The Kingdom Gospel and Its Influence

For many years I looked for something I dared call “the church”; something I was confident would be the recipient of the promises of God that are made only to “the church.” Perhaps the greatest of the promises I hoped to see the fulfillment of was Philippians 1:6. Were the members of that church, across the board and with few exceptions, growing and being dealt with by God?

I had never encountered such a church.

The other qualification I was looking for was a church that had not crystallized. I really didn’t believe it was possible in our modern society, with so much truth lost and Christians so comfortable with ignoring large portions of Scripture, that a church could really have recovered everything. Thus, a church that is following Jesus their King and learning infallibly from the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. 2:26-27), should be learning, and thus changing, on an ongoing basis.

I finally found such a church, and I have remained with them for 20 years. Thus, I change, too.

Yesterday, I referenced my Christian history site, and I cringed just a bit. I have had the site since 2009, and I long to go back through it and make some adjustments.

Don’t get me wrong. I was careful with the historical parts of the site, and they are based on solid history. However, I’m hardly the kind of person who stands idly by to let history speak for itself. Too many people ignore history. I can’t just write about it; I have to apply it.

I don’t want to retract those applications, the “proclamation” parts of the site. They’re not incorrect. I just want to improve them.

In specific, I have only recently come to understand the kingdom of God. About a year ago, I had someone sit down and show me what the Scriptures have to say about “the Gospel of the Kingdom.” I was astonished that I missed it, and as my understanding of the Kingdom Gospel has grown, so has my respect for the importance of it.

I have the privilege of being the publisher for my friend’s book on the subject, called Forgotten Gospel, which I am thrilled to recommend. We are hoping for a late November release date. Stay tuned at gsetpublishing.com.

The Gospel of the Kingdom has infiltrated its way into everything I teach, everything I say. It affects my life, and I have been running across missionaries and theologians who have learned and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.

I would love to revamp the teaching parts of Christian-history.org to infiltrate the Kingdom Gospel into it the way it’s integrated into my current teaching.

Quote concerning the Kingdom Gospel: “The things Paul shared out here about the kingdom were incredible. It changes the way you read the scriptures. Make sure you hear about it. Go to a gathering in Memphis! Then ask him to share what he shared here. And make sure your kids are there listening.”

What is the Gospel of the Kingdom?

Simply said, it is the Announcement that there is a new King, and that King is Jesus of Nazareth. That King is chosen by God, and he will destroy all other governments and reign forever. He is given authority by God to rule over the living and the dead, and one day he will judge everyone who has ever lived.

In the early days of the faith, the Announcement of the new King was done by those who witnessed his resurrection. The resurrection was the proof that Jesus is this prophesied King.

Today, the Announcement of the new King should be made by those churches who have descended from that original message and those original churches. Those churches, according to the King himself, can prove to the world by their unity and love that he is King (Jn. 13:34-35; 17:20-23).

Frightening, isn’t it?

What is frightening is that Christians are known for division and bickering, not unity and love. How are we to prove that he is King without witnesses of the resurrection and without the breathtaking spiritual unity and love that descends from heaven?

Not to worry. We’re prone to thinking about the universal church, but the universal church has very little practical application in our lives.

I am not denying that the universal church, that great cloud of witnesses, may have an important influence on our lives by their prayers and a general spiritual connection. And I am certainly not denying that the universal church is important. I am saying, however, that if you want a real and ongoing impact on your life, it’s the local church you need.

It’s the local church that will exhort you daily (Heb. 3:13), consider how to provoke you to love and good works (Heb. 10:24), assemble with you (Heb. 10:25), bear your burdens (Gal. 6:1-4), listen to your confessions and pray for you (Jam. 5:16), do their part to grow together with you into Jesus (Eph. 4:16), protect you from deception (Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Jn. 2:26-27), rebuke and correct you (2 Tim. 3:16), share their possessions with you (2 Cor. 8:13-15), and in every way be the family of God and support of the truth with you (1 Tim. 3:15).

Whether “christendom” reveals the love and unity that the Spirit of God creates, we, as the local body of the King, who is our head, can devote ourselves to one another. We can—by the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and by the guidance of the anointing of God—give ourselves to maintaining the unity of Spirit in love and to building each other up in obedience to our King who has bestowed on us the Spirit of God.

We, together, can prove the Gospel message, that Jesus is King.

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8 Responses to The Kingdom Gospel and Its Influence

  1. Restless Pilgrim says:

    > We’re prone to thinking about the universal church, but the universal church has very literal practical application in our lives.

    Did you mean to say “little” rather than “literal”?

    > It’s the local church that will exhort you daily…

    Sure, but at the same time, the universal Church must impact us in a real way if we are, in fact, part of a body, with hurt and honour propagating through the members (1 Cor 12:26).

    > Simply said, it is the Announcement that there is a new King, and that King is Jesus of Nazareth. That King is chosen by God, and he will destroy all other governments and reign forever. He is given authority by God to rule over the living and the dead, and one day he will judge everyone who has ever lived.

    I don’t disagree with any of this, but most of what you say here about the Kingdom restricted to the subject of the King (and, to a significant degree, rightfully so). However, what actually is the Kingdom? When Jesus spoke about “the kingdom”, His hearers no doubt immediately thought of the restoration of the Kingdom of David.

    However, as we see in the Scriptures, God’s vision of the Kingdom exceeded the nationalistic expectations of Jesus’ contemporaries. The Catholic understanding is that the Kingdom is the Church that, just as Jesus fulfilled all the promises of David, so does the Church fulfill the promises of the Kingdom. Where do you stand on that?

    • paulfpavao says:

      I agree with your last paragraph wholeheartedly.

      It is true that I have focused on the King, not the kingdom, in the last two, or maybe three, posts on the subject. That is because I was focusing on “Gospel” more than “kingdom.” I think I can appeal to Acts as a defense that the Gospel of the kingdom starts with the King. It as after a response to the Gospel that the repentant sinner is taught about the kingdom he has now entered.

      I hope, though, that I have not avoided spending time on the subject of the church, not even in this post. In my mind, what I say about the church is about the kingdom, and vice versa. Maybe I need to make that more clear, especially if it’s not clear even to you.

      • Restless Pilgrim says:

        No, that’s cool 🙂 At the moment I’m leading a Bible study going through Mark’s Gospel, so we’re spending a lot of time talking about the Kingdom so it’s on my mind a lot.

        The only thing I would slightly quibble with is where you say here is “It as after a response to the Gospel that the repentant sinner is taught about the kingdom he has now entered.”. Isn’t the Kingdom part of the good news of the Gospel (“The good news of the Kingdom”)? This Kingdom is itself the realization of God’s various past covenant promises, particularly those of Abraham and David. The King has come, yes, but not only that, He has restored the Kingdom! Not only has He restored the Kingdom, but He now invites us into this Kingdom, both Jew and Gentile into this family of God. Now that’s good news 🙂

        • paulfpavao says:

          I’ll take the fault here for being too picky.

          I was using Gospel to mean “only what I can find that the apostles said to the LOST in the Bible.” Basically, what they preached to the lost in Acts was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then they baptized and laid on hands. Then “with many other words he testified and exhorted.” I was limiting myself to what the apostles said before baptism and only what is recorded in Scripture.

          Of course, the Scripture uses “Gospel” more widely than that, as do the fathers. And of course the Gospel of the kingdom must include “teaching about the kingdom of heaven.”

          I was just being technical, and one never gets things right when one gets too technical.

  2. Jim Collins says:

    This is a post that will make the heart of any disciple beat faster.

  3. aussielogo1 says:

    Well Paul well said. Honestly I don’t like half of what you write, but today you nailed it. Lets talk more about the Kingdom and it’s coming King, as I truly believe this message is being revived for the final harvest to come in. The church should being singing it concert, but I think the remnant will as we practice true love as you wrote in the unity of the Spirit. And may I add “till we come to the unity of the faith”

    • paulfpavao says:

      Well, thanks for being honest with me. Since I don’t know which half you don’t like, I may not change anything, but the Kingdom and its King is certainly the most important subject I can think of, and we appear to agree on that.

      • aussielogo1 says:

        Paul, thank you for gracefully receiving my comment. To clarify my remark – There was nothing in this article I dislike, just that some of your posts are like ramblings of your mind with very little meat or practical purpose for a disciple. But, brother I continue follow your posts because it is refreshing to see a man who is ready to embrace the truth with no regards for self preservation. Even through I think you get it wrong sometimes, I see you are really striving to enter in through the strait gate and narrow path on your journey of being a real disciple of Christ Jesus.

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