Do you know God’s strategic plan? I believe it has a title and structure according to scripture. The title is the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ expressed by Jesus (Matthew 24:14), the disciples (Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:25) and Paul (Acts 20:25). Furthermore, Jesus mentioned the Kingdom over 120 times and the Kingdom of God over 80 times in the gospels. When I first heard this, I was shocked as if anyone had asked me to explain the Gospel of the Kingdom, I would not have had an answer. I had no clue about this and wondered why I had not heard of this critically important theme in my journey of faith. I believe the structure of God’s strategic plan is stated in Titus 2:11-15. In my words, salvation or redemption, a maturing bride (church) suitable for the Bridegroom and the second coming of Jesus.
Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.Titus 2:15
If this is God’s strategic plan, I was not capable of speaking, exhorting or rebuking on this topic because I was ignorant. Worse still, as I studied this topic and started talking to Christians (still having little understanding) to grow my knowledge on this subject, in almost every conversation I was greeted with rejection. “It’s not the main game” was one comment.
If this is not the main game, what is? Why is the church so resistant to a theme Jesus spoke about over and over again? Why is the second coming of Jesus so controversial that Christians don’t want to speak, exhort (passionate discussion) and rebuke ‘with all authority’ the things that Paul said we must do as a church?
I learned the value of a strategic plan in my career. Can I try to add a spiritual dynamic to the risks and benefits that a strategic plan exposes?
|DANGERS/RISK OF NO PLAN||BENEFITS OF A PLAN|
|False teachers and deception||We are aligned with Jesus’ purpose and will|
|Not spiritually prepared (see parable of 10 virgins, Matthew 25)||We are expectant for the supernatural outpouring of the Spirit that strengthens unto endurance (Joel 2)|
|Did not accept responsibilities or tasks||Intercession releases God’s plan|
|Seduced by secular narrative Led into wrong decisions.||Value truth above all else; church the defender of truth|
|Endless distractions and lesser affections Days of Noah (Matthew 24)||Able to set God’s priorities; Scripture alerts us to future so we make wise decisions.|
|Unable to manage crises or pressure||Spiritually prepared in advance; able to make wise, informed decisions|
|Cannot discern truth from falsehood||Discern truth because we are grounded in the Word (trusting Jesus leadership).|
|If we do not know the Prophetic Word, we walk in darkness||Prophetic Word is a light in the darkness 2 Peter 1:19|
Where there is no vision, the people perish…Proverbs 29:18
SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE FOR THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
Matthew 4:23 – Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
Acts 1:2 – Jesus preached the Gospel of the kingdom for 40 days after the resurrection
Matthew 10:7 – Jesus commanded the disciples to teach the Gospel of the Kingdom
Acts 8:12 – Phillip preached the Gospel of the Kingdom in Samaria
Acts 28:20-31 – Paul taught the Gospel of the Kingdom for 2 years in Rome
Matthew 5:1-10 – The Sermon on the Mount has a kingdom framework
Matthew 6:9-13 – Jesus taught a kingdom prayer (the Lord’s Prayer).
John 3:1-5 – We have to be born again to enter the Kingdom
Various scriptures – Twelve Kingdom parables in Matthew’s gospel describing the immeasurable value of the Kingdom that should have first place in our lives.
When I consider this evidence, I have to conclude that the Gospel of the Kingdom is Jesus’ central teaching. Is this the forgotten gospel?
HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND?
1.Accept the responsibility to investigate the Gospel of the Kingdom.
- Read books and start discussions with Christian friends.
- Form small groups to research and investigate these topics together.
- Accept the responsibility to investigate the second coming of Jesus.
2. The International House of Prayer Kanas City has a programme that studies the 150 chapters in the Bible about Jesus second coming (IHOPKC.org/CBETS). It has been an amazing journey into these chapters. They are about to finish the first presentation of this programme but they have stated that they will run it again soon.
3. Develop a study model and immerse yourself in the Word of God.
- Learn to test everything you read.
- Expect that God will place in your heart a deep desire to love truth.
- The study model I use has been posted in previous blogs (October 25, 2020).
4. Accept the responsibility to become an intercessor as Jesus requested (Malachi 1:11; Luke 21:34-36; Luke 18: 1-8; Revelation 8:1). God is raising up Houses of Prayer across the nations but this is not about prayer ministry in a building (functional), it is about expressing our relationship to Jesus through the spirit of prayer (relational).
The Gospel of the Kingdom is a vast and controversial topic. I will try to share what I am learning about this topic over future posts. These topics (Titus 2:11-15) must be on our lips, in our conversations, exhorting each other (excite through passionate discussion) and rebuking one another (correct in love without offense). It takes time and effort and I want to encourage you that if you commit, expect to fall in love with God (Luke 6:38).
Written by John and Shirley Ray, edited and posted by Joel Ratcliffe