Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The kingdom that turned the world upside down..

What the apostles preached...
   You may be thinking to yourself, "Okay, maybe Jesus preached about the kingdom, but it was different with His disiciples. He told them to preach about the new birth and salvation, not about the kingdom, right"? wrong. When Jesus commissioned the disciples, he specifically told them to preach about the kingdom.   Notice His preaching instructions: "As you go, preach, saying,"The kingdom of heaven is at hand."......He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick....Heal the sick there, and to say to them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you"(Mt. 10:7, Luke 9:2, 10:9). Please understand that these are not a few isolated proof texts. In nearly every passage where Jesus gave preaching instructions to His disciples, He told them to preach about the kingdom.
   You no doubt remember the disciple who said he would follow Jesus, but that he first had to bury his father. What did Jesus tell Him? "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kigdom of God"(Luke 9:60).
   But please don't misunderstand me. I am in no way minimizing our need to be Born Again and to be saved. These are crucial aspects of the Gospel. However, they are a means to an end---entering the kingdom of God.   Jesus never intended that His followers would preach about salvation and the new birth apart from the kingdom. The kingdom is an absolutely crucial part of the gospel. When we tell people aboaut salvation--but say nothing about the kingdom---we are not preaching the Godpel.
   And what gospel was it that Jesus said would be preached in all the world before the end? He said, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come"(Mt. 24:24). A gospel is being preached throughout the world today, but it is the gospel of the kingdom.

More tomorrow....

Love to all who read...

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