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THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM

MAT 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come. Jesus told us to preach the Gospel Of the Kingdom. No other options were given. One problem is, He didn't give us a clear message of the Kingdom to preach. He didn't say " Speak these words or preach these concepts". The Kingdom was left as a mystery for the minister to figure out and explain. Natural learning or understanding is of no benefit. The kingdom is not easily explained. Not a single definition has been given. As God is explained in his heaven so is the Kingdom. Who can, by meditation or thinking, explain God. So also the Kingdom of God. God has made no attempt to clarify the Kingdom by giving us the details or a description. The Kingdom is presented in ambiguous terms and clouded in mystery. Of course there are the parables and certain examples and comparisons to identify the kingdom, but the mystery is not removed so all who hear can understand. This presents a great difficulty in preaching " The Gospel of The Kingdom" to every nation. Especially if we determine to preach a clear word that all may understand. If we don't preach a clear word so people understand, the Devil comes immediately and steals the word away. Understanding is absolutely essential for the word to take root and bear fruit. However, it is not possible to preach the Kingdom so all will understand. It is clear then why the Kingdom can only be preached by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and with the power and demonstration of the Spirit. The Kingdom can only be understood by those whom the Holy Spirit gives revelation. Some have ears to hear but still cannot hear. Some have eyes to see but still cannot see. Some have a heart to understand but by themselves they still cannot understand. Everyone is dependent upon the Holy Spirit to give understanding. He is selective and gives to whomever He chooses. Only those who turn to God with a sincere heart of repentance and obedience with humility can receive the Word of the Kingdom. Others hear only a parable that, at best, is confusing or unintelligible. The hearer's attitude toward God is the determining factor in whether the Holy Spirit gives understanding or not. The speaker's responsibility is to speak the Word given by God and to speak by the anointing. Beyond that he is totally helpless to give understanding. This may seem like a strange arrangement to preach the " gospel of the Kingdom" to a lost and dying world who's only hope of being saved is to respond to the gospel of the Kingdom. However, no man can come unless the Father draw him. Understanding is limited, by the Holy Spirit, to those who are seeking, asking and knocking with a humble heart and a sincere desire to obey. This so called " gospel of salvation " can be preached with tears and an emotional appeal so people can clearly understand they are lost and need a savior. Hell can be presented as the only alternative to salvation and a logical choice can be made, based on which is better for me. We can preach " make a decision for Christ". Since the message is logical it can be understood without conviction or revelation. Even if the Holy Spirit doesn't show up for the meeting, people can still "be saved". The gospel of salvation appears to be a much better choice than the gospel of the Kingdom. The gospel of the Kingdom is only effective when God draws. The gospel of salvation is effective as men persuade and logically explain. It is little wonder why the gospel of the Kingdom is not so popular and so little used. The gospel of salvation is much more effective in winning the casual hearer to a response and decision. Unfortunately then, we try to build a church with " casual hearers" rather than Kingdom seekers and those who will press their way into the Kingdom of God. If all those "in the church" were Kingdom converts instead of church converts, the church would look different and function differently. To try to take a " salvation oriented church "and attempt to get "Kingdom results" is a very disappointing work. The message must be tailored not to offend those who are "saved". Our message must be " Yes, we are saved by grace but there are works that have been preordained that we should walk in them". By this time everyone thinks their salvation is secure so works seem like an option. We can do them if we want and can find the time for them. Of course, if they are not convenient it is no problem because they only have to do with rewards anyway. It's really not that important. After all, suppose you do win a crown, you will just have to throw it at Jesus' feet anyway. Most people wouldn't know what to do with a morning star if they won one. A white stone really doesn't seem to be worth the effort. Since salvation is free, the cost of the Kingdom seems way out of proportion with the benefits. It is only reasonable to ask myself, how much better off will I be with the kingdom than with "salvation"? Can I even justify the cost? THE ANSWER IS GENERALLY, NO! To get " KINGDOM COMMITMENT " we must have " KINGDOM CONVERTS ". Now if Jesus had given us the option of preaching either the gospel of salvation or the gospel of the Kingdom, we could judge which one is more effective for us. Which one will attract the multitudes? If we have a challenging building project and a goal of filling a large building in a few months, it should be obvious the gospel of the Kingdom is not a good choice. You can't build a big building or a successful ministry with people who are giving their money to the poor. We have to persuade people to put their money into bricks and then we will have much greater resources to help the poor. We would have to "hype" the poor in spirit up to be aggressive and prosper by giving to our project. We would have to instruct the pure in heart to expect a 100 fold return on their giving. In the gospel of prosperity, we need to convince the poor in spirit that the Devil is robbing them. Old believers who have been "saved" for many years become enemies of the gospel of the Kingdom, if you preach to them. They are generally "saved and satisfied". They don't want to be disturbed by some radical message of the Kingdom of God. They resent and reject the demands of the Kingdom. If we get a burden to preach the gospel of the Kingdom, the church is not a good place to begin. The Kingdom message is best preached in the whole world to unbelievers, in order to disciple the nations. Of course we can't bring these converts into the "salvation church" or we will split the church and disturb the status quo. Kingdom converts can only be brought into a "Kingdom church". Those who are happy with their salvation will not welcome this fanatical group. Two groups then should be formed. Those who are saved and satisfied and those who are pressing their way into the Kingdom of God. Since their goals and vision are so different, they cannot peacefully co-exist. To the Kingdom person, the salvation church appears to be cold, lazy, indifferent, apathetic and static. To the salvation church, the Kingdom people seem to be radical, ignoring God's grace, working for their salvation and trying to turn the world upside down. If a minister came to an unevangelized area and preached the gospel of salvation for a few weeks and left, then came back in three years like Paul and Timothy, what would he find? Probably nothing. Their gospel had to have a life changing effect upon their converts. The mission board didn't even send a pastor to keep encouraging them. They were converted and left alone. A few years later Timothy came back to appoint elders. The results of the gospel of the Kingdom compared to the gospel of salvation are quite different. It should be clear that the gospel of salvation is a defective message that we have not been authorized to preach. To preach that the sinner is to accept Jesus before we know if they are even on Kingdom ground so Jesus can accept them is presumptuous. It leads to a false hope of salvation. In the great awakening of the last century some sinners wept over their sins and fallen condition for hours before they came into assurance of salvation. Now we tell people "Just believe and it is done". " You can keep your abominations and still have Jesus". Today the world can receive Jesus as their personal savior and never miss a step. Many of the devices we have used to "build the church" has not produced the Kingdom life in the church. Many are brought into the church who have no evidence of repentance and produce no fruit of repentance. When the Kingdom demands are preached, few will respond who have not made a commitment to repentance and change. The Kingdom message says " Come and die to your own life and plans and forsake all and give your all for Jesus". The gospel of salvation says "Come and get. It is all free. Everything is provided so just enjoy your salvation". " Be happy." In the message of the Kingdom of God, whether you are happy or not is irrelevant! It is much more likely that you will suffer. 2TI 3:12 And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. ROM 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.