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The Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Part 1)

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17

Have you ever wondered what the gospel is and why it matters? The word “gospel” comes from two old English words, “god” (meaning good) and “spel” (meaning news or story). The god-spel, or gospel as we say today, literally means “good news.” Specifically, it means the good news of Jesus Christ, who He is, what He did, what He is doing, and why His story affects the lives of every human being ever born. 

A Good Story

The good news gospel is the story of creation, the fall of man, and man’s redemption through the sacrificial death and resurrection of God’s one and only Son, Jesus, as told in the Bible. It is an epic drama about God, His creation, and the greatest love story of all time. It begins in a garden and ends with the triumphant return of the King of kings to set the world right and bring justice and hope to the nations. To make things even more interesting, you and I are key characters! We are the object of the King’s affection and through the story told in the gospel, we discover how the King relentlessly pursues and redeems His lost children. God wanted to restore our connection with Him and give us the Kingdom. This is the mission of Jesus, to reestablish our relationship with the Father and His Kingdom on earth.

Perfectly Holy

God is perfect in nature. He sets the standard, and His standard is perfect holiness. In our sinful state, His standard is unattainable. Think about it, how can any darkness be mixed with perfect, glorious light? They cannot exist together, which is exactly our problem. 

It is sin that separates us from God as we are unholy vessels. Jesus tells us there is no one good, not even one. Due to the fall, we are all born into the kingdom of darkness, sinners separated from God and prisoners of darkness. When sin separated humanity from God through Adam and Eve’s rebellion, He set a plan in motion to restore what they lost in the fall. It was a plan that necessitated sacrifice, the forgiveness of sin, and the restoration of innocence. 

God’s love is relentless. His goodness is limitless. His faithfulness is unquestionable. His peace goes far beyond circumstance. His justice is perfect. It is not subjective. It is righteous. He is merciful. So, while we deserve eternal punishment, God provided His Son as a way back to our original place as righteous sons and daughters made Holy through Jesus’ sacrifice. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He took our punishment. 

Jesus is the only sinless person to have ever lived, making Him the perfect sacrifice. Jesus made the way for us to return to the Father, and we get to decide where we will spend eternity based on our choices concerning Him. Jesus is THE WAY, the truth, and the life. There is no other savior. There is no other messiah. There is no other way to enter the Kingdom of God but through Jesus. There is no adequate sacrifice other than God’s one and only Son. No one comes to the Father except through Him. 

A Free Gift

Salvation has nothing to do with your ability and everything to do with His ability and His righteousness. It’s received by faith in Jesus. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved and experience eternal life. (Romans 10:13) 

What does it cost? It will cost you everything. It cost Jesus His life! It will cost you yours too, but in a different way. Salvation requires you to make Jesus the Lord of your life. It requires a divine exchange, your life for His, your pain for His healing, your ashes for His beauty, your control for His Lordship, your plans for His better way. 

God loves you. You are His workmanship. You are needed, special and unique by design. He has a beautiful plan and purpose for your life. He wants to meet you exactly where you are, here and now, regardless of your past or present situation. Jesus is in the business of making all things new! This is the good news gospel! 

The Kingdom of Heaven

In Matthew 3:1-2, John the Baptist came preaching “repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Then Jesus’ public ministry began with the introduction of the good news of the Kingdom of God. First, Jesus restores our righteousness (right standing with God) through faith in Him, cleansed forever by His blood shed on the cross. Then we receive the Holy Spirit that connects us with our Father and Kingdom of heaven, here and now. We can enjoy Kingdom living now with all of the resources of His unshakable eternal Kingdom to see His Kingdom manifested on earth as was His original intent.

The gospel is far beyond salvation, although it is necessary for entrance into God’s Kingdom. Jesus came with the good news of the Kingdom of God which, after thousands of years, is once again on earth and is freely available to everyone! It is the longing of every human heart and the key to abundant life here on earth. 

Do You Want to Receive the Good News Gospel?

If you are ready to surrender your heart and make Jesus the Lord of your life, I invite you to pray the following prayer: 

Lord Jesus, Thank You for loving me. I admit that I am a sinner, and I believe You died for my sins. I repent and ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You are the Son of God, that You died and rose again. I renounce Satan. I receive You now as my personal Lord and Savior. I invite You into my heart and to manage my life from this day forward. I surrender my entire life to You. I choose to serve You with all of my heart, soul, mind, and body. I receive Your glorious gift of grace, love, and eternal life! Thank You for adopting me as Your own. I am a child of God! I am born again! I dedicate my life to You and declare Jesus, You are Lord. Amen! 

If you prayed that prayer from your heart, you have been born again! You are a child of God, with a clean slate. You have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! Your identity is no longer that of a sinner. You are saved by grace. Sin is defeated! You are a saint, and His righteousness is yours now and forever. You are holy. Your old nature is dead, and the process of renewing your mind has begun. You are one with Him!


Reflection Questions: 

  • How does your view of the great commission shift after understanding the gospel of the Kingdom?
  • Read John 10:1o in your Bible. How does the gospel of the Kingdom impact the way you understand this passage, with Jesus coming to bring abundant life?

 

For additional resources, see Next Steps for the New Believer, Key Points to the Gospel, and Created With Purpose.