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Posts Tagged ‘gospel of the kingdom’

Great Study, can’t wait for part 2, hopefully next week…

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The Gospel of the Kingdom Vs. The Gospel of Grace

by Jack Kelly


 

Part 1.  The Gospel Of The Kingdom

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matt. 3:1-2)

Prophecies of a Messianic King appear throughout the Old Testament and many in the Jewish leadership saw John’s arrival on the scene as their fulfillment.  They sent representatives to the place where John was baptizing to see if he was the promised Messiah. He said he wasn’t, but that the one they had been expecting was even then in their midst (John 1:19-28).

750 years earlier Isaiah had said when the Messiah came He would reign on David’s throne forever (Isaiah 9:6-7) but the throne of David had been vacant for 600 years.  John had come to tell them the time was finally at hand and they had better get ready for Him.

When Jesus began His ministry, John introduced Him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:8) and publicly testified that Jesus was the Son of God (John 1:34).  Right from the beginning Jesus began teaching that the Kingdom of Heaven was near (Matt. 4:17), and sent His disciples through out the land to alert the people to this fact as well (Matt. 10:7-8).

But even with Isaiah’s prophecies, John’s testimony, and the Lord’s teaching, the Jewish leaders refused to accept that Jesus was the Messiah. They questioned His claims, His doctrine, and His miracles in spite of the fact that all were clearly foretold in their prophecies.

Isaiah had also said when He came the Messiah would have no beauty or majesty that would attract them to Him and that nothing about His appearance would make them desire Him (Isaiah 53:2). The fact that Jesus was not like they expected Him to be was a big problem for them.

Just before John was executed, He had sent a delegation of his disciples to confirm for themselves that Jesus was who He claimed to be.

In reply Jesus said, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” (Matt. 11:4-6)

Jesus fed the multitudes, walked on water, healed the sick and raised the dead and still they asked for a miraculous sign.  Finally in frustration He responded, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:38-40). They would get their sign, but only after they had executed Him.

Later, just a few days before His execution, He warned them again.  “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit (Matt. 21:43). He was speaking of the coming Church.

(more…)

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