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What Is the Gospel of Christ?

Where should I start?  It is very difficult for me now.  I see the whole as one: I cannot start in one place without also thinking of all the others.  How, then, can I best explain what I see to others who do not already see the same picture?  I suppose, since I am primarily speaking to those who call themselves ‘Christians,’ it might help to start by asking the reader a simple but fundamental question:

What is the Gospel of Christ?

I know that the usual answer goes something along the lines of ‘That’s the Good News of forgiveness,’ or ‘The Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven,’ but is it?  Is that really all there is to the Gospel of Christ? And if it is, what does it mean?  Well, why shouldn’t we see if we can find out anything more about what the Gospel of Christ is and what it means?

If you are going to follow me for any length of time, you had best get used to this right now.  If and when I want to know something, I will always go to the source.  With that said, let’s see what the Scriptures have to say about the Gospel of Christ (I’ve chosen a few of the clearest and easiest to understand, but there are many more.  Feel free to look them up, they all say pretty much the same thing):

The first thing we need to understand is that the Gospel did not start with Christ’s birth.  It had been written about long before then:

Mark 1:1-3  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Preaching of John the Baptist

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, I send My messenger [a]ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way;
The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.’”

So, Mark tells us that the Gospel predates the birth of Yeshuah, or at least it was mentioned before Yeshuah was born.  Next, let’s see what Yeshuah has to say about His Gospel?

Luke 16:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God [c]has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one [d]stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

Let’s stop right here for a moment and dig deep into this last passage.  What does it tell us?  First, Yeshuah tells us that, before John (the Baptist), the Law (of Moses) and the Prophets were proclaimed.  Then He says that, after that time (which was as Yesuah was speaking these words), the Gospel of the Kingdom of God has been preached.  This means that, while the Gospel had been mentioned by Isaiah, the prophet, it had not been preached; but now, after the birth of Yeshuah, it has been preached.  Got it?  Good.  Now, let’s see what else the Scriptures have to say about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God:

Matthew 4:23-24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Ministry in Galilee

23 Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the [a]gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.

Matthew 9:35 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

Matthew 10:5-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not [a]go [b]in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, [c]preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven [d]is at hand.’

Matthew 24:13-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole [a]world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Mark 1:14-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

14 Now after John had been [a]taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, [b]preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God [c]is at hand; repent and [d]believe in the gospel.”

Here again, we need to stop and look hard at these passages.  They speak of a Gospel of the Kingdom of God, a Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, and a Gospel of God.  Now, it is possible that Yeshuah preached three different Gospels, but is it likely?  Well, let’s look at Mark 1:14-15 again:

Mark 1:14-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

14 Now after John had been [a]taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, [b]preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God [c]is at hand; repent and [d]believe in the gospel.”

If you are anything like I am, you have a healthy fear and reverence for the Word of the Lord (at least, I pray you do — otherwise, I am not for you).  For me, this means taking extra precautions to guard against making unwarranted assumptions.  However, with this in mind, the passages I have cited here sure seem to suggest that the Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are all the same thing.  If this is so, then there is but one Gospel, and it is known by all three names: the Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God.  Furthermore, I cannot find any passage of Scripture where Yeshuah claims to have been sent to preach more than one Gospel.  Therefore, for me, there is only One Gospel, it just happens to be known by more than one name (i.e. descriptor).

Now, here is why I took you through all of that, and it is very important.  Read this passage very, very carefully:

Matthew 15:23-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting [a]at us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and began [b]to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

The Gospel of Christ is about the Kingdom of God, and Yeshuah says He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  These two passages are directly and inseparably connected.  Do you know how?

We will start down that path in my next post.  Trust me, you want to invite all your believing friends to read this post and sign up to follow along with me.  I have a message for you that fewer than one in ten believers has ever heard, but it comes straight from the Scriptures.  Be sure you don’t miss out: follow this blog!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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