The Gospel Of Jesus Christ

 

Mark 1 : 14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

We have here the outline of the first recorded public sermon of Jesus:

Page 1 : The time is fulfilled. The prophecies concerning the Messiah were being fulfilled. Page 2: The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Jesus laid the gospel of the kingdom all out: He was fulfilling the prophecies. The kingdom of God was at hand. And Jesus showed how we are to respond to the gospel - repentance and faith in the gospel.

Today we see the prophecies concerning the second coming of Jesus being fulfilled. This tells us where we are in the stream of time. It is time for the Lord to come again. We will not focus on prophecies specifically right now. That would make a worthwhile study another time.   Right now we will consider the gospel. What is the gospel of Jesus Christ. How we can please God in the fulfillment of the gospel in our lives. Experiencing the gospel now is both preparation for the second coming of Jesus and hastening the second coming.

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Page 1 What is the good news? What is the gospel of Jesus?

In order to understand the gospel, and how good the good news of the gospel of Jesus is, we must understand the condition that we are in, personally. We must first understand that we are lost before we can comprehend that we need to be saved. We are in and of ourselves, in a remarkable condition and do not know it.

We say: "I'm OK, You're OK" Are you OK? Am I OK? Revelation 3:17 tells us what Jesus says about our condition:

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"

The question is, whom do we choose to believe? Belief is a choice! We are all given the gift of freedom of choice. I can choose to believe I am OK, or I can choose to believe what Jesus says about

me. Jesus loves me. Jesus has only my best interest in view. What is my choice? The gospel of Jesus makes no sense unless we choose to believe the diagnosis of Jesus about our true condition - wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked!

There is another statement of Jesus that fits with what He tells us in Revelation 3:17.

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

A reliable commentary on this saying of Jesus is:

"A strait gate means a gate difficult to enter. By this illustration Christ showed how hard it is for men and women to leave the world and the attractions it holds, and heartily and lovingly obey the commandments of God." EGW That I May Know Him pg 304

So, you and I are not OK! We are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked! We find it difficult to enter the way of salvation.

If we will accept and believe the words of Jesus, concerning our condition, the Gospel is Very, very Good News:

The good news is that today, here and now, we can exchange our wretchedness and misery, poverty, blindness and nakedness for the joy and happiness, the riches, the sightedness and receive the robe of the Righteousness of Christ, as adopted sons and daughters of God. Exchange means that something passes both ways. We have to give our condition to Jesus in order to receive and have His condition. That means we have to surrender ourselves and our misery, our poverty, our blindness and our nakedness to Jesus in order for us to receive Him, and His joy and happiness, and riches, and seeing eyes, and His righteous character. In other words, the gospel of Jesus Christ is an invitation from God to give us His only begotten Son as our Lord and Saviour from our sin and misery, wretchedness and blindness. We give Jesus ourselves and our sins, and the fall-out from our sins, in exchange for Jesus Himself, His Righteousness and His position and status with God. The difference in position and status offered us by the gospel is that we are offered to become adopted into the family of God. Jesus was begotten or born into the family of God. But as you may know, adopted children have an even greater legal status than natural born children before the law.

How do you receive a person? How do we get Jesus, Himself, the only begotten Son of God? The Bible describes how we receive Jesus, by illustrating it by a marriage. I received my wife by marrying her. She is such a wonderful gift from God! If I am willing to be married to Jesus, in the same way I am married to my wife, I can have Jesus in the same way I have my wife. You can receive Jesus in the same way you can receive your spouse. The conditions for getting married and staying married are similar to receiving Jesus. Marriage is a contract wliere two people agree to live together as long as life lasts. And the life they have is a shared life with certain love obligations for both parties. Marriage is a life long school where each learn how to be a blessing to the other. This is how it is to be married to Jesus. And the marriage invitation to connect with Jesus is the gospel of the kingdom. The gospel invitation for marriage with the Son of God is going out to the world now, day by day. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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The gospel invitation is:

Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

The joy of Jesus is to bless and serve others. The joy of the world is to be blessed and to be served. The commandment of the world is to love and serve me as I love and serve myself. The kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God are opposites. One is the kingdom of selfishness and the other the kingdom of unselfish love. Reality is, that It is impossible to please self.

