I’m convinced that what passes for the gospel makes disciples, but self-centered ones: Christians who confess Jesus Christ but don’t do much to serve him. But what should we expect if we preach the gospel as nothing more than a way for an individual to be saved from hell? Hear-believe-repent-confess-be-baptized is true and good as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. If we preach the gospel only as a way for individual souls to be saved, why should we expect Christians to think about more than their own individual souls?
Matthew’s Gospel gives us a clue: Jesus proclaimed “the gospel of the Kingdom.” Our Lord didn’t come to save a collection of individuals. He came to establish his Kingdom. That Kingdom is not only a place we go when we die. It’s a new heaven and a new earth, and it’s already begun breaking through the battle lines of darkness all around us. Jesus didn’t come simply to save you and me. He came to rescue all creation from rebellion and bring it under his rule and authority. And here’s the wonderful truth: he’s inviting us to share in the struggle today, and in the victory celebration tomorrow.
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley