The “Gospel of the Kingdom” Vs. the “Gospel of the Person of Jesus”

Are mainstream Christian Bible teachers and pastors really teaching what Yeshua and his apostles preached?

Recently, I received a letter where the writer asked the following question: Is the  gospel of the kingdom is different than that of the death, burial and resurrection or are the two connected?
Here is my answer to this excellent question:
The phrase, “gospel of the kingdom” is found in Matt 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mark 1:14, 15. We also find that the Gospels record that John the Baptist preached the message of repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt 3:2). The same words were used to describe the message that Yeshua preached (Matt 4:17). At the same time, both Yeshua and John preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven as well (Mark 1:14, 14 and Matt 4:23; 9:35). Yeshua’s disciples were to preach the same message to the world (Matt 24:14). Therefore, it is logical to conclude that the message the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection as the apostles taught and the gospel of the kingdom are one in the same. Succinctly, they taught that one cannot enter the the kingdom of Elohim without placing one’s faith in Messiah. Therefore, these two messages are linked, indivisible and two sides of the same coin.
The problem is that the message of the kingdom is foreign to many Christians. They know about Yeshua, but little is taught or known about the kingdom of Elohim, even though this was a core component of the gospel message. This is because, in the minds of most Christians, when you die, your immortal soul “goes back to heaven” period. So what is the relevance of talking about the kingdom of Elohim in this paradigm? Little if any. Yet the kingdom of heaven/Elohim was one of the subjects that Yeshua talked about the most—certainly more than heaven or hell!
Let’s let the data speak for itself. Years ago I cataloged by topic the subjects Yeshua talked about the most in the synoptic Gospels (Matt, Mark and Luke). This is what I discovered:

1 Yeshua Speaking About Himself (316 references)

2 Yeshua Speaking About His Father (184 references)

3 Yeshua Interacting With the Disobedient/Hypocritical Religionists (177 references)

4 Yeshua Speaking About the Kingdom of Elohim (144 references)

5 Yeshua  Talking About the Torah (96 references)

So where does the gospel message that the mainstream church preaches fit into this paradigmatic scenario? Is it really preaching what Yeshua himself preached? Well, from the data above, it seems that that they’ve got the first subject covered quite well, thank you very much. But anyone with any church experience will see that that they’ve missed it big time on subjects two through five! This, in my opinion, is why the gospel of the kingdom, not to mention the subject Torah are such foreign concepts to the average Christian.
After that, Yeshua talked most about these topics:

6 Yeshua Speaking About the  Path of Righteousness (71 references)

7 Yeshua Teaching on Judgment (58 references)

8 Yeshua Speaking About His Death, Burial and Resurrection (54 references)

9 Yeshua Teaching About Obedience/Faithfulness (45 references)

10 Yeshua Speaking About Spiritual Rewards (43 references)

Sadly, the church doesn’t have much to say about most of these subjects as well.
By comparison, some of the things about which many churches teach the most frequently are are near the bottom of the list of what Yeshua preached about if even on the list at all. These include:
  • Money: 3 references (although “the perils of materialism” had 19 references)
  • Blessings: 4 references
  • Miracles and signs: 25 references
  • Physical needs: 2 references
  • Love (brotherly): 10 references
  • Love (of Elohim for man and vice versa): 19 references
The following subjects are not on the list of topics Yeshua discussed despite the fact that they are popular subjects within Christian circles (go to any Christian book store and see what the subjects of the best selling Christian books are!).
  • Financial security
  • Pleasure and entertainment
  • Retirement
  • Sexual pleasure and fulfillment
  • Self esteem
  • Psychology
So when John and Yeshua preached the gospel of the kingdom, and when Yeshua commanded his disciples to do the same (Matt 10:7), while at the same time preaching the basic message of the good news of Yeshua the Messiah (Matt 28:18–20; Mark 16:16; etc.), this is what they did, even though the church, by in large, doesn’t preach half of the gospel message, that is, the kingdom of Elohim and repentance.
Suffice it to say, briefly, the Scriptures teach us that the kingdom of heaven/Elohim was brought to this earth by Yeshua, is currently in force among his people, and will be made universal when Yeshua returns to this earth as King of kings and establishes his millennial kingdom here. Belief and faith in Yeshua along with repentance of sin (violation of the Torah) and obedience to his Torah commands will be requisite to being a part of that kingdom.

4 thoughts on “The “Gospel of the Kingdom” Vs. the “Gospel of the Person of Jesus”

  1. The “gospel of salvation” and the “gospel of Jesus Christ” seem to me to be the two phrases the Christian church uses for what they generally think “the gospel” means. It also seems to me that these phrases are generally thought of as synonymous. It could possibly just as well be called “the gospel of the forgiveness of sins”, “the gospel of eternal life”, or “the gospel of the abundant life” (with significant emphasis on the material, natural world and the emotional pleasures as a result of continually being forgiven for everything at all times and believing that no matter how you live your life you won’t be going to hell but that you will be going to heaven when you die).

    Either way, it is pretty much all and only about the benefits one thinks they have as a result of simply believing that Jesus Christ is God and the son of God (explain that!), and the savior (the Lord part is just a title that is tacked on, mostly out of tradition).

    But it is not primarily thought of as the “gospel of the kingdom”, again, unless it is in reference to perceived benefits of “believing”, such as the power of God to do miracles or the promises of God to be received as a result of believing certain things or practicing certain principles in keeping with His kingdom.

    It is not primarily thought of as the “gospel of the kingdom” as in a kingdom with a king who has authority to make and enforce the laws of the kingdom and the ways that its citizens are to live, at least not to the extent that the Torah fully instructs us to live.

    I agree that the “gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection” of Messiah is an aspect of the “gospel of the kingdom” but would not say they are one and the same as in equal. That would be like saying that black and color are one and the same, when we know that color means more than just black. And besides, I think the “gospel of the LIFE, death, burial, and resurrection” of Messiah would be a closer comparison, for that would include Messiah living according to Torah, which is a good bit of what the “gospel of the kingdom” is about.

    [Also, you wrote, “…..even though the church, by IN large, doesn’t preach half of the gospel message”. Although I totally agree, I think the correct phrase is “by AND large”. Check it out. The etiology is interesting according to Merriam-Webster.]

    • You make a good point when you say, “I agree that the “gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection” of Messiah is an aspect of the “gospel of the kingdom” but would not say they are one and the same as in equal.” Perhaps it could be said that the latter is a subsection of the former.

      However, looking at it from a different perspective, like viewing facets of a diamond, Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection really is at the center of the gospel of the kingdom. There is no kingdom without him and without his death, burial and resurrection. This is because he’s the King, the law giver, the Ruler, the Judge, the Creator in that kingdom and the means by which people can enter that kingdom. Without him, there’s nothing, and there are no subjects to even rule over. The centrality of Yeshua vis-à-vis his kingdom was and is certainly at the forefront of the gospel message the apostolic writers present to us in the NT.

      So, in view of this, I would maintain that the message of the kingdom and the person of Yeshua are indivisible and equivalent. As the mainstream church teaches the gospel message (minus Torah and the kingdom), yes. But when preached in the gospel fullness (true repentance of sin/Torahlessness, Yeshua as the Torah-word and as ruler in his kingdom and us as his obedient subjects), yes.

      You have made some very good points in your comments. Thanks for your contribution!

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