Do you preach a gospel of Salvation or a gospel of the kingdom of God?
The words, "kingdom of God" appear 32 times in Luke and 15 times in Mark. The word, "salvation" only appears 5 times in Luke and 1 time in Mark. To be fair, I will also include the word, "saved" which appears 7 times in Luke and 5 times in Mark.
To go even further...In the entire New Testament, "kingdom of God" is mentioned 69 times, "saved" is mentioned 57 times and "salvation" is the least mentioned appearing 43 times.
Do you think that churches are and should be preaching the "gospel" of Salvation? And what is the significance in preaching the kingdom of God as Jesus did?
Mark 1:14, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,"
Luke 4:43, "And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent."
Luke 9:2, (to the 12 disciples) "And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick."
Luke 9:60, "Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God."
A lot of things that were acceptable four thousand years ago, are no longer acceptable, or appropriate, today.
For instance, slavery, and the stoning to death of women who were not faithful.
Although the Bible refers to GOD'S REALM as the KINGDOM OF GOD. We must acknowledge that the word KINGDOM refers to an area of land ruled by a fallible and mortal King. THE OMNIPOTENT CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE IS INFALLIBLE, IMMORTAL, ETERNAL, OMNIPRESENT, GENDERLESS, OMNIPERCIPIENT, OMNIFIC, RIGHTEOUS, AND PERFECT. As a consequence, I think that giving the OMNIPOTENT CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE EARTHLY TITLES, AND EARTHLY NAMES, IS GROSSLY DISRESPECTFUL.
Dear Mr. Thomson,
Thank you for your two queries.
According to THE NEW SHORTER OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY (PAGE 1995), OMNIFIC means: ALL-CREATNG.
The word GENDERLESS is unsuitable for the description of human beings and animals, for ANATOMICAL REASONS. However, it is perfectly suitable for the description of SPIRITUAL ENTITIES LIKE GOD AND SATAN, because they are INVISIBLE AND NON-PROCREATIVE.
The only problem is that there are no EQUIVALENT NEUTER WORDS FOR "HE", "HIM", AND "HIS".
Dear Mr. Thompson, (continued)
There is a simple solution to this problem. One should always specify the identity of the DEITY UNDER DISCUSSION.
With all due respect, I strongly believe that the OMNIPOTENT CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GIVEN A NAME AND A GENDER. WHY? BECAUSE THAT ACT WAS GROSSLY DISRESPECTFUL.
Prophet – Thank you for your response. While I understand the significance of the information when applied to neutral and general (pagan or mythological) deities, I am concerned only with scriptural word references. The Bible has declared God as He has chosen to reveal Himself - in the Male gender - so as to complement his identity as Father. In His Incarnation He chose the Male gender as well in the Son. Therefore, the notion that He is gender-less is an inaccurate assumption.
As for the term ‘omnific’- I also reject the use of that term when relating to the One True God of the Bible. Because there are many things that exist that God did NOT create, I reject this term associated with GOD the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Genesis also declares the CREATION account, specifically noting that God FINISHED it & rested from it (on the 7th day). God is NOT 'all-creating'. He did not create evil, temptations, or aberrant behavior!
Dear Mr. Thompson,
Thank you for your response.
As I mentioned in my initial comment, "A lot of things that were acceptable four thousand years ago, are no longer acceptable, or appropriate, today".
Unfortunately, thousands of years ago, women were regarded as inferior human beings. The patriarchal system, and male dominance, made them useful only for breeding. So, it was inevitable that the authors of the Bible would make the OMNIPOTENT CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE A MALE,
Dear Mr. Thompson, (continued)
The authors of the BIBLE WERE FULLY AWARE THAT GOD IS A SPIRITUAL ENTITY AND. AS A CONSEQUENCE, INVISIBLE AND GENDERLESS, BUT NEEDED TO MAKE GOD A FATHER FIGURE FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. The next mistake they made was to give GOD A NAME!
Many centuries will pass before all CHRISTIANS, JEWS, AND MUSLIMS WILL ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THE OMNIPOTENT CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE IS AN INVISIBLE, GENDERLESS SPIRIT THAT CAN CREATE TRILLIONS OF HUMAN BEINGS IN ONE SECOND.
Dear Mr. Thompson, (continued)
Regarding the rejection of the word OMNIFIC as one of GOD'S MANY ATTRIBUTES, LET ME REMIND YOU THAT SATAN WAS CREATED BY THE OMNIPOTENT CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE BECAUSE THAT WAS PART OF HIS DIVINE PLAN.
SATAN IS ALSO A GENDERLESS INVISIBLE SPIRITUAL ENTITY, LIKE GOD.
