the Kingdom
of God (Mark 1:14) preached by Jesus and the Apostles
(Acts 19:8) was a message of good tidings to men and women both
in their day and also in our own.
What is the good news?
The gospel message in the Bible
is one of great hope in that it offers
mankind the opportunity of eternal life.
This good news is in total contrast to the certain death which naturally
faces each one of us...
"For the living know that
they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they
any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten" (Ecclesiastes
On the other hand, an appreciation
of the gospel can save us...
"I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to everyone that believeth" (Romans
We are invited then to learn and
understand precisely what the "Gospel
of the Kingdom of God" is (Luke 8:1) in order that we may partake
of this wonderful salvation from death. So that we may appreciate
what is meant when Jesus went about all the cities and villages
"teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the
Kingdom" (Matthew 4:23), it is necessary to consider firstly
what constitutes the Kingdom of God and then to see what part Jesus
has in the divine teaching.
The Kingdom of God
Jesus taught his disciples to pray,
"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done IN EARTH, as it is in heaven"
(Matthew 6:10). The Bible teaches that the Kingdom of God, or heavenly
kingdom, to be established on earth is the re-established
ancient kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6, Micah 4:6-8, Obadiah vs 17,20,21)
with Jerusalem as its capital (Jeremiah
3:17). Furthermore the re-established kingdom of Israel will be
governed by Jesus sitting on David's throne in Jerusalem
(2 Samuel 7:10, 12-13; Luke 1:27-33; Acts 2:29-31). This Kingdom
shall subdue all other nations and kingdoms. In the book of the
prophet Daniel we read the following,
"The God of heaven shall
set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: it shall break
in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand for
ever" (Daniel 2:44).
Jesus the saviour King
Jesus (Saviour) Christ (Anointed)
will shortly return to the earth...
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand
ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from
you into heaven , shall so come, in like manner, as ye have seen
him go into heaven" (Acts 1:6,11).
He will come to sit on David's throne
in Jerusalem and rule a conquered world in righteousness and peace.
He will also share the inheritance of the Kingdom with his faithful
followers - styled the saints...
"But the saints of the most
High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever,
even for ever and ever" (2 Timothy 4:8; Daniel 7:18,27).
In order that all things which God
had promised to faithful men of old be fulfilled it was necessary
that sin, the cause of death, should be overcome and eventually
abolished from the earth...
"Now this I say, brethren,
that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither
doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Corinthians 15:50).
Jesus, by living a life in total
obedience to his Father's will, was able to accomplish this feat
culminating in his sacrifice on the cross. "So Christ was once
offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him
shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation"
Offer of eternal life
God raised Jesus from the dead.
He now sits in an immortal state at his Father's side in heaven
waiting for the appointed time to return to the earth and fulfil
the promises. Through an understanding and belief of the teachings
of Jesus and apostles WE can, through baptism "put on Christ"
and as "immortal beings" partake
of the glories of the future age to live and reign with
him as kings and priests...
"And they sung a new song,
saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals
thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy
blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall
reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:9-10).
The gospel is indeed good
news for us mortal, death-stricken creatures, with
its offer to us of eternal life in association with the glories
and blessings of God's kingdom on earth.