hen we think of the gospel, the evangelion
, we normally think of personal salvation. This is the entry point of the kingdom of God for all human beings. Yet, the gospel is also referred to as the “gospel of the kingdom.”
Matthew 9:35 – “preaching the gospel of the kingdom”
Matthew 13:19 – “the message of the kingdom”
Matthew 24:14 – “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all the nations, and after that the end will come.”
Salvation continues on until its fullness. The kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed that eventually fills the earth (Matthew 13:31-32). Salvation is the planting of the seed; the kingdom is the process of it filling the earth (Mark 4:26-29). As all the elements of a tree are already present inside the seed, so has the Kingdom already come inside us. As the seed grows in stages to be a tree, so does the Kingdom grow until its fullness at Yeshua’s return.
Let’s define the “full” gospel in 7 stages:
- Salvation – forgiveness of sins and eternal life through repentance and faith in the crucifixion and resurrection of Yeshua.
- Holy Spirit Baptism – filled with the power and presence of God, producing fruit of character and gifts of charisma in the life of the believer.
- Sanctified Life – living as a dedicated disciple of Yeshua, including obedience to the Scriptures and the values of integrity and loyalty.
- Social Justice – changing the world and society around us for better through the influence of godly values and spiritual power.
- Church and Israel – working for the historic fullness, restoration and unity of both the Church and Israel, leading up to the coming of Yeshua.
- Second Coming – preparing the people of God to stand in the end times, declaring the soon coming of Yeshua in glory and judgment.
- Millennial Kingdom – the kingdom of the Messiah will be established on earth with peace among the nations and Yeshua ruling from Jerusalem.
This understanding of the gospel as a presentation of all the dimensions of the kingdom of God, starting with repentance and salvation, yet ending up with Yeshua ruling and reigning on this planet, will have more and more significance as we approach Yeshua’s return.