DISCOVERING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
A few days ago, I began to share on what I consider to be one of the least understood and yet most fundamental components of the Gospel. The Kingdom of God provides a framework to understanding all the other aspects of redemption.
The Kingdom of God is God’s big picture initiated in the garden, disrupted by the fall, and reinstated and restored through the person and finished work of Jesus Christ.
The climax will take place when Jesus sits as King over the new heavens and the new earth. Between Jesus first and second coming, His Church has been given a mandate to extend the Kingdom of God by preaching and teaching this message, discipling the nations and demonstrating the love and power of heaven.
💎THE GARDEN BLUEPRINT
In the garden of Eden God created a man and a woman who were formed in His image and given a mandate to exercise dominion over all the earth. This couple was a prototype of God’s plan and purpose. Adam and Eve were image bearers, stamped with God’s very own identity, free from shame, fear and guilt. They walked and talked with God, operated in heaven’s authority and had everything they could possibly need or desire. Everything was good until they began to doubt God’s integrity, causing them to rebel against their God and Father. Their one act of sin caused the whole earth to fall under the curse of sin and death.
💎HIS PLAN NEVER CHANGED
During the years from Adam to Christ, God repeatedly tried to reintroduce mankind to His original plan. Abraham enjoyed a covenant relationship with God based on faith and grace. God promised to make him a great nation and bless him to be a blessing. Later on, in Exodus, God declared His plan for all of the people of Israel to be Kings and Priests before God. (Exodus 19:5-6) God’s plan was simple. He wanted a people, walking in relationship, following His prescription for abundant life, and demonstrating His power and kindness to all the other people on the earth.
💎IT IS FINISHED
Finally, through Jesus Christ’s life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension, the ultimate payment for sin was made through His perfect sacrifice. The sin problem was dealt with! Then a new day was inaugurated when Jesus defeated the power of death by rising from the dead. The power of sin, death and the devil was finally overthrown. The curse had been put in reverse. Now because of Christ’s absolute victory over evil the stage was set for God to push the reset button on his original plan.
💎THE KiNGDOM IS HERE
Finally, the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost. God came to make His home in people once again. The payment for sin had been made, righteousness was available, and the revolution had begun.
For the last 2000 years, God has been working to restore this world and its inhabitants back to Eden, back to the Garden of God. The Kingdom has come. Now, as God’s sons and daughters, we have been given the incredible mandate and privilege of experiencing and extending God’s Kingdom on the earth.
<Nate Tanner >