And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. (Matthew 4:23 ESV)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
There are those who believe that any focus on the political sphere or issues in the public square have no place within the great commission. Believing that the gospel of salvation should be the priority for every believer, some in the Church avoid, and even criticize those who speak out on, governmental affairs. And yet, even Jesus called His followers to pursue a greater message than just salvation. His goal was not just to save men’s souls but transform entire nations.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
In the New Testament, there are numerous references to the gospel of the Kingdom, which is distinct from the gospel of salvation (see Romans 1:16, Ephesians 1:13, Mark 1:14, and Luke 4:43). In an article written in 2013, Os Hillman detailed, “The Difference Between the Gospel of Salvation and the Gospel of the Kingdom.” He presented a table which cites numerous distinctions between these two gospels:
|Gospel of Salvation||Gospel of the Kingdom|
|Focus: Evangelism/salvation||Focus: Taking dominion|
|Eternal, heavenly focus||Material, social, earthly, secular|
|Addresses only the soul||Addresses soul and body|
|“Rapture escape” mentality||“Possess the land” mentality|
|Sacred vs. secular—dualism||Impacts all aspects of society|
|Goal: Transaction, “win the next soul”||Goal: Influence through servanthood,|
godly leadership, active faith
|Example: Nigeria||Example: Almalonga, Guatemala|
Acknowledging that the gospel of salvation is the first step towards redemption, he calls believers to a bigger vision that encompasses, not just the message of the cross, but resurrection power that can transform entire cities, states, and even nations. The biggest difference between these two gospels is that salvation is focused on individuals, where the Kingdom is focused on peoples and systems. Salvation is the launching pad for demonstrating the power of Christ in every part of our culture – including politics, entertainment, and media. Not only can people be radically transformed – so can entire governments, cultures, and administrations. The supremacy of Christ and the authority of heaven should be the most powerful force on the earth!
For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)
Though the statistics may have changed since then, Hillman references one example of two nations and the subsequent results of these two different gospels:
“Some research tells us that as much as 60 percent of the population of the country of Nigeria may be born again. Yet the culture has some of the greatest problems with crime and corruption of any nation in the world. That is because the gospel of salvation has been the primary message. Contrast Nigeria with Almalonga, Guatemala, where 90 percent of the population is Christian and there are no jails—because they are not needed.” (Os Hillman)
There are many more stories which have been documented by The Sentinal Group, telling of other such communities and nations that have been supernaturally transformed by this gospel of the Kingdom. In many of these stories, corruption and crime started at the top in government. In every case, the nation was near ruins. It wasn’t until things got personal that believers started realizing their responsibility in not only praying for salvations, but engaging in their communities at the governmental level. Once they started declaring the gospel of the Kingdom and God-fearing truths, their influence and impact began to tip the scales and God’s Spirit moved in. I simply contend that the Church must be much more focused on this gospel of the Kingdom and not just the salvation of souls. If we are to fulfill our mandate of discipling nations, this must include the systems and institutions of nations as well as the people.
Today, we have an opportunity to tip the scales in our own nation. Though we must always pursue the great commission in bringing people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we must also champion the gospel of the Kingdom. It is the gospel of the Kingdom that will ultimately demonstrate to the world that the message of Christ is not just getting a ticket into heaven, but an authority from heaven that transforms every created thing on the earth. Nations are waiting for the Ekklesia of God to rise up and lead the way.
CLICK ON THIS LINK TO WATCH A 10-MINUTE YOUTUBE CLIP WHERE I SHARE MORE ABOUT THIS MESSAGE (start at 17:30) “THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM”
This mentoring weekend is designed to encourage, equip, and empower any and all to prophetic ministry. From beginners to those who are seasoned in ministry, these sessions will help reframe and refresh our corporate understanding of this gift and ministry as a prophetic people. (*The event will not be livestreamed, but it will be recorded for later purchase.)
There is limited space (we are already at 50% capacity!) and an early bird special if you register before June 30! Click on the picture below which will take you to our church webpage with all the details: