ARTICLE OF FAITH:The gospel of the kingdom of God

ARTICLE OF FAITH:The gospel of the kingdom of God

The gospel preached
in the churches today is false. It is different from the one Jesus
preached. Today’s gospel is about Jesus dying on the cross for our
sins. But since Jesus and his disciples preached the gospel before his
death, that cannot be the true gospel.

The gospel
preached today is Paul’s gospel, “the gospel of the grace of God.”
(Acts 20:24) That gospel says: “Rejoice: Jesus died for our sins.” (1
Cor 15:1-4) But Jesus and his disciples did not say anybody would die
for our sins. They preached a gospel which said: “Repent: the kingdom
of God is at hand.” (Mk 1:15)

Paul never heard
Jesus preach. Therefore, he displays unpardonable ignorance about
Jesus’ doctrine. Bereft of references to Jesus’ teachings, Paul’s
epistles focus exclusively on his crucifixion. (1 Cor 2:2) But the good
news of the true gospel is not about Jesus’ death and resurrection. It
is about the great reward God has prepared in heaven for the righteous
as consolation for the vicissitudes of life. (Mt 5:11-12)

Life or death

Paul says: “If
Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty.” (1 Cor 15:14)
However, Jesus does not make his resurrection central to the gospel. In
one of his stories, which Paul apparently knew nothing about, Abraham
says: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be
convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” (Lk 16:31) Even before
Calvary, Zacchaeus received the gospel and Jesus acknowledged his
salvation. (Lk 19:8-10)

The gospel is a
call to emulate the exemplary life of Jesus. Jesus came that we may
have abundant life. (Jn 10:10) Therefore, those who followed him
originally did so because of his life. But thanks to Paul, many who
follow Jesus now do so because of bogus claims about his death.

Jesus says: “Not
everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of
heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Mt 7:21)
Only those who do the will of God will inherit his kingdom, and not
those who believe Jesus died for their sins. (1 Cor 15:3)

Two different gospels

Christians must
reject Paul’s gospel and embrace only the gospel Jesus preached. John
warns: “Whoever does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have
God. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not
receive him.” (2 Jn 1:9-10)

The gospel of the
kingdom says eternal life is costly and not God’s gift. (Lk 14:25-33;
Rm 6:23) It is about calling sinners to repentance (Mt 9:13); and not
about the “grace of God that brings salvation.” (Tit 2:11) It is about
believers thirsting for righteousness (Mt 5:6); and not about God
justifying the ungodly. (Rm 4:5)

It is about hating
our life in this world (Jn 12:25); and not about becoming rich through
Jesus’ impoverishment. (2 Cor 8:9) It is about becoming God’s children
by doing God’s works (Mt 5:44-45); and not about faith without works.
(Eph 2:8-9)

In Jesus’ gospel,
atonement for sins is our responsibility; we choose to be saved. (Mt
16:24-25) But in Paul’s gospel, atonement is God’s responsibility; we
are predestined to salvation. (Rm 8:29-30) With Jesus, we carry our
crosses. (Mk 8:34) With Paul, Jesus carries it for everybody (Gal 6:14)

With Jesus,
forgiveness comes through repentance and the readiness to forgive
others. (Mt 6:14-15) With Paul, it comes through the redemptive blood
of Jesus by which all sinners have been forgiven all trespasses. (Col
1:14; 2:13)

With Jesus,
freedom from sin comes as we abide in his word of truth. (Jn 8:31-32)
But with Paul, Christians are automatically free from sin because we
died with Christ. (Rm 6:6-7)

Everlasting gospel

Some maintain
Paul’s gospel is a post-resurrection dispensational replacement for
Jesus’ gospel. However, Jesus said the gospel of the kingdom will be
preached as a witness to all nations until the very end. (Mt 24:14)
Jesus did not introduce Paul’s doctrine of blood-atonement on his
resurrection. His directive remained that “repentance and forgiveness
of sins” should be preached in his name.” (Lk 24:47)

In Acts, Peter
never preaches sacrifice, propitiation or blood-atonement. He never
associates Jesus’ death with the remission of sins. (Acts 2:37-38) He
said the righteousness of God comes by works. (Acts 10:34-35) However,
Paul insists God imputes righteousness discretionally apart from works.
(Rm 4:5-6)

In effect, Paul’s
gospel is false. It merely tests those who would embrace Jesus’ true
gospel. The true gospel empties the churches while the false gospel
fills them. The one offers a narrow gate and a difficult way that leads
to life; while the other offers a wide gate and a broad way that leads
to destruction. (Mt 7:13-14)

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