Dear Mr. Thompson,
When ANOOX elevated you to the creditable status of "DEMIGOD", I assumed that it was done on the grounds of SUPERIOR BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE, AND SUITABLE RELIGIOUS CREDENTIALS. Unfortunately, my assumption was wrong.
You surprised me greatly, when you recently admitted that you never heard of the word OMNIFIC. When I advised you that it means: ALL CREATING, YOU ARBITRARILY REJECTED IT!
REJECTING ONE OF THE OMNIPOTENT CREATOR'S MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES IS NOT ONLY
Dear Mr Thompson, (continued)
DISRESPECTFUL, IT IS ALSO UNPARDONABLY OFFENSIVE!
I am sorry to advise you that such a flagrant offense could secure you a permanent residence in HADES.
All the MEMBERS OF MY SPIRITUAL ORGANIZATION (THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN), AGREE THAT YOU ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE.
Your fate will be decided on JUDGEMENT DAY.
Sir, (prophet) I respectfully assure you that I had nothing to do with Anoox label of demigod. I only assume it is their appointment of title due to their point system for number of Q&A responses. My services are based upon my personal experience as a pastor-teacher, counselor, theologian. Obviously, you took NO time to read mjthompsons.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/explaining-the-existence-of-evil/ which addresses ALL of the points you used to judge me. I read "THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN" & have
seen similar beliefs in Mormon teachings, but I do not agree with them. Neither do I accept your posted offer on your Anoox profile of "A NEW RELIGION THAT WILL BE ADOPTED UNIVERSALLY IN THE YEAR 3000, PROVIDED WE DO NOT HAVE A THIRD WORLD WAR IN THE MEANTIME." That is NOT at all scriptural by any 'expert' theology.
I will give an analogy in order to properly address your question. Lets imagine a young boy who was stolen from his mom at birth who has lived all his childhood life behind bars and has never envisioned a world outside them before because he has been brainwashed by his guardians (the thieves who stole him) to believe that there is no 'world' besides the prison that he is in. The prison is the limit of his experience. Now lets also imagine that a good Samaritan heard about his plight and decided to save him from his prison when his guardians were away. In order to "save" the young boy, the good samaritan must 1st of all convince him that there is a much wider and "better world" than the tiny and restrictive one that he has become acquainted with (i.e good news). The young boy can be likened to us humans. The guardians can be likened to the devil and his agents. The good Samaritan can be likened to Christ. The better world can be likened to the Kingdom of God and the tiny and...
..restrictive world (i.e the prison) can be likened to this world of sin that is designed to distract us from God (1 John 2:15, James 4:4) We preach the Kingdom in order that men may hear of it and be saved (From the prison of sin). Conversely,
we are saved (from sin) in order that we may partake in the Kingdom of God. So the Gospel of salvation involves preaching the Kingdom of God and we must be saved in order that we may partake in God's Kingdom (John 3:16, Mark 16:16) so they are pretty..
They're both interelated. You have to be saved first to enter into the kningdom of God. The gospel of the kingdom of God tells us what the kingdom of God is like. The gospel of salvation tells us how to enter into the kingdom of God. In John 3:3 & 5, Jesus tells us we must be born again of water & of the Spirit to see and enter into the kingdom of God. In Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out, and the church was born. This is when the New Testament salvation went into effect by the blood and death of Jesus Christ. Peter explained to the people what was happening, explaining the prophecies about Christ, and preaching Jesus, proclaiming that God has made Him Lord and Christ. Acts 2:1 - 36. And they were convicted in their hearts, and asked what they should do (verse 37). >
Then Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (verses 38 & 39).
That is how we are saved. That is how we are born again and enter into the kingdom of God.
TWIC: Just an interesting note - although I am non-denominational, meaning that I do not hold to any one specific denominational doctrine - the American Baptist Convention met recently & delivered this clarification in their doctrine. They have now revised their focus on baptism related to salvation to allow infant baptism & sprinkling as well as full immersion. Of course many will perceive this as apostasy, but its intent is to rightfully place the EMPHASIS on Christ, NOT baptism.
Because they don't understand baptism. The focus of baptism is Jesus. In the book of Acts, when the Holy Spirit was first poured out, & the church was born, that's when the New Testament salvation went into effect by the blood & death of Jesus, as given in Acts 2:38. And the apostles always baptized in the name of Jesus. Because it's all founded upon Jesus Christ. In Luke 24:47, Jesus said repentance & remission of sins should be in His name. Repentamce & baptism are done by faith in Jesus. >
And when we're baptized on the name of Jesus, we take the Lord's name upon ourselves. Also, baptism means immerse. If you sprinkle or pour water, it's not baptism. And infants can't be baptized. We must hear & believe the gospel & repent, giving our life to the Lord, before we can be baptized. And this change they're making doen't make things focus on Jesus. All they're doing is adding another method of baptism. So they're just saying that as an excuse.
