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To millions of Christians throughout the world, the 'GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST' has something to do with being " saved by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which covers us and saves us from the results of our own sins and thus assures us that our immortal soul will live on in immortal bliss in Heaven." That the Bible does not teach this simplistic idea becomes apparent as we delve into the Holy Word of God.
WHAT IS "THE GOSPEL"?
What then is THE GOSPEL? What does it refer to.....what are the benefits of knowing about it and why is it so important that one of Jesus' last instructions to His disciples was..." Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature"....(Mark 16:15). In the Greek Scriptures, this passage is rendered as...."Go into all the world and proclaim THE GLAD TIDINGS to the whole creation......" Any good Greek Dictionary will provide us with the true meaning of the word "gospel", and it simply is.....THE GOOD NEWS OR THE GLAD TIDINGS of something.
THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD:
The Apostle Mark tells us that Jesus " came into Galilee preaching the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD"...(Mark 1:15), whilst Luke records the same event as...."He (Jesus) went throughout every city and village preaching and showing...THE GLAD TIDINGS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD." (Luke 8:1). Thus we have no difficulty in finding out from the Scriptures themselves, that the Gospel which Jesus taught, concerns the glad tidings of the coming Kingdom of God, on the earth, to be ruled over by Christ and the saints who will be appointed, when He comes. That Kingdom has not come, and we still await the fulfilment of the promise of the "glad tidings", of which Jesus spoke.
ISAIAH'S GOSPEL PROPHECY FULFILLED:
The Prophet Isaiah wrote some remarkably prophetic words which Jesus read in the Synagogue in Nazareth....."The Spirit of the Lord is upon me , because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor......to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.....this day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears..." (Isaiah 61:1.....Luke 4:18-21). Isaiah's prophecy came to pass before the eyes of those assembled to hear the Lord Jesus.
JESUS AND BAPTISM:
Philip the evangelist, when in the City of Samaria, was...."preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God and THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST...there were baptised men and women..."(Acts 8:12) Thus it was the GOSPEL MESSAGE associated with Jesus, that caused people to believe (in that Gospel) and be baptised. It was not a new Gospel. It was the same Gospel Paul tells us was preached to Abraham...."God......preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying in thee shall all nations be blessed"..(Gal 3:8). He adds later in the chapter...."That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ" (v.14). Then in v.27 Paul makes it clear that all people, both Jew and Gentile, who "PUT ON CHRIST" (in baptism), become Abraham's seed and "heirs according to the promise".
That promise assures people who wish to inherit it, they may have eternal life in a world made new at Christ's return, when they may finally attain immortality......"The gift of God is eternal life" (Rom. 6:23)
IMMORTALITY AT JESUS RETURN:
The Lord Jesus, in His last message to us through the Apostle John, makes it quite clear there can be no reward of eternal life or immortality, until He comes again, for He said quite clearly..."Behold, I come quickly and MY REWARD IS WITH ME, to give every man according as his work shall be."..(Rev 22:12). We therefore know that no one has any spark of immortality in this life and will not have until Jesus comes.
THE GOSPEL AND SALVATION:
We know with certainty, from Mark 16:15-16 that people who "believe and are baptised shall be saved.". Saved from what?
The Apostle Paul enlightens us by telling us of the day when..."The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels....in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ....WHO SHALL BE PUNISHED WITH EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION"...( 2 Thess 1:8-9). To "obey" the Gospel we simply have to apply in our daily life, the principles the Gospel teaches, believe in the promises God has made to us in the Scriptures and be baptised into the saving Name of Jesus Christ.
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