By Calvary Callender, Lead Pastor, Lantana Community Church
The word “gospel” literally means good news.
That is why when you ask most people what the gospel message is they tell you it is that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. This surely is good news for us!
As I was reading through the gospel of John a while back, I began to notice that Jesus often refers to “good news.” I became intrigued. What is the “good news” or “gospel” that Jesus spoke about so often?
If you notice when you read the gospels and much of the New Testament, you will find that Jesus, the disciples, and the apostles repeatedly speak about the Kingdom of God. Jesus said many times, “Let me tell you the good news about the Kingdom of God.” Over and over they say this same thing. They were obsessed with the idea of the Kingdom of God.
Then it hit me, their idea of the gospel message was different from ours.
Jesus came to tell us about the Kingdom of God and show us what it looked like and let us know it is available right here and now. Over the years, I believe that we might have substituted this gospel for another.
Our gospel has become the minimum entrance requirements for heaven. I believe it is true that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and that all who believe in him and have asked for and accepted his forgiveness for our sins will get to spend eternity with him in heaven, but I also believe that as Christians we can have so much more.
The good news is not finding that magic word that helps us get into heaven and avoid hell, the good news is that the Kingdom of God is accessible to everyone right here, right now.
Remember this prayer, “Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done?” In the prayer that Jesus taught us he said, “Your kingdom come.”
Jesus primary concern was to make sure the kingdom of God was available to everyone and His purpose was to model God’s kingdom in his life, death and resurrection. Everything he did and said and thought was all about God’s kingdom.
So what does God’s kingdom look like? Think about what you imagine heaven to be like. It is a place where the outsiders and marginalized are welcomed and loved. Where the rich and poor get along. It is an awesome place, and Jesus’ mission was to model that for us.
So as Christians, remember that not only do we have our reward when we are no longer on this earth, but the Kingdom of God is available to us right here, right now. Until then, remember to look up and live.
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