“You blind guides, which strain at a gnat,& swallow a camel” – Mt.23:24. In your own words “The focus of baptism is Jesus”. – therefore the ‘manner’ is NOT an emphasis that qualifies as sufficient for SOUND DOCTRINE. That the Baptists (I am NOT Baptist) have finally recognized THAT is to their credit, NOT detriment! Jesus wants unity NOT divisions over non-essential dogmas of man.
I've only pointed out the scriptures, and brought the meaning out. It's what God says, not man. And God wants unity in the Spirit, not unity of man. Especially when man is uniting against God's word. Remember the tower of Babyl. That's what the spirit of this thing is.
RonSM - Your reply indicates you may have missed my agreement with your stated "spirit of this thing". I even re-posted your declaration “The focus of baptism is Jesus”. I understand & except that baptism is a sacred 'initiation' into one's new walk in Christ. Certainly the scriptures you shared indicate that. It is only the confusion over terminology that leads to debate about semantics (usually by uneducated non-linguists) that I was addressing. I appreciate your perspective. Peace!
Saintly Mic - The real 'trick' is getting away from the trivial variance in terms. The very fact that the NUMBER of times each term is used in the KJV indicates that an erroneous order of prominence was perceived. While definite importance regarding the number of times a teaching is enumerated for its inclusion in any SOUND DOCTRINE, too many terms have equally proper synonyms to attempt to make any similar arguments reliable. An objective study of ALL English translations other than the KJV
MJ, your comments are purely speculative. Questions have a maximum character limit so the word, "churches" should of been included in the original question. But, I do clarify this in the detailed section of my question. So, the context should be in regards to churches.
However, I do agree the question could of been worded better. But, let's move onto what I actually meant. Where I live, I visit different churches and I never hear the pastors preach about the kingdom of God.
As you reference below, this is a "necessary part of the whole gospel". If it's a necessary part then why are pastors and churches leaving it out and not talking about it? What are the people in church missing out on by not hearing about it and what is the significance in including it in sermons?
Derek - I hope you didn't think my 'speculative' response was based upon any mere assumptions. While you clarified "the context should be in regards to churches", it DOES NOT change what I shared regarding numbers, terms, & translations. Yes, pastors should include in their TEACHING the relevance of the kingdom of God, but the exact phrase need not be cited specifically if others are conveyed as equal & synonymous. It is the CONCEPT that must be presented. A rose by any other name... Peace!
As for a more direct ANSWER to your original inquiry, "what is the significance in preaching the kingdom of God as Jesus did?" - Jesus used the term when speaking to EXCLUSIVELY Jewish audiences - who were very familiar with the term, unlike Gentiles (which most modern Christians are) who are NOT well acquainted with the term. Confusion among believers even today has resulted from inadequate teaching regarding the term. Many fail to understand that it is a spiritual experience, NOT a literal
& physical earthly kingdom. Many scriptures refer to this & Jesus sums it all up by saying, " “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” - Jn. 18:36.
Jesus will rule and reign on this Earth for 1,000 years.
After that the last war, then judgement.
Then the New Heaven, New Earth, and the New Jerusalem.
I write about all this in my short story titled: href="http://www.jesusisgod.com/Blog/questions/question/why-are-we-still-here-lord/">WHY ARE WE STILL HERE LORD?
SaintlyMic – please reconcile your statement “Jesus will rule and reign on this Earth for 1,000 years” with these scriptures: “Now I saw a NEW heaven & a NEW earth, for the 1st heaven & the 1st earth had PASSED AWAY. Also there was no more sea” – Rev. 2:1. & “…the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up … the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat” – 2Pt. 3:10-12.
The inclusion of the numbers ‘1st’ applied to both heaven & earth together with the adjective describing another heaven & earth as ‘NEW’ refute the claim about ‘THIS EARTH’ which are both destined to be ‘dissolved’. Peace!
NOTICE: How can there be ANY future reign of Christ on THIS present earth, when the description of the NEW earth includes a distinct difference from THIS earth by virtue of the fact that THIS earth is two-thirds sea, but the NEW earth has no sea?
The New Earth does NOT come until after the White Throne Judgement.
The White Throne Judgement comes after the LAST WAR with satan.
The LAST WAR comes AFTER Jesus rules for 1,000 years.
Read Revelation chapter 20, ALL OF IT.
It is all there.
By the way, Armageddon is NOT the last war, as many teach.
Armageddon is the next to last war.
Armageddon is lead by the antichrist and the false prophet.
The LAST WAR is lead by satan himself.
