GOSPEL OF CHRIST
Jesus’ earthly ministry is split in two phases: first coming as the ‘lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ and second coming as judge of the living and the dead.
The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. It is good news that man, sold under sin, has been set free by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
However, there are three aspects of the Gospel each with its peculiar application and timing but all based on the broad spectrum of what Christ accomplished through suffering and death on the cross: everlasting gospel, gospel of the kingdom, and gospel of the grace of God.
The Everlasting Gospel was the proclamation of the good news of redemption to fallen Adam and Eve. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen 3:15)
God used the shed blood of animals to cover the sin of our first parents in order to deal with them in mercy. This gospel was the forerunner of the human dispensations and corresponding covenants by which God bound Himself to fulfill His promise of redeeming mankind. Because man failed in all the dispensational epochs the everlasting gospel was shelved in favor of the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Gospel of the Kingdom
The Gospel of the kingdom is the good news that God plans to set up a literal kingdom on this earth over which His Son Jesus Christ shall reign under the Davidic Covenant. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” (Mt 4:23) God promised that “the seed of David according to the flesh” shall reign over a kingdom to be established on the earth.
Isaiah prophesied that the Government of the kingdom shall be upon the shoulders of Christ. He stated further that “of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (Isa 9:7).
The Gospel of the kingdom of God was suspended when the Jews rejected their Messiah and He went to the Roman Cross to be crucified. The rejection necessitated the gospel of grace of God.
Gospel of God’s Grace
The Gospel of the grace of God is the good news that Christ died to make propitiation for fallen mankind. It concerns the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection as the properties of redemption. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11).
This aspect of the gospel covers the dispensation of grace. Whereas the everlasting gospel was given to Gentiles who were the only group of humans on the earth at the time it was given, the gospel of the kingdom was given to the whole house of Israel. Jesus said: “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mt 15:24)
Whereas the Gentiles were rejected in the matter of Tower of Babel, the Jewish rejection of Christ led to the tabernacle of David being in ruins. It will be raised again after the Tribulation.
Meanwhile, the gospel of grace of God is a second chance option to Jews and Gentiles to be part 0f “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.” It’s not an earthly kingdom.
The Gospels In Contrast
The pre-Incarnate Christ preached the everlasting gospel in the Garden of Eden. It will be preached again by an angel towards the end of the Tribulation Period.
Unlike the other aspects of the gospel, its burden is not salvation but judgment. However, it is good news to the surviving and suffering believers of the Tribulation Period as it ignites hope that their suffering would soon be over.
The proclamation of the kingdom of God has two time spans. One is past and the other is still future. The past preaching began with the Ministry of John the Baptist. Jesus and His Disciples preached it during His first coming, but it ended with the rejection of Jesus as King by the Jews.
The second time to preach the gospel of the kingdom will be during the Tribulation Period. “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 24:14).
It will be preached by 144,000 sealed Jewish Evangelists and Two Special Witnesses for a witness to the Jews. Although the Gospel will be preached for ‘a witness’ to the Jews, many people, Jews and Gentiles alike will, as a result of the preaching, ‘overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Rev 12:11) as attested to by the great tribulation multitude of martyred saints.
What has been preached since the Day of Pentecost is the gospel of grace of God. It is neither preached by the Holy Spirit nor by angels but the Holy Spirit uses the preaching to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. It is the good news being preached in the world today. It will come to an end with the rapture of the church.
It is a privilege to be alive at a time like this when preparation for evacuation to heaven is in top gear. This is the era of grace.
There is a general feeling among Christians that the ‘gospel’ has not been preached to the whole world. It is good to understand the context in which our Lord spoke. “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 24:14).
The Lord specifically mentioned the gospel of the kingdom and not the gospel of grace of God that came into existence after His death and resurrection from the dead. The burden of the gospel of the kingdom is witness and not salvation.
Gentiles have nothing to do with the gospel of the kingdom. It is an entirely Jewish affair. Nevertheless, eligible surviving Gentiles of the post-Armageddon period will be grafted into it.
Gentiles cannot preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. Also, note that the dispensation of grace MUST come to an end before attention shifts back to the dispensation of the kingdom, a literal earthly kingdom.
There is no more excuse and the trumpet summoning saints to heaven can sound any moment from now. This post is not meant to frighten but to encourage you. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Tit 2:11). There is no excuse.
Are you seriously getting ready for the airlift?