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How is Jesus coming back the second time? What are the Bible texts that speak of it?

why I became a scientist who is a creationist

What is the Gospel?

Be sure to see the conclusions at the end of this page.

What is the Gospel? I have asked a lot of people this question and I get a lot of different answers: Everlasting life. Jesus' birth, Christ dying on the cross, Christ living with man 2000 years ago, etc.

I think all of these are good answers. They all are a part of the Gospel. However are they the heart of the Gospel? What really is the good news that we all want to hear?

That is the question I had, so I decided to study the Bible for myself using my computer Bible. I searched for the word gospel and found some interesting things. It seems that most of our ideas for the Gospel came from Paul. Theologians tend to take Paul as the authority of Christian thought while at the same time they tend not to take the words of Jesus. I have heard the saying, Jesus lived the Christian experience, while Paul expressed it. So it seems that our understanding of the Gospel is based upon our theologian's views of both where to look in the Bible, and also what the Bible says.

Once I began to realize this reality, I saw that Jesus seemed to express the Gospel in slightly different terms. Let us look at the Biblical evidence so we can determine for ourselves what the heart of the Gospel is.

First of all, much of the time the gospel writers just use the word gospel, and there is no real explanation as to it's meaning. However I found that Jesus often, when speaking of the gospel, would use a larger phrase: "preaching the gospel of the kingdom".

  1. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. Matthew 4:23
  1. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
  2. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
  3. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
  4. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Matthew 9:35-38
  1. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
  2. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
  3. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:12-14
  1. And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, Luke 8:1

So the Gospel is really about the gospel of the kingdom of God! So what is the kingdom of God? I have always assumed that it was when we get to heaven. However I know that the Jews in Christ's time thought that His talk of the kingdom was about the restoration if Judah or Israel. Today, many Christians seem to think that Christ's presence with man, His birth, and death was the aspect of the kingdom that He talked about.

I didn't know so I thought I would look up the name "Kingdom", and I found some new interesting verses:

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  1. In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
  2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
  3. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Matthew 3:1-3
  1. Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
  2. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:14-15
  1. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. Luke 16:16
  1. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
  2. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
  3. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
  4. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
  5. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
  6. Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. Matthew 10:5-10
  1. And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.
  2. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
  3. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee. Luke 4:42-44

I find these verses extremely interesting. Many times Jesus is seen as going around preaching the kingdom of God! The word gospel isn't even mentioned. Yet we know that this is the same good news (gospel) that is spoken of in the other verses. The Kingdom of God is the good news!

It is no wonder that the Jews flocked to listen to Jesus. In their understanding, He was talking about a new day for Israel, the restoration of Israel!

In addition, we see words that speak of it as happening very soon. The message that: the kingdom of heaven is at hand, The time is fulfilled is central to the Gospel. It is no wonder that even the Christians of today think that the presence of Christ on Earth was somehow the Gospel He was speaking of in His day. But was it? Let's see, looking at other verses, we see hints here and there that Jesus had something else in mind.

_________________
  1. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
  2. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
  3. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:12-14
  1. "And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. Mark 13:10
  1. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
  2. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16

We could say that the gospel that is to be spread to the whole world is the good news about Christ. Yes, we might say that, but is that really the good news? Isn't it the promise of a future without death and destruction. Isn't it the promise to be able to live with Christ forever in an atmosphere of love?

Rather than just preaching Jesus, it must be the message of Jesus, The Gospel of the Kingdom. To preach of just His life and death on Earth is not the core of the Gospel. It is the promise of the Kingdom when we will live with Jesus.

__________________

Jesus often spoke in parables, how does the message of the gospel of the kingdom fit in with the parables? We will see in the examples below that the kingdom of God was central to most of the stories He told.

  1. And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
  2. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
  3. And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
  4. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
  5. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
  6. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
  7. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
  8. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
  9. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
  10. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. Luke 14:15-24
  1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
  2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
  3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
  4. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
  5. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
  6. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
  7. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
  8. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
  9. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
  10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
  11. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
  12. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
  13. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Matthew 25:1-13
  1. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
  2. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
  3. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
  4. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
  5. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
  6. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
  7. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
  8. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
  9. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
  10. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
  11. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
  12. And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
  13. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
  14. Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
  15. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
  16. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
  17. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  18. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
  19. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
  20. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
  21. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
  22. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Matthew 25:14-35

Jesus gave an interesting prophecy concerning Jerusalem. When Jerusalem is surrounded by armies, then we are to know that desolation (possibly of the city) is near. Historically, The Christians knew this so when the armies of Rome surrounded Jerusalem and then retreated for a short time, that all the Christians fled. Then Rome surrounded Jerusalem again and then destroyed it with it's people.

But if we read more of the text, we can see that Jesus connects the destruction of Israel with His future coming in the clouds, the coming of the Kingdom. It may be that this is a double prophecy.

Again, the Kingdom is central to the prophecy, just like the parables we saw above. Also, we see that the coming of the kingdom is connected with having our redemption occurring. We will be redeemed from the Earth by Jesus to live with Him!