 Mary Rose was a 4 or a 5 year old neighbour girl that loved to spend time with my mother.  Mary had a favorite phrase that she used often to get her own way:  "Don't you want me to be happy".  My mother asked Mary Rose one day:  "Don't you want me to be happy?"  Mary flipped her head, and her pretty curls flew out and she said: "No"!  A child will often tell the awful truth!

There are two kingdoms in this world. There is the deceptive, temporary, kingdom of darkness and light, and there is the permanent, reality Kingdom of Light. We are native-born into the temporary kingdom of darkness and light. When we received the life of our father when we born of our mother, we entered the temporary kingdom of light and darkness and grow up thinking this is permanent and reality.   The invitation of the gospel of Jesus is to leave the world's temporary kingdom of darkness and light and come into God's permanent reality Kingdom of Light.

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

What is the strait gate that we are invited to enter? Why will some seek to enter in and shall not be able?

The strait gate is Jesus Himself. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. In John 10:7 and 9, Jesus says twice: "I am the door" Jesus is the Way, the Door and the Gate to heaven and the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of light. In James 1:17 we read: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."  In 1 John 1 :5 we read: "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." It is not possible, in reality, to mix light and darkness, truth and error, but this is the foundation principle of the kingdom of the world today. This was prophecied hundreds of years ago that it would be so. The toes of the image of Daniel are a mixture of iron and clay. And the explanation of the meaning of the mixture of clay and iron is that the kingdom will be partly strong and partly broken. This is such an accurate description of our world today!

The reason some will seek to enter in and shall not be able to is illustrated by this true story found in Mark chapter 10.

Mark 10:17And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and

asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

This also illustrates what Jesus meant when He preached the gospel and said: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."

It is the love of self and love of our visible things that we need to repent of. Because we cannot of ourselves repent of the love of self, the repentance required by the gospel, God provides repentance:

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

The main point we want to understand about the gospel of Jesus is how do I make this exchange of my misery, blindness and nakedness for the joy of Jesus, His view of life, and His righteousnes. The rich young ruler came running to Jesus and asked the very question that we want to know the answer to: What must I do in order to make this exchange?

Jesus said: "Keep the commandments" "Which?" asked the wealthy ruler. When Jesus named the commandments: " Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother." The rich, young, ruler smiled and said: "Master, all these have I observed from my youth." The record says that Jesus looked at him and loved him.

Beloved, Jesus looks at each of us and loves us all. And what is our condition? That is what He finds so attractive to Him! The only thing we have to recommend us to Jesus is our great need! "And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:" And what is more, what makes our condition so attractive to Jesus, is our blindness! Jesus knows that we can, of ourselves, do nothing to improve our condition. We are totally blind to our true condition. So because Jesus knows that we cannot possibly help ourselves, and because we so desperately in need help -Jesus loves us. Jesus has agreed with His Father to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Jesus came to earth, the Son of man, and lived the life of perfect dependence on His Father. Jesus died the death of the cross. The Uncondemned died for the condemned. The Guiltless died for the guilty. And Jesus offers Himself, His life, and His righteousness to each of us on two conditions:

1. We give our sins and our sin's consequences to Him because He bought them on the cross and wants wants them. We choose to do this out of love and gratitude for what Jesus has done for us.

2. We, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit of Jesus, follow Jesus because we love Him. In following Jesus, we put self on the cross of Calvary and refuse to take self down from the cross. We accept the gifts of the repentance and faith and the forgiveness of Jesus. Jesus had explicit faith in His Father and did always His Father's will. This example we can follow by His grace even as Jesus did by His Father's power.

But unbelievedly, most of us make the choice of the rich young ruler. We go away sad, because we refuse to believe the truth of our true condition and the power of the gospel of Jesus. We refuse to give up our sins and sin's consequences to Jesus. Why do we make this choice?   "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"

The rich young ruler's response to the offer of salvation was sadness. He went away grieved. For he had great possessions.  Am I sad about the requirements of the gospel of Jesus?

