David Burge Updates

David Burge updates his journey with leukemia

The Gospel of the Kingdom

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When most people think of the gospel (that is, the “good news” itself, not one of the first four books of the New Testament) they think only of the death of Jesus for our sins and his subsequent rising again. But Jesus preached the gospel for perhaps years without ever mentioning his coming death and resurrection. He sent out his disciples to likewise preach the gospel even though they understood nothing of his coming death and resurrection. All this tells me that the gospel is a much, bigger, grander story than is often told, not only about the renewal of my heart but of the renewal of the whole world.

THERE’S A NEW WORLD COMING!

Turn on the TV, Read the newspaper. Listen to the radio. You will see our world is just as Jesus said it would be (Matthew 24:6-7): kingdom rises up against kingdom, nation against nation. Wherever you turn you hear of wars and rumours of wars.

The politicians and soldiers of this world, try as they might, are pretty much powerless to do anything about it.

That’s the bad news!

The good news is that there is a better world coming!

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS

Almost 2000 years ago Jesus came proclaiming a message that is still known today as “the good news”. The good news or gospel according to Jesus is that:

  1. God will fulfil his promise to overthrow all the corrupt kingdoms of this world and replace them with a kingdom of everlasting righteousness (as seen in Daniel Chapter 2; and Chapter 7, especially verses 13-14, and 27).
  1. Jesus Christ is the long promised king of that coming kingdom (Mat. 2:2, 27:11, Luke 23:2-3).
  1. By his death, burial, resurrection and ascension into heaven Jesus has made a way for God to forgive all our sins and make us fit to reign forever with Jesus in that coming kingdom (See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, and 50-57. This also explains what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:2).
  1. We now look for a literal, personal, visible return of Christ to raise immortal the sleeping dead, to immortalize the faithful living, to destroy evil and evil doers, and to reign forever on a renewed heaven and earth (1 Corinthians 15 again with 1Thessalonians. 4:13-17, and Revelation Chapters 21 and 22).
  2. Our response to this word determines our destiny (Luke 8:12).

OUR RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL

We need to turn from selfish ways to the way of God. That is repentance (Ecc. 7:20, Rom. 3:23, Acts 17:30).

We must accept Jesus’ kingdom message and accept him as both our Sin-bearer and our Sovereign. That is what it means to believe in him or to have faith (Luke 8:15, Mat. 13:23, John 8:24).

We show our acceptance of his message by publicly confessing him as Lord and being immersed in water. That is baptism (Rom. 10:9-10, Mat. 10:32-33, Acts 2:41, 9:9, 17-19, 16:33).

We are to live out the teachings of Messiah Jesus until we sleep in death or until Jesus comes again. That is faithfulness (2Tim. 4:6-8, Mat. 24:13).

We must all go through many trials to enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). That is perseverance.

Neither baptism, nor faithfulness, nor perseverance are “works” by which we earn our salvation. Rather they are the outward expression – the proof, if you like – of the inner change that the Holy Spirit works in our hearts when we believe.

No one can promise you an easy life in this world. Hard times will come. But Jesus has promised a better world is coming – you can be a part of it, if you have faith enough to follow him.

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Written by admin

January 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

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