“Go, and preach the gospel!”
Most every Christian would agree this is what the church is supposed to do. Most every Christian has been told that the word ‘gospel’ means good news or glad tidings.
The natural question that nobody asks should be, “what is the good news?”, or “which gospel?” Hardly anyone asks this. Everyone tries to “preach the gospel” without any agreement of what it is.
There are many gospel messages in the Bible. When Christians fail to see the difference in the gospel message revealed to the apostle Paul from other gospels in the Bible, then what the church preaches becomes an uncertain sound and causes confusion.
Below is a comparison between the gospel of the grace of God, and another popular gospel, the gospel of the kingdom.
|Gospel of the Kingdom
|Gospel of Grace
|Preaches the soon coming of the king and his kingdom (Matt 3:2)||Preaches the grace of God for salvation (Rom 3:22-26)|
|The king and kingdom was promised to the nation of Israel (Luke 1:69)||The grace of God is offered freely to all (Rom 3:22)|
|The kingdom was spoken about since the world began (Acts 3:21-25)||The dispensation of God’s grace was kept secret since the world began (Rom 16:25)|
|Killing the king is a sad and wicked thing (Luke 24:17; Acts 2:23)||The crucifixion of Christ is our glory (Gal 6:14)|
|The cross of Christ was not part of the message (Luke 9:2 vs. Luke 18:34)||Requires preaching the cross (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)|
|Resurrection was not part of the message (John 20:9)||Preaching is vain without the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:14)|
|The kingdom requires performance (1 John 2:3; Matt 25:32-46)||God’s grace motivates a purpose in your heart (2 Cor 9:7; 2 Cor 5:14-15)|
|The kingdom will benefit everyone on earth (Rev 20:3-4; Isa 2:3-4)||God’s grace unto salvation benefits only those that believe (Rom 3:22)|
|Salvation comes in the future when the kingdom comes (Acts 3:19; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5)||Salvation comes at the moment of belief (Eph 1:13; Rom 5:1)|
|To be saved requires enduring to the end (Matt 24:13)||To be saved requires believing your work has come to an end (Rom 4:5)|
|There is a difference between Jew and Gentile in the kingdom (Matt 15:26; Zech 8:23)||There are no Jews or Gentiles in the church in this dispensation of grace (Gal 3:28)|
|Was given to the Twelve apostles of Israel to preach (Acts 1:3)||Was given to the apostle of the Gentiles to preach (Rom 11:13; 1 Cor 9:17; Eph 3:1-2)|
|Waiting for a kingdom of heaven to come to earth (Matt 6:10)||Preaching for those on earth to trust Christ and go to heaven (Eph 2:6-7)|
|The kingdom will be a visible presence on earth (Matt 24:27; Rev 19:11)||God’s grace is by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)|
|Healing of the sick was a sign of the kingdom (Matt 4:23; Mark 16:18)||The lack of healing is a sign of God’s sufficient grace (2 Cor 12:8-10)|
|Water baptism prepares Israel to enter the kingdom (Matt 3:3; Acts 2:38)||Baptism by the Spirit places us in the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13)|
|Continued obedience to the commandments required (Matt 23:13)||Justified without the law of Moses; not under the law (Acts 13:39; Rom 6:14)|
|Faith without works is dead (James 2:24)||Faith in the finished work of Christ gives peace and life (Rom 4:5; Rom 5:1)|
These are just a few of the differences between preaching the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of the grace of God. These are only two of the many gospels in the Bible.
If the church agrees we are to preach the gospel, it is important that we get the message right and clear. Knowing the difference between the many gospels in the Bible is the difference between a confused church and a saved church.
Today, God is dispensing his grace to a world of sinners, not his kingdom to a world in righteous judgment. It is the church’s responsibility to make all men see this mystery operation of God (Eph 3:9).
Knowing what makes the gospel of the grace of God different is necessary to make our message clear enough so that God’s will be done (1 Tim 2:4).
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4