Monday, January 11, 2010

What Gospel have you heard...or taught...?

"Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son." -2 John 1:9

It never ceases to amaze me, how many folks that claim to follow Jesus...consider the word's of Jesus to be void of authority. His word's really do not have to regulate thier lives. They say, He is Lord...but do not do what He says.

This is normative Christianity today.

Does that trouble anyone?

Could it be that the 'gospel' that has been preached, taught and modeled...is possibly a weak or watered down version of easy believeism? A modern equivalent of Bonhoeffer's "cheap grace"? Is it surprising to you to think about the fact that Jesus and the Apostles preached the gospel...before Jesus was ever crucified, buried and rose from the dead?

» And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

» And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (Matthew 9:35)

» Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15)

» [Jesus] said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent." (Luke 4:43)

» Now it came to pass, afterward, that [Jesus] went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings [gospel] of the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1)

» The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the Kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail. (Luke 16:16-17)

» 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)

Have you ever had anyone, seriously explain the "Good News" to you...the Pre-Calvary version? Doesn't that even sound heretical to say...? I know it does, just writing it.

My perplexing contemplations about the often..."complete and utter disregard" for Jesus's teaching is leading me to question wether or not...what folks have heard, has even been an accurate transmission of the Gospel Jesus taught.

The announcement of "good news"—the very best news that could be heard today—which the Father gave through Jesus Christ, was about His Kingdom being established on earth.

But what is a kingdom? It is essentially a nation, with all of its citizens, land, and laws, ruled by a government. In biblical usage, a kingdom can also mean a family from a single parent grown into a nation.

A kingdom has four basic elements:
1) a king, supreme ruler, or governing agent
2) territory, with its specific location and definite boundary lines
3) subjects or citizens within that territorial jurisdiction
4) and laws and a form of government through which the will of the ruler is exercised.

I propose...that If we ignore any one of these essential elements—if we ignore the whole message that Jesus Christ brought from the Father—we will have a distorted faith, one that will not bring salvation in the sense that Jesus meant.

Maybe, the fact that there is a rampant disconnect between saying one "Believes" and what one "Lives"...is far more of an issue than simply struggling humanity to do "gooder"? Maybe instead of making excuses for our failure to truly embrace and obey Jesus...we should examine the message we are consuming? Could it be...that the fruit of action...is a result, of the root of belief?

Have we placed the message of death, burial and resurrection in it's proper context with the broader context of the Kingdom of God? What happens if you separate them?

I think...you get some serious problems.
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