The Gospel of the Kingdom


So we have the Gospel of eternity. But what we’re concerned with is Matthew 24:14…

“This gospel of the kingdom…

Notice it’s emphatic – this gospel of the kingdom.

The Gospel of salvation? Yes, we have the Gospel of salvation. The Gospel of peace? Sister Jean is bereaved of brother Arthur who went to be with the Lord after a battle with leukemia, the same as Mervyn did this time of year. Is it peaceable? No, it’s not peaceable. Is it shalom? Yes to shalom. The Gospel of eternity, it goes on forever and ever. It’s good news forever and ever. Yes, Arthur’s with the Lord, he’s in eternity, it’s going to be good news forever and ever, but right now it’s not easy. You can’t have peace in bereavement, but you can have shalom. This is eternity. All that is true and we could have a whole conference on any one of these gospels. They’re all the same Gospel, of course, just different aspects of it. But our purpose now is this one, the Gospel of the kingdom – what distinguishes it?

Notice it’s in the Olivet Discourse. It is in Jesus’ discourse about the Last Days. This Gospel. How can the things of the Last Days be “good news”? We have explained a number of times from Revelation 12 and from Jeremiah that the Scriptures repeatedly use seismology and obstetrics to explain what the Last Days will be like.

Tremors get more and more frequent in the tectonic plate theory, they tell you a big earthquake is going to come. That is compared to birth pangs – contractions that become more frequent and maternal labor before the baby is going to come. How can there be joy and peace in it? How can there be good news? Is maternal labor good news? No. Is the baby born after the maternal labor good news? Yes, it’s an irony of life, isn’t it? Somehow the curse that came on Eve because sin entered the world through the woman comes onto the earth, and so we see the language used to describe maternal labor used to describe what’s happening to the creation.

Turn with me, please, to Romans 8. We’ll begin, please, in verse 18… (Rom 8: 18-20)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

As in the joy of having a healthy, newborn baby easily eclipses birth pangs of maternal labor, they’re quickly forgotten once a healthy baby has arrived on the scene. Let's look…

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

Now that word “anxiously longing” is “apokarakokia”. It means “almost a desperate sense”. Again, in maternal labor the mother has a desperate sense, “I wish this baby would just pop out”. And understandably so.

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

That word “revealing” is “apokalupsis” – “apocalypse”, “the unveiling”; the same as in the book of Revelation. Something that’s there is going to be unveiled, the identity of the true believers in the rapture and the resurrection. The text is eschatological; it uses the word apocalypse even