The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 120

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come”, he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1: 14, NIV, italics mine).

The translators of the New Testament used the word gospel (old English godspell) for the Greek noun euaggelion (good news). From this Greek word the English word evangelism, meaning ‘preaching the gospel’, is derived.

In the above Scripture, Jesus is the bearer of good news (i.e. a gospel). “He went about preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God”. He declared that “the kingdom of God was near” and that people were to “repent and to believe” in it. This is the message that Jesus brought from the Father. The work of salvation can be properly understood only in the context of the Kingdom of God. We are saved for a purpose!

That Jesus was clearly the chosen Messenger of this good news is evident from this Old Testament prophecy: “See, I will send my messenger (John the Baptist) who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant (Jesus), whom you desire, will come”, says the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:1, words in brackets mine).

Sometimes we see reference to the ‘gospel of Jesus Christ’ or the ‘gospel of God’. Nevertheless, the evidence is clear, from the reading of the four evangelists’ accounts that the principal focus of Jesus’ message was about the kingdom of God.

This Kingdom, described by Jesus as being ‘near’, is yet future. It is something that believers are to look forward to. Jesus gave many proofs of the reality of this kingdom whilst he was on earth. He exercised its power and authority through the casting out of demons and the working of miracles. His actions demonstrated that this kingdom had a status that excluded all the undesirable elements in the present worldly system. It was important that this message from God get through. That’s why Jesus said “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent” (Luke 4:43). “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt 9:35). He exhorted “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matt 6 33).

We must preach both the Kingdom of God and Salvation by Christ alone. His saving work paved the way for entrance into the kingdom. To preach about Christ without preaching about the anticipated Kingdom of God on earth is to preach an incomplete message. This is so because it does not alert the hearer to the kingdom life he will live after this life, which has much to do with his faithfulness now.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues