The Kingdom of God on Earth - 2
The disciples of Jesus had no understanding that the Christ - the Messiah - had to be killed until it was explained to them after the event.
The fact that the apostles “preached the gospel” while having no expectation of the sufferings of Christ, demonstrates that the gospel, as preached by them, must have been something very different from the gospel of modern times, which consists exclusively of the death of Christ on the cross.
It is also a fact that the Kingdom of God was also preached by the apostles after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, and that the Kingdom of God, therefore, continues to be a valid and essential element of the gospel now. The book of Acts is a record of that preaching, which resulted in the explosive spread and growth of Christ’s church, and shows what they preached -
● When the people of Samaria “believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized” - Acts 8:12.
● The apostle Paul “went into the synagogue at Ephesus and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God” - Acts 19:8.
● Afterwards, Paul told the elders of Ephesus, “I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” - Acts 20:25.
● While Paul was awaiting trial in Rome “he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets” - Acts 28:23.
● During the next two years in Rome, Paul “received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ” - Acts 28:30.
The apostle Paul was extremely insistent that the same gospel which he himself preached, should never take any other form. And so he exclaimed, “even if we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” - Galatians 1:8.
This leaves the reader of the New Testament with no alternative but to accept that the gospel, of which he said “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” - Romans 1:16 - must include the doctrine of the Kingdom of God, whatever that may be. Paul himself continually preached it wherever he went.
This is a matter of life or death for those who “believe.” From what Paul has declared, if that gospel does not include the doctrine which concerns the Kingdom of God, then it is a gospel which has no power to save.
What, we must know, is the Kingdom of God? The only reliable answer must come from the inspired word of God.