When you survey the subject of popular, contemporary preaching and compare it to the content of the message of Jesus and His disciples found in the New Testament, you will clearly see there is something missing. Jesus and His disciples and the early church almost exclusively preached about the Kingdom of God or the Gospel of the Kingdom. And today, we preach about getting our felt needs met by the Lord. How He is going to hold us, calm us, bless us, heal our boo-boo’s, and make our life in this world better. Really? What happened to the forgotten gospel of the kingdom?
If we look at the flow of the New Testament, some patterns quickly emerge. Consider the following:
Gospel – presents the Message (Gospel) of the Kingdom
Acts – from the Message (Gospel) of the Kingdom to the Church (the earthly manifestation of the Kingdom)
Revelation – from the Church to the Establishment of the Kingdom
And again, the message of both Jesus and John the Baptist were identical at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. There were both preaching about a coming kingdom as they revealed to the people the King standing before them.
John the Baptist – “Repent, (why) for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 3:2
Jesus – “Repent, (why) for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17
But this is only the beginning of the forgotten gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The Forgotten Gospel of the Kingdom
Note also the summary verses in Matthew that describe the message and ministry of Jesus in a simple paragraph. This happens twice, right before and after the Sermon on the Mount (which is a description of life in the Kingdom).
Matthew 4:23 – And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching (what) the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
Matthew 9:35 – Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching (what) the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
As you can see, the message of Jesus was the gospel, the “good news” about the Kingdom, and the manifestation of His ministry was showing the people what the Kingdom, and the King, are all about (healing sickness and disease, etc,). But it gets even better.
In the next chapter, Jesus sends out His disciples to do what they have seen Him doing, both preaching and ministry. Note the instructions He gives them.
Matthew 10:7-8 – “And as you go, preach, saying, (what) ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
Do you understand the implications of these few verses? Are you beginning to comprehend the importance of the forgotten gospel of the Kingdom? I sure hope so. So keep listening as we discover more about our Lord’s message together.