HOUSMAIL Number HM#018 - THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD 28 January 1999
Of course we must never forget that the Good News about the Future Kingdom Of God is an indispensable element of the Gospel. It is the prime plan and purpose of creation. It is the goal towards which God is working. We MUST preach it.
But neither may we forget that it is NOT THE WHOLE GOSPEL.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God also promises GREAT PRESENT BENEFITS in the spiritual and physical realm, for those who are content with what God gives.
For those who are willing to REPENT, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God offers a CONDITIONAL redeeming sacrifice by which we may be set free from the penalty of sin NOW; it offers freedom from guilt NOW; and it offers release NOW from fear of future judgement and condemnation. (1 John 4:17-18)
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God defines the real meaning of HOLINESS and PURITY of heart, and then calls us to live that way NOW ..... and the Good News about THAT is that this is NOT IMPOSSIBLE for those disciples who submit themselves to be taught by Jesus. (1 John 3:3, 5:3-5)
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God offers a Spiritual Rebirth NOW, and a New Life NOW, in which our whole inner nature is to be progressively transformed into the LIKENESS OF GOD. (Eph 4;24)
To those who obey Jesus, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God offers the Holy Spirit NOW as God's GUARANTEE of the future. (John 14:15-16, Eph 1:13-14)
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God offers ETERNAL LIFE NOW! (1 John 5:13) Of course this present aspect of "eternal life" is not yet immortality. However, what we do have is just as validly called ETERNAL, because it is a quality of life which is everlasting for those who possess it NOW. A TEMPORARY sleep in death cannot change its eternal quality.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God promises that when we have intelligent faith that we have properly understood the will of God, and when we have asked as Jesus would ask, our prayers made NOW, will be answered in all sorts of amazing ways. (John 14:13-14, 1 John 3:22, 5:14-15)
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God promises that the Father and the Son together, will come to us NOW, to make their home with us NOW! (John 14:23)
And since those present things are such non-negotiable elements of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, we MUST preach them, as prominently as we do those other things about the future.
I spent a great deal of my earlier life amongst people who MAJORED in the future, but did not know how to preach effectively about the present. Some of them even went so far as to PREACH AGAINST some of the promises just described! And while the rest of us listened to them, we remained DEAD in our sins, and were left without either faith or hope.
Knowing ABOUT the future is not enough.
It is those other essential elements which combine with the promise of the future, to bring FAITH and HOPE alive!