Are You Missing What Jesus Emphasized?
"Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel'” (Mark 1:14b-15).
While the message of the Kingdom of God is undoubtedly prevalent in Scripture, Christians seem to be preoccupied with other things.
For example, in America, you often hear the “gospel of salvation.” Every Sunday, thousands of Bible-believing pastors draw upon the Gospel of John to tell their congregations, “You must be born again” (John 3:7)! That’s all well and good. But let’s reflect on the “new birth” for a moment. This is a message Jesus preached only one time, to one guy in the middle of the night. Yet, if you were to listen to contemporary Evangelical sermons, you would think that it was the only message Jesus ever preached!
Obviously, different messages are emphasized in other traditions. Individuals from the Reformed tradition tend to accentuate justification by faith alone. Wesleyans emphasize holiness. Pentecostals and Charismatics highlight the power the Holy Spirit.
As vital as all these expressions are, they are not what Jesus accentuated. Instead, He was continually affirming the reality of the Kingdom of God (There are at least 103 references in the gospels alone).
From Abraham's calling to the missionary advances of Paul, God declared a myriad of messages to mankind. He sent prophets, angels, and even a donkey. Yet, one message was so momentous that He came to deliver it in person.
The declaration of God’s reign through the person and work of Jesus is the defining message of the Bible. It unifies the flow of scriptural truth, from Moses, through the Prophets, the Writings, the Gospels, the Epistles and the Revelation of John.
In this confusing hour, this Gospel of the Kingdom must become our renewed focus. This is not always easy, but we must learn to shout what God shouts and whisper what He whispers.