The Gospel of the Kingdom

Let me warn you that this is not going to be a super deep exposition of “kingdom” from a biblical theological study. This post about the kingdom will be one of a series related to TRC’s spiritual DNA as a church.

Recently, Jennifer and I were discussing how much work it is to lead according to vision. In all of my training as a church planter and in training other church planters as part of Release, I’ve learned the vital nature of one’s tactics vertically aligning with one’s vision. All vision has some kind of DNA, and therefore will manifest itself all through the entire organization.

To keep an organization moving toward the vision requires leaders of leaders that lead leaders who lead hard-working volunteers who believe in the vision. The hard part is that over time it’s very easy to begin relaxing one’s tactics because the work is hard. Short cuts and pressure to succumb to competing vision creep in and the next thing you know your tactics are leading one completely away from the vision.

To illustrate, if you are a pilot and you take off from Rome flying to Chattanooga and dial those GPS coordinates of by just one little bit, guess what? You won’t make it to Chattanooga. A degree off will lead you to miss by miles. It’s the same with tactics and vision.

What can be overlooked in any organization is the DNA that gives rise to the vision, mission, strategy and tactics. TRC and Global Impact have a spiritual DNA that is informed by Scripture. We have a DNA that informs our end and means to get to that end. That DNA is clear and has a sequence:

KDSC

Kingdom/Disciple/Society/Church

This DNA and sequence is thoroughly biblical and life changing.

The gospel of the kingdom makes disciples who live and function in domains of society and from there the church is multiplied in all domains of society. This DNA is not only biblical, it gives practical rise doable strategies to complete the great commission.

Jesus came preaching the gospel of the kingdom. See Mark 1:14-15. Paul expounded about the kingdom because that’s how Jesus begins Acts 1. See Acts 28.

The gospel is the gospel of the kingdom. It is not the gospel of salvation. This is biblically key. 

“The kingdom of God is the reign of God. It is Jesus’ Christ, the Lord over all things in action. Wherever the will of God is being done, that’s where the kingdom is being manifested. In a very real sense Jesus is the kingdom in person.” – Bob Roberts

“The kingdom is the renewal of the whole world through entrance of supernatural forces. As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty and freedom.” – Tim Keller

“Kingdom” shows up 160 times in 151 verses in the New Testament. The “kingdom” in the New Testament is distinct from the kingdom in the Old Testament.

In the NT the kingdom is more than Israel, and the king is not a man. In the NT the kingdom is the people of God from all nations and the king is Jesus.

Everything in the OT is preparing us for the reality of the Kingdom of God that would be inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming, advanced by the church as the people of God and fully consummated at the restoration of all things when Jesus returns.

Let’s review some passages about the kingdom.

Matthew 6:33

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (food, drink, clothing, necessities and some amenities {all good and perfect gifts come down from the Father of lights with whom there is not shadow due to change})

Matthew 6:10

“…Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Mark 1:14-15 (this passages gives the gospel its content and how one enters – kingdom – repent – believe)

“Now after John was arrested, 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 the gospel.”

Matthew 13:44

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Matthew 13:31-32

“He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Matthew 13:33

“He told them another parable. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.’”

Ephesians 1:7-10

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

The good news of the kingdom is more than salvation from sin. It is that, but salvation from sin is just the entry into the larger work of the kingdom!

The culture of rescue from hell as the goal of the gospel has not only short-sighted the work of the church, but it has pillaged discipleship for the church.

If the gospel is just a rescue from hell, then once I’m rescued from hell there is not much to do other than help get others rescued from hell, huddle up and wait for rescue. The point of Jesus saving you is his praise in rescuing sinners and then his glory is his people filling the earth, proclaiming the good news and healing the domains of society as salt and light as all things are brought back under Jesus’ rule as Revelation 21-22 tell us (See Ephesians 1:7-10; Colossians 1:20). 

Salvation is not just salvation to heaven. Salvation is being made alive to see and know the king and his kingdom but then to participate in bringing the king’s rule to application in your home, your church and your domain of society on a global scale.
The good news of the kingdom makes salvation possible for all who will believe and gives those who believe a mission to subvert the work of Satan through making disciples and engaging the domains of society in all nations and establishing the church as the outpost and community of the kingdom by the Spirit’s power as we wait for Jesus to return, complete the kingdom’s establishment and completely bring Satan’s work to an end.

  1. This gospel of the kingdom is supernatural and powerful.
  2. This gospel of the kingdom will save and set on mission for a radical life full of purpose…it makes disciples, which we’ll talk about next week.
  3. This gospel of the kingdom has a king, and his name is Jesus, and his word is our law and truth.

This is not new to TRC members, but the implications of this DNA are still dawning on TRC folks. We’ll unpack KDSC over the next few weeks and wrestle with some implications as well.

Think on the kingdom and in particular the above passages of Scripture and see if the application of those passages conflict with set in assumptions.

This kingdom is a great journey, and it’s a life long journey of transformation.

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