Page 2 What can we do to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Jesus invited the rich young ruler to do what?

Mark 10:21

"Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."

Jesus asked the rich, young, ruler to do two things:

1) Exchange the seen, visible advantages for the unseen character-treasure of Jesus, to the blessing of the poor.

2) Accept death to self for the self-sacrificing life in Jesus.

Jesus knows that this is totally repugnant and wholly disagreeable, and nonsense, to the natural heart. Jesus knows that this is not possible for us to meet the requirements of His gospel on our own, so He has prepared a training course for us, designed to teach us two things:

1.) It is impossible to please self. Death to self is the only cure for selfishness. We have to come to this realization and agree to crucify self with Jesus and follow Jesus to the cross and die with Him on the cross.

2.) By experience, in following the example of Jesus, we can learn the joy of Jesus and, for God's sake and for the reason of pleasing God motivated by the love of God, deny self, take up the cross and follow Jesus.

We are told what the curriculum and course plan of this gospel training school is. God puts every human being through this training school, in an all-out attempt on God's part to let us perceive and receive the benefits of the gospel. We read the curriculum and course plan of God's training course in this paragraph:

God leads his people on step by step. He brings them up to different points which are calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested, and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to the straight work of God, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, or be spued out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel, "God will bring his work closer and closer to test them, and prove every one of his people." Some are willing to receive one point, but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols, and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If they will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride and evil passions, the angels of God have their charge, "They are joined to their idols, let them alone," and they pass on to their work, leaving them with their evil traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will be fitted by the latter rain for translation. {2SG 225.1}

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Page 3   Motivation for staying in Jesus' gospel training course, is the love of God for His unspeakable gift of His only begotten Son.

God loves us because that is His nature.

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is God's plan of giving us His nature, His life. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a process in which we are changed into the character of God to His praise and glory.

What was the point and purpose for God creating us in the first place? In His foreknowledge, God knew that Lucifer would rebel against Him. In His foreknowledge, God knew that Adam would choose Eve over God and thus fall into sin. So why did God just not create Satanand why-didGodjust npt create Adam? Would not that have saved the Father, the trauma of the crucifixion and the separation from His only begotten Son, in order to offer salvation to mankind? Would that not have saved all the sorrow and pain and wars in this world?

The answer is no. God not creating Satan or Adam would not have solved anything! Given the nature of God being love, to create any intelligent beings with the freedom of choice, at some time with some one of His created, intelligent beings, they would have used their freedom of choice to rebel against Him. So is freedom of choice the cause of the problem? Why not just create creatures without the freedom of choice! That would not be compatible with an intelligent God of love. It is totally impossible for God or you or created in His image, to be satisfied and pleased with living robots with no freedom or ability to do anything other than what they are programmed to do! Without freedom of choice there can be no character development. With no possibility of character development, it would be a sterile, robotic world without love or purpose or any possibility for maturity or growth or progression. That would not please a loving God.

So is there no alternative to conflict given the freedom of choice?

Yes, there is. Satan did not have to choose to rebel. Satan could have chosen to confess and forsake his sin of rebellion. There was no cause or necessity for Satan to sin against God at all. That was purely his own choice.

Satan just about did choose to admit he was wrong. Satan could have confessed that the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul (Ps. 19:7)

Satan just about did chose to see that the law of the Lord is the truth (Ps. 119:142) and that all of God's commandments are truth (Ps. 119:151). Had Satan chosen to confess his sins and forsake them, he would have had mercy (Prov. 28:13) and there would have been no war or death or sin or sorrow and misery in the world. God is in no way responsible for sin, but Satan is and we are. The gospel of Jesus Christ is that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). God could have and would have done the same for Satan, had he confessed his wrong and made public confession of the falseness of His complaints against the law and government o&God, and Son of God.

So what is the end point of the plan of salvation as it is in Jesus? What is the end of the great controversy between Christ and Satan? Why is it taking so long to come to the end of the great controversy and what will the end be?

