Brief Notes

the Earth
the Gospel

24 December 2022

The purpose of the gospel
is not to get people to
heaven, but to bring
God’s kingdom
to the earth

When we come to the the concluding book of the New Testament, Revelation, we see that it includes this praise of the Lord Jesus as it is just beginning:

To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood, and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever! Amen.
— Revelation 1:5-6

As we considered in our previous Note (The Cross, the Blood, the Kingdom, & the Priests), this statement presents the complete gospel in a concise way.  That is, that Jesus died for our sins so we could become His kingdom and serve Him as priests.

In fact, Revelation includes such a statement in its introduction to show us the nature of all of God’s work today. As Witness Lee states in a note on Revelation 1:6 in his Recovery Version of the New Testament,

One of the main aspects of [the book of Revelation] is that God is recovering His right over the earth in order to make the whole earth His kingdom.

That is what the gospel is really for: to recover God’s right to the earth that has rebelled against Him. For this, God must establish a kingdom on the earth, and so the gospel makes us “a kingdom” unto Him.

That is why, in the New Testament, the preaching of the gospel begins:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
— Matthew 3:2, 4:17, 10:7

Also at the beginning of the New Testament, Jesus teaches us to pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come;
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
— Matthew 6:9-10

And just before His death He said that, before the end can come,

“This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations.”
— Matthew 24:14

And after His resurrection, He commissioned the disciples, for the sake of this kingdom, to

“…Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
— Matthew 28:19

So, we must be very clear when we preach the gospel that we are not merely trying to get people to heaven; rather, we are laboring to bring heaven to the earth, that is, to establish “the kingdom of the heavens” on the earth today. This will prepare the way for the Lord to return to the earth and manifest His kingdom among men:

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
— Revelation 11:15

Lord, Amen!
Your kingdom come;
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven!

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— 24 December 2022 —