If we think the biblical gospel is getting sins forgiven to die and go to heaven we won’t think the gospel has much to do with our present coronavirus crises. If dying and going to heaven is the gospel, why did Jesus heal people and hold up the gospel process of getting them to heaven?
But if you search in the New Testament for the “good news” you will find a few things:
1 – It is the gospel of the kingdom
2 – It is the gospel of a king (Jesus)
3 – It is the fulfillment of the Old Testament (Acts 13)
4 – It is connected with healing diseases
The gospel has so much more to do with life today. It is a good news that brings joy (Luke 2) to the oppressed (Luke 4).
We need to let the Bible define the terms. When we do we get a much fuller picture of things.
Jesus came into this world as king. He came preaching the gospel that the kingdom of God is near and that the time has come (Mark 1:14-15) which means the gospel is now and it is here. We aren’t just waiting for it.
When Jesus proclaimed salvation…that was gospel.
When Jesus healed the sick…that was gospel.
When Jesus cast out demons…that was also gospel.
Jesus was making things “on earth as they are in heaven” and we can too. But we won’t do this if we just think the gospel is about later…in heaven…forever. That is only part of the story and when we focus on that to the exclusion of all else the Bible actually says, we will miss many opportunities to live out the gospel now.
If you want to hear more specific verses and implications of how to live this out, check this out:
I”d like a much more in depth discussion and explanation of “Jesus was making things “on earth as they are in heaven” and we can too.” This sentence is a direct quote from Bill Johnson and Bethel.
I am unfamiliar with Bill Johnson and Bethel. IMO, we are image bearers of God who are being formed by the work of the Spirit to become more and more like Jesus. The NT says we are being formed into his likeness, to have his mind and attitude and image. Through his resurrection Jesus became the prototype of new creation existence. We, through the indwelling Spirit, are moving in that same direction with the same purposes of Jesus. I don’t claim to have the power to raise the dead but I do believe that as we reach the lost, make disciples, live compassionately, and generally honor God by the way we live that we are living out heavenly realities here and now, on earth as it is in heaven. Paul himself wrote we are now seated in Christ in heavenly realms. What an amazing thought!