Jesus was the Messiah who came in fulfillment of the Old Covenant prophecies to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, announce it was here today, and show us what life in that Kingdom should look like. Unfortunately it was a total waste of time.
All this talk about the Gospel of the Kingdom was simply to illustrate how impossible it was to live this way. Sure, He did it, but he was God and we’re not.
So, for 3 long years Jesus traveled the countryside preaching and teaching about the Good News of the Kingdom which he knew all along was a complete sham.
Weirdly enough, even after he was crucified and rose from the dead, he kept on talking about this empty promise of God’s Kingdom on earth and then told his Disciples to go out and continue preaching it after he ascended.
Luckily, a few years after all of this going through the motions, Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who was hell-bent on killing or arresting as many Christians as possible. That’s when he finally revealed the ACTUAL Gospel message to everyone.
Unfortunately, this guy Saul [later the Apostle Paul], waited another 3 years in Damascus making tents and hanging out before he eventually decided he should probably tell other people what this Gospel really was.
Here’s the weird part: Paul only told the Christians in Corinth what this Gospel was in a letter he sent to them.
What’s also really weird is that those early Christians compiled the life and teachings of Jesus in a series of books they called “The Gospels” – even though they knew that Jesus really never shared the actual “Gospel” in those books [Matthew, Mark, Luke and John].
Luckily for us, even though the message and ministry and life of Jesus was a complete waste of time, he at least made sure to die for everyone on the cross so we could all be “saved.” So, that’s a relief.
Isn’t it strange that Jesus would spend 3 years preaching a message about the Good News of the Kingdom that he knew all along would never come and couldn’t possibly be realized?
And isn’t it odd that Jesus would send out the Disciples to keep on preaching it after he rose from the dead?
Isn’t it even weirder that someone would write all of this down and call it “The Gospel” when they knew it wasn’t the Gospel?
Isn’t it especially strange that Paul would be the only one to get this “Gospel” message and then only tell us what it is in this one paragraph of 1 Corinthians?
Wow. I guess God really does work in mysterious ways, huh?
So, hopefully by now you’ve caught on to the fact that this entire post so far is completely facetious and tongue-in-cheek.
If not, let me assure you: This is NOT what I believe.
HOWEVER….this sort of thing above is actually what many Christians in America believe. [No, seriously].
I posted something last week on my Facebook page about how Jesus would have been shocked to find out that people would call themselves “Christians” and ignore his Sermon on the Mount. What followed was the most wackadoodle gobledeegook theology I’ve ever heard in my life. [See above for examples].
For the record: The Gospel is what Jesus said it was. It’s found in the Gospels: especially in Matthew, Mark, Luke and also John.
Also for the record, the Gospel found in those Gospels, from the mouth of Jesus, is the SAME GOSPEL that Paul preached. How do we know?
Well, take a look for yourself:
Jesus talks about the Gospel of the Kingdom all throughout his ministry, for example:
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” – Mark 1:15
“The kingdom of God has come upon you.”- Matthew 12:28
“For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17:21
“After his suffering, he [Jesus] presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” – Acts 1:3
SO DID THE APOSTLE PAUL:
“I have gone [among you] preaching the kingdom of God” – Acts 20:25
“We must go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God.” – Acts 14:22
“For the kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 14:17
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – 1 Cor. 4:20
“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.” – Acts 19:8
“He [Paul] witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.” – Acts 28:23
“He [Paul] proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” – Acts 28:31
“Now I [Paul] know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.” – Acts 29:25
So, please, do NOT let ANYONE sell you on this idea that the Gospel message didn’t show up until 1 Cor. 15. That passage is simply Paul elaborating on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, not an attempt to summarize the Gospel as being only about the Atonement.
Paul had a lot to say about anyone who dared to preach any other Gospel than the one he preached…and the one he preached was the same one Jesus preached. He also hated it whenever anyone tried to follow him, or Peter, or Apollos, rather than follow Jesus exclusively. [Ironically, he opens 1 Corinthians with this exact warning].
Trust me: Jesus did not waste 3 years of his life sharing this message of the Good News of the Kingdom. At least, it’s not a waste if we listen to him and take what he [and Paul] told us seriously.
If we ignore what Jesus said and we replace his Gospel with some other message, perhaps it was a waste of time. But, only if we plug our ears and turn the page.
Please don’t do that.
APRIL FOOLISHNESS: My publisher [Quoir] has also dropped the price on almost every Kindle edition in their catalog to just .99 cents on Amazon right now, for the entire month of April. This includes, Jesus Untangled, Jesus Unbound, and Jesus Unveiled by yours truly.
Keith Giles and his wife, Wendy, work with Peace Catalyst International to help build relationships between Christians and Muslims in El Paso, TX. Keith was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church over a decade ago to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today he is the author of several best-selling books, including “Jesus Undefeated: Condemning the False Doctrine of Eternal Torment” which is available now on Amazon.