Message of the Gospel

The church is called to proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God in every inhabited corner of the earth

Jesus Saves - Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash
After his resurrection, Jesus declared that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me - therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” During his ministry, the disciples did not preach to the nations, although Christ ministered to individual Gentiles on several occasions. Instead, they were to proclaim it only to the “lost sheep of Israel.
” - [Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash].

Once Jesus became Lord over all things, he tasked his followers with bringing the “good news of the Kingdom of God” to all nations - To Jews and Gentiles alike.

Just before his ascension, he commanded the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they “received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them.”  Thereafter, they would be “his witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the uttermost part of the earth” - (Acts 1:7-9).

The last clause is derived from the second Psalm and its vision of the anointed Son of God ruling over the earth. According to the New Testament, his messianic reign began after his resurrection and ascension:

  • I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said to me: You are my son. This day, have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH for your possession” – (Psalm 2:7-8).

As the Messiah of Israel and heir of Abraham, Jesus inherited the earth and all its nations, consequently, he now sends his heralds to announce his reign to the ends of the earth.

JEW AND GENTILE ALIKE


The Apostle Paul wrote a lengthy letter to the churches in Rome that were experiencing tensions between Jewish and Gentile members. In it, he describes himself as the “apostle to the Gentiles,” the envoy of the kingdom of God to the nations. As such, the proclamation of the gospel is his primary concern.

  • I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you also that are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith for faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith” – (Romans 1:14-17).

And this Apostle declares that the “righteousness of God” is received through faith in Jesus by all who believe, BOTH JEW AND GREEK, for with God “there is no distinction” or “respect of person.” Everyone stands or falls before Him on the same basis.

Sin is the Great Leveler. It puts everyone in the same desperate place - both Jews and Gentiles alike.

And because “God is one” and the Creator of all men, He offers salvation to everyone regardless of ethnicity, and to each on the same basis. Comprehending this proposition is the key to understanding the first chapters of Romans:

  • (Romans 3:22-30) – “A righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all that have faith; FOR THERE IS NO DISTINCTION, for all have sinned and lack the glory of God; being declared righteous freely by his grace. through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… Where, then, is the boasting! It is excluded. Through what kind of law? Of works? Nay, but through a law of faith. For we reckon that a man is to be declared righteous by faith apart from works of law. Or is God the God of Jews only, and not of the Gentiles also? Yea! of the Gentiles also, If, at all events, God is one, who will declare righteous the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through their faith.

FROM THE FAITH OF JESUS


But now, “in Christ,” all men are set right on the same basis, whether Jew or Gentile, namely, FROM THE FAITH OF JESUS.  There is no basis for human boasting or self-confidence “since all have sinned and lack the glory of God.” And Paul appeals to his monotheistic faith to support this idea:

  • Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one and will justify the circumcised from faith and the uncircumcised through faith.”

No man is advantaged or disadvantaged before God because of his ethnicity, social position, economic status, or gender. As Paul writes to the church in Colossae:

  • But now do you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth: lie not one to another; seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all and in all.” – (Colossians 3:9-11).

In Jesus, God is creating a new humanity comprised of men and women from every nation and culture, and He is shaping it to conform to the image of His Son.

Moreover, the traditional distinctions of race, gender, social, and economic status are now wholly inappropriate in the kingdom of God. What each believer has in common will all others is the “faith of Jesus.”

The announcement of this glorious salvation is one message intended for all men - the gospel of Jesus transcends all man-made walls and divisions. All believers are:

  • The sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise” - (Galatians 3:28).

MISSION


The primary task of the Church is to proclaim this good news in every inhabited corner of the earth, and its completion is necessary before the return of Jesus in glory.


Glass Globe - Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash
[Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash]


National borders, cultural imperatives, and ethnic barriers will not prevent the “kingdom of God” from reaching its ordained consummation - (Matthew 24:14).

The day is coming when the destructive works of the Devil will vanish from the earth.  Sin, Satan, disease, and death will be eliminated from the world.

This grand and final victory will coincide with the “arrival” of Jesus in power at the “end of the age” when he resurrects the righteous dead, vanquishes “death,” rewards his faithful followers, and ushers in the final kingdom in all its grandeur - (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

Thereafter, God will reign without hindrance throughout the earth, indeed, over the entire universe.

In the interim, His sons and daughters are called to proclaim this Good News to every man and woman. And all who do hear and respond in faith will receive salvation and everlasting life.



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