GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
Jesus said, "When this gospel of the kingdom is preached in all the world, then shall the end come". The end time gospel is clearly a kingdom gospel. Yet much of the church today only extends a gospel of grace message. How do these differ? The gospel of grace is about the saving grace of Christ and prepares us for heaven. The gospel of the kingdom prepares us to reign in life "now" on earth and fully in the coming millenium. The kingdom of God is where ever Jesus rules without resistance. It is His authority released on earth through His people. It is this "now" kingdom message that is not being preached in most of evangelical churches and ministries.
Why is world evangelism shifting strongly to the kingdom of God approach? Because the demonstration of God's authority on earth transcends reason and logic and reveals God's supernatural nature of signs and wonders. Acts 5:12 ''And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's Porch." The early church practiced the supernatural works of God. That is why the church grew at such a powerful rate. When Philip went down to Samaria to preach Christ to a clearly Jewish & Gentile audience, he used signs and wonders. Acts 8:6-8 "And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city." God can use one powerful healing or deliverance to reach a whole city. Jesus practiced healing and deliverance and drew large crowds. As He demonstrated the kingdom multitudes came to see and believe". 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. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan."
God loves to show Himself strong and mighty. He will demonstrate His power and glory in the midst of sickness and oppression. This causes people to open up to the message of His goodness and love. I have seen healing lines on the streets of San Francisco turn into salvation lines many times. When people see a manifestation of God's presence they repent. They began to believe that if He can heal and deliver He can forgive them of their sins. We can then follow up the healings with a clear gospel message of His love. I recall leading a husband to Christ immediately after his wife was delivered from demons. He had questioned God's reality and power, but when he heard the demons speak through his wife who then got delivered completely, he fell to his knees and received Jesus. He saw the demonstration of God's power. The grace message comes on the heals of kingdom demonstration. We need both. We need to show people the clear message of the cross and God's awesome power to forgive through the blood of Jesus. The power gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians 12 can all be used to bring people to Christ. A word of knowledge, a miracle, a healing can all be means of showing people the reality of God. But the greatest miracles still is the transformation of a soul into the kingdom of God through salvation.