In Matthew 24:14, Jesus told His disciples that ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all of the nation’s and then the end will come.’ Unfortunately, that has not occurred, and even worse is the fact that what is often preached is not the gospel that Jesus preached. When He came, He brought the kingdom of God to the earth, and healings, deliverance, miracles, and the dead being raised were manifested results of His presence and authority.
Why did Jesus say this gospel had to be preached? Previously He told them that false Christ’s would appear and preach a different gospel. Missionaries and evangelists have spread the ‘good news’ but often, what they taught was that you get saved in you believe in Jesus and are ready to go to heaven. Discipleship includes learning kingdom values and surrendering your life to live out those values.
The Good News
The real gospel includes what Jesus taught and what He did. He taught the Sermon on the Mount, which takes the Ten Commandments and expanding them into New Covenant life. He taught that He was the fulfillment of the expected Messianic ruler. He was, in fact, to sit on David’s throne. The good news also meant that people would no longer live in bondage, or be sick. Healing and deliverance are manifestations of the kingdom of God.
The Good News was not fake news, but the religious leaders tried and eventually succeeded in quieting His preaching. But, it was short-lived as He defeated the grave and, after His resurrection, sent out His disciples to the nations while He returned home. Now the Good News would spread faster unless Satan entered to alter the message.
The Message Is Changed
The gospel’s message has actually never changed, but the messengers changed it or at least what they preached. They taught many heresies early on, including Gnosticism, but later the message alone was not enough. It became works-based, and many who thought they had received the gospel had heard a thimble full of truth. Thus, by the time of Martin Luther, the church wasn’t all that needed reforming. The message needed to be made clear and spoken clearly. The truth had to be made alive.
After a few centuries of advancing the kingdom to the uttermost part, we still have many people groups who have not even heard the name of Jesus. So it is ashamed that they haven’t heard of Jesus, and we have many preaching a different Jesus or a different gospel. Many teach about prosperity, amassing worldly wealth, and living for the world.
Repentance as a lifestyle is no longer preached, and worse, many are teaching a hyper-grace where you don’t even need to repent. That is almost worse than works-based and leads to more bondage. People are not receiving the truth, and they are too focused on filling their coffers or building their kingdoms. Thus the messages we often hear are focused on us and not Jesus.
The Cross: A Throne For A King
The kingdom of God is the complete opposite of the kingdoms of this world, and what kingdom exists where the king actually dies for His servants? Where else is there a kingdom where the king is enthroned and raised up at His own execution? At that moment, as Jesus suffered and was dying, He found His first new servant. The thief who asked to be remembered went right into the kingdom and experienced a new life.
After His resurrection, Jesus walked among men and sent twelve Israelites out to be a light to the nations, thus partially fulfilling Israel’s role. They took the real gospel as far as they could. It would be centuries and a scattered and regathered Israel before the real gospel would reach the uttermost parts. Since Jesus said this gospel had to go to the whole world before the end, it has taken this long, and soon the Good News will return to Israel, and there will be a remnant crying out, “Blessed Is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’
God’s throne is built upon justice and righteousness, and what better place to see that than at the cross. He made it possible for us to be right with the Father and be justified freely.
The End-Times is Part of the Gospel
One final aspect of the good news of the kingdom is that Jesus will return. You see, when we die, our spirit goes to be with Jesus, but that’s not the end. After receiving a resurrected body, we will return to the earth and rule and reign with Jesus for 1,000 years. Jesus promised to return, and He will land on the Mount of Olives and walk into Jerusalem through the eastern gate and set up His throne, and His kingdom and all of the nations will come and worship there, in Zion.
So without the end-times, there is no gospel. We know that Jesus told His disciples no one knows the hour of His return except the Father, but He told us what season and what signs to look for. He also told us which ones are just the birth pangs. He gave many parables explaining how some would be ready and some would not. He sent the Holy Spirit to prepare us as well as to comfort and teach us.
We have been given the greatest gift we could ever receive: That God would come and live inside of us and prepare us for the most significant moment in the History of the world. That is when Jesus returns and judges the whole earth and establishes righteousness.
Be careful and examine the scriptures like a good Berean and follow the teachings of Jesus and be ready for His return! That is not fake news.