We were taught that:
- We needed to be saved because of our sin.
- We needed to be discipled.
- We needed to tell other people about Jesus.
- We needed to be ready for the rapture.
- And that the ultimate goal was to go to heaven and forever be with God.
Mostly true. But over the past 3 years, through Zach Neese and his book, How to Worship a King, through Paul Burleson at our pastors/wives retreat, and through LLBD (and in that order), I've been confronted with the gospel of the kingdom. I never realized that this is the gospel Jesus brought and taught. (Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John and underline every time you see which gospel Jesus teaches about. I was amazed!) You see...with the gospel of salvation, I never felt any future--except to wait for heaven--and very little purpose. To fulfill the gospel of salvation, the only future I saw was to be involved in full-time ministry. Spend your life evangelizing and then wait for the rapture. I feel like we did a horrible injustice to generations of people. They got saved...and then had no idea what to do next. It felt dead.
But the gospel of the kingdom is so much more! It's a government. It has a constitution, the Bible. It has a monetary system, it has territory, and it has rulers/ambassadors. It is righteousness, peace and joy. And all of a sudden, the gospel becomes SO MUCH MORE!! And I'm involved in ways I'd never imagined. I'm not just waiting for the rapture or heaven---I'm trying to make earth look like heaven. Isn't that what Jesus taught us?