This is the first of a two part message. Obviously, if you know your Bible, the world does not really end, but this age does. The earth is severely shaken. Mountains fall. Men cry out for the rocks to fall on them to hide them, but when Jesus comes He judges men on this earth, but this is not the end of everything, this is the beginning of Jesus’ reign and the end of man’s reign as mortals. Is this all part of the Gospel?
Jesus was answering a question by the disciples when He stated “and then the end shall come”. — “Tell us … what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matt 24:3)
This was a specific question, and In between this question and Jesus’ statement “and then the end shall come” were His listings of the birth pangs leading to that specific end, which was the end of the age. “Then” He begins telling us how the age will end.
1. Tribulation and hatred of “you” on account of “My name”. Deaths on account of “My name”.
2. False prophets will mislead many. Endurance is called for, because lawlessness will cause a coldness to overcome love and a falling away.
3. This gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations of the earth. “This gospel”?
So Jesus makes clear that in the midst of persecution some will grow cold in their love and fall away, but some will fulfill the great commission. “And then the end shall come.”
But wait a minute, many “prophecy scholars” tell us the great commission won’t be fulfilled by us. We won’t be here. But what does Jesus say?
Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Is this part of “this gospel”? But this is not all that Jesus says, listen:
Matthew 24:14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. There is this smokescreen raised today that I have written about here before, which says the kingdom gospel is not the gospel that Paul preached to the church.
So, where is the evidence that Paul preached another gospel than “this gospel”? Why is this gospel if different preached to all nations, if it is to be only for Israel as these tell us?
Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (KJV)
So in order to conclude that we are not involved in both of these prophecies by our Lord, one must define them to be different. So the end and the end of the age are different they say; as are Paul’s gospel and Jesus’ gospel, at least according to those who tell us that we won’t be here to spread the Kingdom gospel. Yet, what does Hebrews tell us on this question of a gospel for us and them?
Speaking of Israel:
Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (KJV)
Interesting they must have heard the same gospel as us? But who preached it to them?
how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
Hebrews 2:3 NASB
So the Lord preached it to them and they passed it to us. But remember where we started, Jesus was answering a question by the disciples. — “Tell us … what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
There was no question by the disciples concerning the timing of the resurrection and the Rapture that the disciples would be part of as members of the church body. Nor was there any statement by our Lord that He was answering anything other than the disciples question. The disciples knew part of what Jesus had taught them, which they were to pass on to those who would believe (us). They didn’t yet know the resurrection story, although Jesus had taught concerning the resurrection. Yet, we are told that the secrete Rapture of the church was only implied here; because this was really a Jewish question related only to a Jewish age, and not to the church age. In fact we are told that Jesus only preached this gospel of the kingdom to the Jews or to Israel, and that “it” was the gospel that was rejected by the Jews, but that “it” will be reinstated again as the go to gospel during Tribulation. Listen to how one theologian thinks and teaches concerning the gospel message:
“Another issue concerns the gospel itself. Under the [‘]Great Commission[‘] the apostles were commanded to preach the gospel. But what gospel? The Scriptures teach more than one gospel–the [‘]gospel of the kingdom[‘] (Matthew 4.23), the [‘]gospel of the circumcision[‘] (Galatians 2.7), the [‘]gospel of the uncircumcision[‘] (Galatians 2.7), and the [‘]gospel of the grace of God[‘] (Acts 20.24). What gospel did John the Baptizer, Jesus, and the apostles preach? Did they preach that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4)? Hardly. That gospel remained undisclosed until God revealed it to Paul (Romans 16.25). The [‘]good news[‘] preached prior to Paul was the gospel of the coming kingdom.” (Quoted from doctrine.org)
But what does Paul say of the gospel and the Jew? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
The kingdom gospel that Jesus preached to the Jews, as we have seen in Hebrews was not a different gospel. Was it a message to establish an earthly kingdom? “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand'” Matthew 10.5-7
Much is made of the fact that Paul supposedly was preaching a gospel leading us within the church to heaven, and not to this earthly kingdom. The heavenly kingdom is taught to primarily be for the Gentiles. Yet what Jesus sent the disciples forth to preach to Jews was not the earthly kingdom gospel.
Paul even preached about the kingdom to the Ephesians and to the Romans as part of the gospel. See Acts 20:25, and 28:21. My next post will be an accounting of what is presented here concerning the gospel by doctrine.org
He said to the Ephesian elders: Acts 20:25-27 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
Paul also told us in Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
There is only one plan from God for the salvation of man. To the Jew first and also to the Gentile.
There is only one age that mankind will see brought to an end with the coming of Jesus to establish His millennial kingdom, (God’s kingdom on earth) Thy kingdom come. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Yes the heavenly kingdom will be established on earth eventually more perfectly even than the messianic kingdom yet to come, yet, when it is ended then all is handed over to the Father and the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven to the earth.
We are given the same promises in the gospel which Paul preached, as were the Jews in the days of the prophets. Are they not also part of the gospel?
Ephesians 2:11-22 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
This promise of our inheritance in Christ with the Jews, the saints, who went before us is as much a part of the gospel as is our rapture following the resurrection.
Jesus had stated to the Jews, who came to trick Him concerning the Resurrection, that in this age there is marriage, but in the age to come there is no marriage. As you read His statement ask yourself — does this not imply that the Tribulation is included in this age rather than the age to come after the Resurrection?Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Luke 20:34-36 NASB
This age versus the next is well taught in scripture. Those who want two ages one for Israel and one for the church are no different than those who want to replace Israel with the church. Both spiritualize the elements of the coming kingdom, and the promises that we are made a part of through our addition to the Olive tree, which the scripture teaches “us”. — but the way most teach it requires that they must create a new tree, different from The tree in which Israel was established. The Dispensationalists teach about the Olive tree as though Israel was completely cut from it, trying to make two separate peoples in the same tree. What they teach requires an additional tree in order to separate Israel and the Gentile church. Others do the very same thing stating that because Israel failed thus Christ established the Church which would need to be a new tree, so neither teach the Olive tree as it is taught in scripture. The Olive tree in scripture existed as one tree, and continued after Christ’s resurrection with a Jewish remnant still in tact (having never been cut off), and then we Gentiles were added to this same tree. Only those Jews who refused the gospel were cut off from the tree, while the Remnant remained. The people of God are always in the tree. Those who have received the Gospel are in that tree with the saints of old who received Him and His message (the gospel — the good news of Jesus) when He came to them that day there in paradise with the thief on the cross. Yes this was before His resurrection, but they knew that the grave could not hold Him. Not two peoples, one people; not two gospels, one gospel. Not two ways, one way. Not two truths, one truth.