THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
THE EVERLASTING GOSPELCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earthto every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." (Revelation 14:6,7)
It may be true that the significance of the expression "flying in midair" is that those who are ministering as we approach the coming of Christ in His Kingdom will be living partly on the earth and partly in the heavenlies.
But I wish to emphasize the expression, "the eternal gospel."
Exactly what is the eternal gospel. It is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, that Jesus said would be preached in the last days as a witness to every nation.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
I believe this is referring to the testimony of the two witnesses, of Revelation, Chapter Eleven.
The Christian Era has been in existence for two thousand years. It began as Christ and the Apostles preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
But then human beings laid their hand on the Ark, so to speak, and the Gospel changed from the Good News of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth into the good news that if we "accept Christ" we will go to Heaven to live in a mansion when we die.
In our day we see signs that the original Gospel is being restored. However, the thinking of most believers in the world, I believe, is fastened on the idea that if we "accept Christ" we will escape Hell and go to Heaven when we die.
In fact, I believe even the Jews think of Heaven as being the destination of the righteous.
Well then, what is the heart of the Gospel message? The heart is that God is going to bring justice and peace to the earth. God will make an end of wars. Paradise will be returned to the earth.
The Gospel is directed primarily to those peoples on the earth who have been abused, the poor, the afflicted.
The Gospel has nothing to do with making our home in the spirit world. The Christian salvation as it is preached today is thoroughly unscriptural.
What does the Bible say about the Kingdom of God. Does it speak of our enjoying mansions in Heaven? If not, then we should not be preaching to people that they are being prepared to go to Heaven to live there.
But what does it say?
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
"The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." The earth! The Gospel of the Kingdom of God has to do with the return of Paradise to the earth.
Why have I never heard that preached? Have you heard it preached? Why are we speaking about making our home in Heaven when the Bible is about what God is going to do in the earth?
I have read recently about people who speak of a social gospel. This means that they plan on attempting to make the earth a better place to live. I suppose their intentions are the best. But they shall never achieve their goal. Why not? It is because the heart of man is wicked and cannot be cured.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
If every person on the earth was devoted to the betterment of mankind, there still wouldn't a hope of making the earth anything other than what it is: the valley of the shadow of death. This is because of the pressure brought to bear on people by Satan and his helpers.
As soon as the wealthier nations attempt to bring food or supplies to the impoverished people of the earth, the armies of the country of the poor, or other profiteers, take possession of the supplies and profit from them.
Here in America some organizations will gather toys to give to poor children at Christmas time. Then before Christmas, thieves will steal the toys.
The leaders of the nations of the earth are suspicious of each other, probably with reason. So they lead their nations into war, the most destructive and wasteful of all human efforts. However, If all the people on the earth were acquainted with each other, and saw that all people are basically the same as their own relatives, friends, and neighbors, there still would be wasteful and destructive wars. Satan would make certain of that.
Because of the activities of satanic spirits, plus the incurable wickedness of the human heart, a social gospel is ineffective.
The Christian Gospel is neither a trip to Paradise in the spirit world, nor is it a directive for all of us to get together and help each other. Rather, it is the Good News that God plans on setting up His Kingdom, and that that Kingdom will include the return of Paradise to the earth.
Then the earth no longer will be the valley of the shadow of death.
But first, the rebellious angels and demons who always are seeking to satisfy their lusts in us must be overthrown and contained in prisons in the spirit world. Also, the sinful nature must be removed from people. Otherwise, the earth will remain the charnel house that it is.
Does God plan on removing wickedness from His Kingdom?
Yes, He is going to do just that.
As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. (Matthew 13:40,41)
God has in mind to put an end to sin. This is the Good News of the Kingdom of God. It has nothing to do with making our home in Heaven. Heaven is where sin began, and the spirit world remains to this day a place of warfare.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel 9:24)
A very important part of the Good News of the Kingdom is that God has said He will make an end of sins and bring in everlasting righteousness. This includes the heavens and the earth, because one cannot be cleansed without the other.
Our home is the earth, not the spirit world. The spirit world is for the angels and other creatures of God. Man is the greatest of the creations of God, and his home is the earth. This is why he will be raised from the dead.
The Good News of the Kingdom is that justice will be brought to the downtrodden of the earth.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)
The Servant of the Lord is ChristHead and Body.
Does the Good News of the Kingdom of God mean God is going to put an end to wars on the earth?
In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths."
The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
And then when the new earth finally is created:
Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. (Isaiah 65:17-19)
Is the above Good News? Does it say anything about making our eternal home in Heaven?
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)
How about this from the Book of Revelation? I can't think of better news than this, can you?
This is the eternal Gospel. Thanks be to God forever, it never shall be changed. We are looking toward a wonderful new world, a world in which the people all are righteous and shall inherit the land forever.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. (Isaiah 61:10,11)
I have included more Scripture passages in this brief essay than I usually do. I wanted you to see what God means by the "Gospel of the Kingdom."
Perhaps you will agree that God's Good News is infinitely better than man's good news of making our eternal home in Heaven, doing nothing of significance for eternity.
God's attention is on the earth. This is where man was created and this is where God intends that man shall live.
God's Kingdom is coming to the earth. God's perfect will shall be done in the earth. There is no power that in any manner can prevent God from establishing His will on the earth.
How long do you suppose will it be before God's preachers begin to point us toward the eternal Gospel instead of the man-made notion of mansions in Heaven? Maybe when the preachers are living with one foot on the earth and the other in Heaven.
I don't believe it will be too long, because it is apparent from what is happening that we are approaching the end of the Christian Era.
So let us pray continually, "Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on the earth as it is in Heaven."
Before you know it, the Lord Jesus will be here with His faithful saints and the warrior angels. Then we shall know as we are known, and the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:4)