The end point of the great controversy between Christ and Satan is the destruction of Satan and all who have chosen to follow him in his rebellion to God. There will not a ripple of fear in the hearts of any intelligent being in the universe when Satan and his followers are destroyed. This is because all of the questions raised by Satan's rebellion will have been perfectly answered before the destruction of Satan and his followers.

What is it going to take to get to that end point where all of the questions caused by Satan's rebellion against God ingoing to be answered?

The issue is subjection to authority.

Today God is calling us to be subject to His laws and commandments and be subjects of the kingdom
of God on earth when the whole world is uniting against God and joining in the rebellion of Satan against God.

Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord god, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Every kingdom has laws and commandments. Bible prophecy tells us that the end point of the great controversy between Christ and Satan is going to take the form of a great battle. In the Bible this final war to end all wars is called the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). We are told what the issues of this final war are in Revelation 14:6 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,

7 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.

The issue is worship. God calls for worship as evidence to the universe that we belong to His kingdom. Worship on earth is evidence that we will be happy in heaven where all will worship God. Worship is evidence that we are safe to save. The beast and his image calls for worship as evidence of belonging to his kingdom. Both kingdoms have sanctions of dire results for those who do not choose to give them obedience. It is a religious show-down similar to the religious show-down on Mt. Carmel in the days of Elijah. The major differences are that now it is a world wide show-down. This time the devil will be allowed to bring fire down from heaven. This will deceive the whole world that do not know that this has been foretold in the Bible.

On Calvary, Jesus answered all the questions raised by the devil in his rebellion in heaven. Now the devil has one last charge against God and His salvation plan. The last charge of Satan is that gospel of Jesus cannot change believers in character. The devil says that the plan of salvation cannot change the selfish into unselfish lovers of God who keep His commandments at the risk of death. This last charge of Satan is similar to his last charge before heaven in the days of Job: touch Job's skin, and he will not maintain his loyalty to you. The last generation of believers in the gospel of Jesus will say with Job: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15).

 

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So the great motive to be among that number who will say when Jesus comes: "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him" (Is. 25:9) is to enter into the joy of the Lord and save as many as will be saved by the gospel of Jesus. There is another great motive.   That is to be part of the statistically significant proof to the universe that God is faithful, and His plan of salvation works. God is able to keep intelligent beings with freedom of choice, from sinning, in the context of the overwhelming majority of the world having joined satan in his rebellion against God.

Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the   presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.


Are there any questions about what we have said about the gospel of Jesus?


Appeal: Romans 12:1,2

1 beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Would those stand who would like to send the message to God, that by the power of Jesus in the Holy Spirit they, by the mercies of God, they have chosen to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.

Let us sing our closing hymn 590, "Trust and Obey".

 

 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ Worksheet Handout

 

  1. The two points Jesus emphasized in preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God were:
    1. The time is f_______.
    2. R______ ye and b______ the gospel.

 

  1. What is the good news of the gospel?

The good news of the gospel is that we can exchange our:

  1. w_____________ and
  2. m_____
  3. p______
  4. b____________
  5. n____________

for Jesus to give us His:

  1. j__
  2. h________
  3. r_____
  4. e__ s____
  5. r____________

 

  1. A Bible illustration of how the we make this good news of the gospel exchange is:

a m_______.

In marriage a s_____ life is exchanged for m______ life.

There is a c_______ in m_______.

Marriage is a s_____ in which we learn how to be a b_______ to each other.

 

  1. To prepare for the gospel marriage Jesus puts everybody in a gospel s_____.

The gospel school uses daily c____________ to reveal to us what is in our heart that shuts out J____. Those who graduate from the gospel school and pass every test are fitted for t__________. Those who fail the tests are left with their d______ of c_______ unremoved to the control of e___ a_____.

 

5. Satan's last charge against the government of God is that the plan of salvation does not remove s__ or change the c_______ of b_______ in God. This d____________ of the power of the g_____ is what the u_______ and the w____ and God is waiting for to end the great controversy.