The Heavenly Kingdom ConceptMany people wonder just what a “Heavenly Kingdom” is and what it looks like. In Jesus time, many of his followers have asked this question. Jesus presented to his followers the idea of the Kingdom with correlation to the spiritual fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. According to this concept, it alone can liberate people from the bondage of hatred or fear and enrich human life, filling it with spiritual liberty and courage. The “Gospel of the Kingdom” was made to set men free and inspire a hope for eternal life. The message was to bring new confidence and true consolidation for all people of various nationalities and economic status. It introduced a new standard of moral values to determine human conduct such as spiritual attainment as the true goal of living compared to the material. Jesus was teaching his followers that heavenly realms were the result of righteous living on Earth as a reward.
While teaching his disciples, Jesus often describes The Kingdom of God as the “Kingdom of Life”, as well as referencing frequently to the “Kingdom of God within you.” He used to tell many stories pointing to a parallel of “family fellowship with God the Father.” Jesus was trying to substitute many terms for the Kingdom, but sometimes not successfully. Among others, he often used keywords such as: the children of God, the family of God, the brotherhood of man, the friends of God, the Father’s fold, the Father’s service, the Father’s will, the fellowship of the faithful or believers, and the liberated sons of God.
The main message Jesus was trying to deliver was translating the concept of the Kingdom of Heaven into the idea of doing the will of God. Jesus was trying to use alternative meanings for the idea of the kingdom, king and subjects and presented as the concept of the heavenly family instead, where the heavenly Father and the liberated sons of God entered into joyful and voluntary brotherly service for their fellow man with intelligent worship of God the Father. Unfortunately, it was hard for his apostles to grasp the idea of the Spiritual Kingdom since they were always expecting the coming of a typical Jewish Messiah, who would take over the king’s throne and establish the kingdom of power and glory over the land.
The Elements of the GospelThe gospel delivers the message of our Heavenly Father’s plan for the happiness and salvation of His children. It is called the gospel of Jesus Christ because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is central to this plan. According to this plan, our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world as a perfect example of how to live a meaningful and happy life and experience eternal joy after this life. Through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, people can become clean from sin and enjoy the peace of wisdom.
The gospel describes Jesus’ death on the cross as an offering to fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law (Romans 8:3–4; Hebrews 10:5–10). During the ancient times, animal sacrifices were offered and it was practiced under the Law, as a reminder of sin (Hebrews 10:3–4). When Christ willingly went to the Calvary place (place of a skull), that symbol became a reality for all who would believe (Hebrews 10:11–18), completing the work of atonement. It is worth noting that Jesus was not some type of doctrine or teaching, but he became a living divine presence in the souls of the believers. And Christ himself taught:
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6).
The elements of the Gospel are clearly stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3–6. One main passage concerning the good news is that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried and raised on the third day. And after that he appeared to the Twelve Apostles and then to more than five hundred people at
the same time. Therefore, Paul is presented as one of the hundred witnesses who “received” the gospel and then “passed it on” revealing a divine message, not a man-made theory.
During their travel, Jesus and the apostles visited many places, and everywhere they went they preached the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. They preached not only the message, but also presented proof, e.g. Christ died for our sins (proved by his burial), and he rose again on the third day (proved by the eyewitnesses), thus making the Bible’s main massage the salvation of mankind through Christ.
The key to understanding the gospel is to know why it’s good news. To do that, we must start with the bad news. During the time of Moses, various Old Testament Laws were given to the inhabitants of Israel (Deuteronomy 5:1). The Law can be viewed as a measuring unit, and sin is anything that falls short of “perfect” according to that standard.
The righteous requirement of the Law is so strict that no human being could possibly follow it perfectly, on paper or in spirit. Despite the fact that the definition of “goodness” or “badness” is a relative term, people are all in the same spiritual boat—we are sinning frequently, and the punishment for sin is eventually what is called “death” - e.g. a spiritual separation from God, the source of life (Romans 3:23).
In order to get into the Heavenly dimension for a permanent residence, God’s dwelling place and the realm of light and life, sin must be somehow removed or paid off since it doesn’t exist in these dimensions. According to the Law, cleansing from sin can only happen through the blood sacrifice of an innocent life (Hebrews 9:22).
To reject the gospel is to embrace the bad news. Condemnation before God is the result of a lack of faith in the Son of God, God’s only provision for salvation: God did not send his Son into the world to punish the world, but to save the world through him. Anybody who believes in him is not condemned, but those who do not believe will be condemned because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:17–18).
He has given us a new birth of a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in Heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3–4).
Unity in the Gospel
The Christian teachings typically require loving others despite differences in race, gender, privilege, and social, political, and economic background (John 13:34-35; Gal. 3:28-29), and to be of one mind wherever possible (John 17:20-21; Phil. 2:2; Rom. 14:1-15:13). We know that divisions among Christians delay our witness in the world, and we desire greater mutual understanding and truth speaking in love. We know too that as keepers of God’s revealed truth we cannot embrace any form of doctrinal indifferentism, pluralism, or relativism by which God’s truth is sacrificed for a false peace.
Jesus taught his disciples that the Father sent him into the world to proclaim this salvation of sonship to all men. Salvation is the free gift of God, but those who are born of the spirit will immediately begin to bring forth the fruits of the spirit in loving service to their fellow creatures. And the actions of the Divine Spirit which are produced in the lives of spirit-born and God-knowing mortals are: loving service, enlightened honesty, unselfish devotion, sincere fairness, undying hope, confiding trust, forgiving tolerance, courageous loyalty, unfailing goodness, and enduring peace.
If professed believers bear not these fruits of the Divine Spirit in their lives, they are "dead", e.g., the Spirit of Truth is not in them; they are useless branches on the living vine, and will be taken away. Increasingly, they should yield the fruits of the Spirit while progressing heavenward in the Kingdom of God. They may enter the Kingdom as a child, but the Father requires that they grow up, by grace, into the full stature of spiritual adulthood.
Jesus teachings actually proclaim to set up the Kingdom of God in this world. In order to do it, people must have the supreme desire to do the will of God, and have unconditional love with good ethical and moral conduct. Man's whole duty is summed up in this one commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself. In addition, he taught that a few essential things are necessary to enter the kingdom such as faith. People have to become as little children and receive the devotion of sonship as a gift. The person should be free from prejudice and preconception, and be open-minded with desire to learn like an unspoiled child.
Truth seekers should be thirsty for righteousness with the desire to find God. Jesus taught that sin is not a child of a defective nature but rather the offspring of an over-knowing mind dominated by an unsubmissive will.
While providing healing services, Jesus always identified how much faith a person had. If the person’s faith was big, he was healed immediately. When people learn to host the presence of the Lord, something happens around them that will carry the actual atmosphere of Heaven.
God has modeled something for us - the reality of God’s world and His plan for everybody. Our divine assignment is to bring the reality of His world into this one. There is a transforming power when we practice in living it. God is willing to see us as people who have an understanding of the will of God.
How Can Someone Start a New Life in Christ?
The answers in Genesis are to give glory and honor to God as Creator, and to affirm the truth of the biblical record of the real origin and history of the world and mankind. But the good news is that God has already done something about it. Jesus Christ the Creator, though totally sinless, suffered, on behalf of mankind, the penalty of mankind’s sin, which is death and separation from God. He did this to satisfy the righteous demands of the holiness and justice of God, his Father. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice: He died on a cross, but on the third day, he rose again, conquering death. This was done so that all who truly believe in him, repent of their sins, trust him rather than their own merit and are able to return to God and live for eternity with their Creator.
You can live the gospel of Jesus Christ by:
- Developing faith in Jesus Christ.
- Being baptized and receiving the Holy Spirit.
- Enduring to the end.
According to the scripture, Jesus is a keeper of the keys that were lost in the Garden and he received all authority from Father in Heaven and on Earth. Jesus has also received full authority over all living creatures in his realm, and He will give eternal life to all who will become faith sons of God.
The first principle is a truth that can be applied in life; an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood and is often a means of entering into a covenant with our Heavenly Father. The first principle of the gospel is a faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. The first ordinance of the gospel is baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. After people learn and follow the first principles and ordinances of the gospel, they should seek to follow Christ’s example throughout the remainder of their life. This continued faithfulness is called “enduring to the end.”
The Gospel of the Kingdom
4/ 5By ESMLearning