  1. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
  2. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
  3. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
  4. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
  5. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
  6. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
  7. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
  8. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
  9. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
  10. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
  11. When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
  12. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
  13. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
  14. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. Luke 21:20-33

In the story of Zacchaeus, we have something very interesting. Because Zacchaeus made the right decision in choosing Christ, Jesus said: "This day is salvation come to this house". Others who were listening right away saw this as additional proof that the kingdom was coming right away, so Jesus gave another parable:

  1. And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
  2. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans (chief tax collector), and he was rich.
  3. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
  4. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
  5. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
  6. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
  7. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
  8. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
  9. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
  10. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
  11. And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
  12. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
  13. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
  14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
  15. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
  16. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
  17. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
  18. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
  19. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
  20. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
  21. For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
  22. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
  23. Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
  24. And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
  25. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
  26. For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
  27. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. Luke 19:9-27

So in this parable, we see that judgement is connected with the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Below we began to see definite answers as to what the Kingdom of God is and when it is to occur.

  1. Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
  2. Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
  3. Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
  4. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. John18:33-36

My kingdom is not of this world! Jesus, while He was on Earth spoke of the wonders that will be when His people will live with Him for eternity.

  1. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
  2. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
  3. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
  4. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
  5. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:39-43

It is clear that Jesus spoke of the kingdom everywhere, even one of the thief Had heard enough of Jesus to know about the Kingdom. When you come to this kingdom you are always talking about, remember me!

Below we see that the disciples had to ask that all important question. When? Of course they were still thinking about Israel at this time as well.

  1. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
  2. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
  3. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (to the end of the earth).
  4. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
  5. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
  6. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:6-11

Here we see that the disciples were given more of the signs that would occur when the kingdom would appear.

  1. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8:12

Philip also preached the kingdom of God. Of course Paul also preached the kingdom of God as we see below.

  1. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
  2. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Acts 20:24-25
  1. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
  2. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. Acts 28:23-24
  1. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
  2. Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. Acts 28:30-31
  1. For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Colossians 1:5
  1. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
  2. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
  3. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
  1. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 2 Timothy 1:10
  1. Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? James 2:5

In Revelation, we have the prophecy concerning the occurring of the Kingdom of God: "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ". It has finally happened!

  1. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
  2. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
  3. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
  4. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
  5. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:7-11

Now we see one of the three angels of revelation 14 having the everlasting gospel. What is that gospel? "For the hour of his judgment is come. . ."

How is that good news? To those who are waiting to see the kingdom of God, it is great news? They will no longer have to struggle in this life on Earth. Jesus is taking things in to his hands, taking us to live with Him!

  1. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
  2. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:6-7

Often, as I see the Christmas programs, I see the birth of Jesus enacted, the wise men, and of course, the shepherds. But is what gives all of Christmas meaning being left out. We as Christians seem to be living in the past instead of the future.

Yes, Jesus was born, He preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, and He died for our sins. This represents a depth of love that none of us can fully appreciate. However let's not forget why He died!

He died so that one day soon He can take us all to live with Him!


Conclusions

Why is it so important to realize what is the Meaning of the Gospel?

It should be clear to any reader of the New Testament that the Saints were especially looking for Christ's second coming. Their greeting to each other was: Maranatha! The Lord is coming.

How did this happen?

When Jesus first started preaching the coming Gospel of the Kingdom, the disciples and everyone else for that matter thought that He was speaking of a new day when Israel would again be it's own country, and soon!

This thinking was in spite of very direct language from Jesus that His kingdom was not of this world.

Finally, when Jesus was killed and later raising from the dead, the Disciples, for the first time were starting to understand that Jesus was talking about Heaven and the New Earth!

We must remember that almost everything that Jesus ever said was concerning the Gospel. It was His central topic of choice. So now that the Disciples had a correct view of the Gospel, the meaning of the last three and half years had new meaning. A different meaning.

Because of this new vision, Christianity spread half way around the world in a very short time. They were convinced that Jesus was coming in their life time. So they worked hard for God to get the message out. In addition they all shared what they had with each other, especially since the Lord is coming very soon!

The main emphasis of God's church should not all be in the past as it seems to be today! It should look toward the future when our redemption will be realized. That is what we have to look forward to. Living with Christ where He is!

This is the central pillar of the Christian faith. Christ's death was important in that it makes our redemption possible. Of course it also shows us His love as we see how expensive it was to redeem us. However, it is the belief that Jesus is coming again that creates the hope in us.

Maranatha! (The Lord is Coming!) One day soon, we will live with Him as His sons and daughters.

Remember, the Lord truly loves us to the extent that He wants us to live with Him. This is not wishful thinking. He even now is working on our befalf to save us from sin. He is now preparing to take us home with Him. So let's plan to be among the saved. This will be the biggest homecoming that we will ever experience. I am sure that the whole universe of created beings are also looking forward to this event. We must not miss our chance to witness and feel the happiness of those who love the Lord by living with Him!


why I became a scientist who is a creationist

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Officially posted January 2, 2000
last revised January 7, 2014