SaintlyMic - Thanks for the response. We agree regarding the NEW heaven & earth coming AFTER final judgement. It is the whole Dispensational view of scriptures included in the 2nd Coming of Christ - pre-trib, post- trib, pan-trib - that are constantly debated that ALL agree are to happen BEFORE, that I was hoping to direct attention to. While ALL those 'theories' are popular & held as FACT by many, the debates continue because ALL of them are MERELY THEORIES until God reveals the TRUTH
& it becomes a deep seated conviction of reality (absolutely, irrevocably, undoubtedly) in the heart of each true believer. Until & unless these proposed teachings related to eschatology become as unified & consistent matters of personal FAITH as one's SALVATION, they MUST remain speculative THEORIES -NOT FACT. Sincere & honest believers MUST humbly acknowledge that we do not know many things God has not chosen to reveal to us & the several things that He has given us a glimpse into such as
prophecy must be accepted as rather vague & ambigious, rather than well established components of sound doctrine equal to faith in GOD. Unfortunately, too many self-proclaiming Christians DO NOT endure sound doctrine because they do not even know how to identify sound doctrine. Even when they read scripture that declares truth, they tend to rely on their natural intellect rather than trusting the leading of the Holy Spirit, without which, they will NEVER properly discern TRUTH.
As with ALL things spiritual, unless the spirit of Christ reveals the proper interpretation, no one can claim that they hold the TRUTH exclusive of other possible explanations. "The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" - 1Cor.2:14. Peace!
For further information about a balanced, objective, non-denominational approach to scriptural eschatology please read my article specifically written to address this topic. https://mjthompsons.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/scriptural-eschatology/
Did you read Revelation chapter 20 to verify my comment regarding Revelation chapter 20?
The chapter makes it very clear that Jesus will rule only 1,000 years on this earth, in person.
Citing human error is just an excuse to not accept scripture, which is self evident, especially Revelation chapter 20.
Even a child could understand nearly all that chapter, until some idiot tries to complicate it through denial.
By the way, I'm NOT a Dispensationist.
I don't adhere to doctrines of men.
Because the QUESTION seems to perceive a difference between the terms ‘gospel’, ‘the kingdom of God’, & ‘salvation’, I’ll start by addressing that. ALL 3 are really necessary parts of the WHOLE. ‘Gospel’ means literally ‘good news’. True followers of Christ are to preach the ‘good news’ that by HIS sacrifice for our sins, we may be reconciled to GOD through HIM. The ‘kingdom of God’ is a spiritual realm to which those who hear & accept the ‘good news’ are permitted entrance. “Salvation’ is the scriptural term used to refer to the reality of a person’s becoming a ‘new creation’ by virtue of being ‘born again’ the necessary requirement for entering the ‘kingdom of God’. This is of course, merely a superficial response. The full ANSWER requires a much more thorough explanation. Throughout the book of Acts there are passages that indicate ALL were preached by the Apostles, but the phrase ‘preach Christ’ became the unifying motive.
Paul suffered persecution for his preaching shared, “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy & strife, & some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; & in this I rejoice, yes, & will rejoice” - Phil. 1:15-18.
So, as to the QUESTION –“Do you preach a gospel of Salvation or a gospel of the kingdom of God?” – the ANSWER is, “I preach Christ”. I tell people who He is, introduce them to His claims & promises, & invite them to ask Him into their hearts, for without a personal relationship with God in Christ, a person may merely serve a religious system based on Christ’s teachings, yet NEVER come to KNOW Him. Jesus warned NOT to be naïve to THAT dilemma.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven …many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not done many wonders in Your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I NEVER KNEW you; depart from Me…” MT. 7:21-22. Therefore it is important NOT to get hung up on mere semantics, debating terminology & concepts about the gospel message. The center of the true gospel is Christ, as is ALL scripture as well.
The Spirit of the Word rather than the Letter of Law is what ‘good news’ true believers now live. “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, & always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” – 1Pt.3:15.
The number of times each phrase or term is mentioned in the Bible is both high. Often in the Scriptures, certain phrases are used interchangeably to mean, essentially, the same thing. That's what you have here. Being Born Again is another such phrase you can throw in here, if you will. No one can even approach the Kingdom of God unless they are Born Again (or a recipient of God's heavenly Salvation). The Gospel of God's Salvation IS the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Yet both phrases become meaningless if you are not Born Again (or born from above or born of His Holy Spirit). God's Message is not split, chopped or divided. It is ONE Message, even as He is ONE. Those who receive His Message (His Son, which is His Word, which is His Salvation) will have eternal life (Salvation, the New Birth, entrance into the Kingdom of God, divine Redemption...) Look at what the Words and phrases point to, then you'll better understand their meaning. God bless you!