The modern American church has done a great disservice to God. Too many of us have defined “the gospel” as only going to heaven and avoiding hell. This is, of course, a part of the meaning. But it so badly misses the mark of what the Bible lays out as Jesus’ full message that we ought to just go back to the beginning and start over. As I look around our society I see many of us living out the results of having the gospel wrong.
I mentioned the kingdom on Friday but I want to build on this concept this week. The Bible Project has done a great job of distilling some key points:
“When Jesus of Nazareth appeared on the scene, he went around announcing the good news about God’s Kingdom. He was proclaiming that the promised royal arrival of Israel’s God, foretold by the prophet Isaiah, was coming to pass. But Jesus’ claim was even more grand. He claimed he was the one who would bring God’s reign into reality, here on earth as it is in heaven.”
“The Christian gospel is the announcement that Jesus is the divine king of the world who lived, died, and was raised to be the ruler we so desperately need. And if a new king is in charge, this means that a new way of life is in order.”
Why does this matter? It matters because we are all looking for how to live in this moment. Corona-virus, politics, school starting back, economic uncertainty, injustice, unrest. What are we going to do? It matters because the full gospel is not just about what happens later – it’s about how we live now. It’s the message of the whole kingdom – a new way of life. This touches every aspect of who we are and how we live – especially how we interact with the world now. Why else would Jesus teach us to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven?”
So this week, let’s lean into the fullness of the good news of God – that Jesus is the King of a new kind of kingdom, and we are invited to be a part. Let us live into the realities of following our King every day – being near him, listening to him, obeying his ways – in every area of our lives.
Grace and Peace,