Kingdom of God (pt. 6)
I often wonder why they call the 6pm program “news,” since it is the same thing day in and day out.
Wars, rumors of wars, rape, robbery, murder, and the latest narcissistic adult baby whining for attention dominates all so-called news.
Many have tried various methods of producing “good news” programs only to have them fall flat as there is just not anything titillating about a stranger helping a stranded motorist in a crime-ridden area of town.
Jesus, however, said that His followers would be bearers of good news, the gospel.
The word translated as “gospel” means “good news”, but the word in the Greek originally meant “reward for bringing good news.” The English word is from the Old English “godspel,” which is a combination of ‘good’ and ‘discourse, tidings, news.’
Jesus made a direct link between the kingdom of heaven and the gospel, saying that the good news is that the kingdom of God is close by. (Matt. 4:23; Mk. 1:14) When He sent His disciples out on their first job-training tour, He told them
“And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat 10:7)If that were to happen today, people would scratch their heads saying, “What?”
Kingdom is not within the realm of our normal experience nor understanding, so how could that be good news?
Besides, it sounds like there would be someone ruling over me, and I don’t want that. I want to be free.
Once again, kingdom principles go completely against the natural man.
For those who have come to the end of themselves, realizing that all their so-called freedom only left them in bondage, to realize that there is someone very powerful who only has their best interests at heart is truly good news.
Belonging to this kind of kingdom could possibly be very rewarding.
This is definitely good news to those who “have ears to hear” (Mk. 7:16), and this is why we are to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom.
We never know who is within earshot that may have ears to hear, and so respond to the news.
The actual proclamation, or preaching of the gospel is the part that has bamboozled most of us.
We’ve been told that we are to “witness for Jesus.” We’ve been taught the Four Spiritual Laws. We’ve been taught the Roman Road. We’ve been taught how to Share Jesus Without Fear. We’ve been told to Bring a Friend to church.
Each of these may be a worthwhile method for accomplishing the strategy of “winning souls for Jesus,” but they are not the tactic Jesus recommended.
Jesus said to preach (Matt. 10:7).
- Publish (Mk. 13:10).
It is not my intent to disparage the various means and methods that many have used over the years to bring people to Jesus. It has been my experience that God can and will use just about anything to bring someone to the knowledge of the truth.
However, when looking into the Word, there is something that pops out about the methods used at the beginning of the church’s existence and growth, and that is preaching and reasoning.
Preaching, as we know it today, seems to be limited to a single skilled orator proclaiming the gospel to a large audience. We have gotten stuck there and think the best way to win someone is to bring them to church to hear our preacher.
Consequently, many of us have failed to keep the gospel message alive within us and available to share within a moment’s notice. (1 Pet. 3:15)
But, since each of us is to be a herald of the glad tidings, then we need to absorb the message we are to carry, and then deliver it correctly.
If we do that, then we will be fulfilling the “preaching” part.
Forget your concepts of standing in front of the church and delivering a ‘message’ or sermon. Forget about standing on a street corner and shouting at the top of your voice.
A simple conversation over a cup of coffee may lead to the possibility of preaching Jesus to your acquaintance. (Acts 8:35)
The message we carry is much more powerful than “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
We will look into that message the next time.
Your comments, criticisms, or questions are welcome here.
Please consider leaving your response below—either through words, or simply checking the appropriate box below that equals your reaction.