Obsessed with the question: When shall the end come? Christians have fallen prey to false prophets, since the first century. However, while the day may not be known, Jesus gave an indication, as to when the end would come.
It seems Satan takes advantage of hopelessness among most people, in this world. The second-coming of Jesus is an unknown and unpredictable event, yet expected to end all problems of the world.
After Jesus had prophesied what would happen to Jerusalem His disciples asked Him two questions: “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying. Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3) (KJV).
The answer on when the end of the world would come is buried among the series of events that Jesus said would take place, in Christian dispensation (Matthew 24:3-44). In verse 14, Jesus stated: “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.”
There we have it; from Jesus Himself. The end will come exactly after the gospel of the Kingdom has been preached into the entire world, for a witness. I suppose, this should not invite another question, as to which gospel Jesus was talking about? That verse clearly states that the gospel was that of the Kingdom, which cannot be of anything else, other than of God.
The question about when the end will come; should be followed by another one: Has the gospel of the Kingdom of God been preached into the entire world, for a witness? All problems of the world can be taken care of, in the context of the gospel of the Kingdom being preached into the entire world, if we consider Jesus as the only authority.
The issue of the possibility of false gospel arising cannot be taken lightly, when considering that, even in the first century Paul had to contend with the issue of false gospel:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9) (ESV).
The false gospel that Paul was referring to, at that time, may not be applicable in our time. But what we should know is that the false gospel comes about through the schemes of the devil. His intention is to preoccupy God’s people with other things; other than the mission of the true gospel.
The meaning of the gospel itself is, simply, good news. What is good about this news is because it introduces the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. In heaven there is no confusion that we see, as comprising this world. The Kingdom of Heaven consists of all the goodness, unimaginable. That Kingdom restores the reality of what man was created to possess (Genesis 1:26).
Apparently, Paul did not take the issue of moving away from the original gospel lightly. Today, Orthodoxy has taken over as the authority that provides security to most Christian Churches, not Jesus Christ. Even as I write, there are those taking comfort in their respective denominations, desiring not to entertain the mentioning of the possibility of a false gospel in orthodox Christianity.
Orthodoxy stands on the basis of what was concluded by the Nicean Council of AD 325. Theologians are united in that the resolutions passed at that conference constitute what is identified as orthodoxy in Christianity. Any view that deviates from those resolutions is labeled “heretic”, which means an opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted.
Orthodoxy will assert to the Bible being what guides its principles. But, my own independent analysis reveals that, while the Kingdom of God is principally what Jesus, taught, Orthodoxy views preaching about the Kingdom as heresy.
What is accepted uppermost in Orthodoxy is Trinity, which Jesus Christ never talked about, though inferred in scriptural references. Orthodoxy insists that it is not possible to understand the things of God, without understanding the Doctrine of Trinity. However, Jesus said “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added onto you” (Matthew 6:33).
To start with; Jesus never preached about Himself. He also did not preach publicly about the events that would take place, leading to His death and resurrection. He talked about these things, privately, with His disciples. But when it came to preaching the gospel, to the public, it was always about the Kingdom of God. All the four gospel books are clear on which gospel Jesus preached.
Even John the Baptist asserted to the impending Kingdom of God (Matthew 3:2). Nevertheless, to show how important it was to Jesus; after His resurrection He preoccupied Himself with it, to His disciples:
“He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3) (ESV).
When sending His disciples to their first mission, Jesus declared to them to primarily proclaim the gospel about the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 10:7).
The most important thing to appreciate is that a Kingdom is not a religion. While there can be many characteristics that define a kingdom, the following three important aspects should be considered when a kingdom is mentioned, namely:
A King. There is no kingdom without a king whose authority is sovereign, over a defined dimension of a territory.
A defined territory over which a King reigns, may consist of everything dead and living and includes human beings. The value, as contained in that territory defines the wealth capacity of the Kingdom.
The constitution; or the laws of governance, with which to execute the King’s authority.
There is nothing bad about talking about the marvelous grace of our Lord. There is nothing bad about talking about Christ’s death and resurrection. There is nothing wrong with describing how cruel the process of crucifixion was upon our Savior Jesus Christ. But those things are not the gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus said ought to be preached to the entire world, before His second-coming.
But what is even more vexatious is preoccupation with Trinity and insistence that those who do not understand it are heretics. The reason being that failure to acknowledge Trinity is against Christian orthodoxy, which appears as having taken over the authority of Jesus Christ?
The truth is that an average Christian today doesn’t even know anything about the gospel of the Kingdom of God. They know about the fact that Jesus Christ died for our sins and the fact that we are saved by grace alone. Ask them what they understand about the Kingdom of God?
Most of them will probably tell you that it is a place in Heaven, where Christians go to, after death. This contradicts with what Jesus said in what orthodoxy describes as the Lord’s Prayer: “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” Matthew 6:10).
But what is most disheartening is that, Christianity, as characterized in different denominations is far removed from the teachings of Jesus Christ. Where are my fellow Christians getting it wrong, when the Holy Bible is there to guide, not the Nicean Council? What is wrong with our scholars? The answers may be found in the following links:[here][here] [here] [here]
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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