So many Christians think they understand the Gospel ... and just as many Christians have no real idea just what that "Gospel" is.
As unbelievable as it may seem, many Many MANY Christians don't really know what the Gospel is really about ... nor do they know what Jesus really preached/taught ... and very few of those know what the word even means.
Quite simply, gospel means GOOD NEWS.
So many Christians think the "Good News" is the Messenger ... Jesus Christ, Himself ... and they have focused so much on the Messenger that the message He brought has become ignored/overlooked.
I'll start out by telling you this:
Jesus did not come preaching "The Gospel of Me."
All throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John ... well, actually all throughout the whole dadgum Bible - BOTH Old AND New Testaments ... there is proof upon proof upon proof of exactly what the GOOD NEWS is/was:
Jesus Christ came to preach/teach the "gospel of the Kingdom of God."
"Repent," said Jesus Christ, "for the Kingdom of God is at hand!"
"Now after John [the Baptist] was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel"
Even His own prayer ... THE LORD'S PRAYER ... "Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, and Thy Will be done, ON EARTH as it is in heaven."
Constantly, Jesus spoke of His coming kingdom ... to earth.
He spoke of the time when the righteous prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament would be in that kingdom ... He spoke of the time when the disciples of the New Testament would sit on twelve thrones to judge the tribes of Israel.
An argument arose between some of the disciples (during the Last Supper at Passover before He died) about which one of them would be "the greatest" in Christ's kingdom ... Jesus kinda snapped at them, and then commanded His disciples to have the attitude of humble servants. Then, He said, "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:30).
He explained to them that He was going to establish a world-ruling kingdom on this earth ... the Kingdom of God ... He explained it is to be a kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ Himself, and that they, and all others who will repent and receive God’s Holy Spirit, can have a part in it.
Jesus' message OFTEN explained how we can be changed from flesh to spirit ... how we can become co-heirs of the throne of God WITH Him ... how we can share with Him the wondrous power of judging and ruling with Him during His millennial reign on earth.
His message showed that the powerful end-time Beast power will resist His return ... He showed how He will smash the Beast power and the False Prophet into oblivion ... He showed how He would bring COMFORT AND PEACE to this war-torn and weather-worn world at last.
A lot of Jesus' teachings recorded in the Bible were given in private discussions to His disciples. They wanted to know what would signify His coming as King of Kings to rule the world ... what signs they should expect would signal the end of the age of man's organized societies.
Read Matthew 24 in its entirety, and compare it with Luke's version of the same prophecy in Luke 21.
Here are a few excerpts:
"And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world as we know it? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences (massive disease epidemics), and earthquakes (adverse weather) in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (or the Great Tribulation)" (Matthew 24:1-8).
Notice how He says "THIS GOSPEL" because it also contains the promise of His Second Coming: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because defiance of God’s laws shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And THIS GOSPEL of the coming kingdom of God shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end as we know it come" (Matthew 24:9-14).
The entire gospel is as much a witness against the nations as it is a witness to them because it predicts massive wars, the loss of millions of human lives, catastrophic "natural" disasters, and scary/weird signs in the heavens/skies ... to be followed by Christ’s return.
Now you know a major part of the REAL message Jesus delivered.
It was a powerful message about His coming world-ruling government (Isaiah 2; Micah 4; Isaiah 11; Revelation 20) ... it was also a message about repentance ... about how human beings can receive God's Holy Spirit, and how human beings can eventually inherit a part of the Kingdom of God.
Notice the promises He gave for those who overcome during this brief, human life: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron with me" (Revelation 2:26,27).
Jesus described His Second Coming to His disciples in the Olivet Prophecy several times.
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the skies to the other" (Matthew 24:30,31).
There are many, many prophecies in God's Word about the Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom on this earth.
Isaiah wrote, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:2-4).
Notice the description of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ seen by John in vision: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh" (Revelation 19:11-21).
Anyone who doubts that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is real .... is a person who simply rejects what Jesus Himself said over and over again ... and rejects the focal point of all prophecy: HIM!
Nothing is emphasized throughout the entire Bible more than the return of Christ to this earth to rule it as King of Kings and Lord of Lords ... nothing!
The GOOD NEWS Jesus brought to this earth so long ago is for RIGHT NOW, and for the years just ahead of us ... it is a relevant message about world conditions that are leading us straight into the time of the prophesied Great Tribulation.
The greatest news you and I could ever hear is that Jesus Christ WILL intervene in human affairs and STOP the chaos and hate and insanity and lawlessness and wars that are most definitely in our very near future .... and He repeatedly told us, WARNED US, to watch.
Luke wrote of Jesus' encouraging reminder that when we start seeing these terrible things BEGIN TO HAPPEN, we should "lift up our heads," and know that our redemption is very near.
He said, "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:25-36).
As you now know, the so-called "gospel" that millions have heard and think they know about is only a small part of the actual message Jesus Christ brought to this earth ... His good news .... His great gospel is/was that He WILL intervene in the course of human events before total destruction, and He WILL establish His Government and Kingdom upon THIS EARTH.
HE IS COMING DOWN HERE ... WE ARE NOT GOING UP THERE ... and, maybe, I will try to write another blog that will try to explain how THAT FACT really is Good News too.
Because, you see, the REAL gospel of Jesus Christ also answers the most profound questions of Human Life ... and explains and reveals 1) what/who We really are, and 2) why We are really here.
This could get deep real fast, my friends ... and that's the Gospel Truth :)