Christianity has taught a gospel of salvation, but the reality is that it is the gospel of the Kingdom. When He was resurrected, Christ not only brought salvation but also ascended to the right hand of the Father and was given all rule and authority so that all creation would be subjected to Him. Becoming a Christian is more than being saved; it is the introduction to the process of becoming subjected to His Lordship.
I feel that there is not enough teaching on the Kingdom of God in Christianity, and believers do not have a real grasp of what the Kingdom is all about. The emphasis tends to be on preaching salvation, and therefore the gospel and salvation are seen as one and the same. Yet the New Testament Scriptures have a very clear emphasis on the Kingdom of God. We know that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah bringing salvation, but John the Baptist, Yeshua Himself, and the disciples came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.
Later Peter and Paul proclaimed Yeshua as Lord and King as well as Messiah, their emphasis being on His Lordship. They did not preach that once you are saved you have attained to the pinnacle of a relationship with the Lord and nothing more is needed. Salvation is what qualifies you to become a part of His Kingdom, but once you enter into the Kingdom of God, into the Lordship of Christ, then the issue becomes your obedience to His Lordship.
Christ Himself came into perfect subjection to the Father, whereby all authority was given to Him over heaven and earth. Everything must come into subjection to Christ. That was the purpose of the Father in giving Him that dominion. Rather than emphasizing salvation above all else, we as Christians need to understand that a relationship with Christ means maturing into a complete subjection to Him as King and Lord over our lives.
- Matthew 3:1–2. “John the Baptist came, preaching … ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
- Mark 1:14–15. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
- Luke 16:16. “The gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.”
- Matthew 4:23. “Jesus was … proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease.”
- Luke 9:1–2. “He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.”
- Acts 28:23. “He was … solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus.”
- Acts 28:30–31. “He … was … preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Matthew 24:13–14. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world … and then the end will come.”
- Acts 2:34–36. “Know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ.”
- Romans 10:9–13. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, … you will be saved.”
- Matthew 28:16–20. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
- Daniel 7:13–14. “To Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him.”
- Ephesians 1:20. “He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:22–28. “Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father.”
- Hebrews 5:8. “He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.”
- “Salvation is obviously a part and necessity of the Kingdom of God, but it is not the whole of the Kingdom.”
- “You cannot separate His Lordship from the experience of salvation.”
- “Our salvation is our introduction to our being submissive to Him as the Lord in our lives.”
- The preaching of the gospel was the announcing of the Kingdom of God to come. Yeshua the Christ, the Messiah, is the Lord and ruler over the Kingdom. That does not necessarily apply to the salvation of the believer; it applies to the reigning of His Lordship over the believer.
- Salvation is a necessary experience for someone to enter into the Kingdom of God, not to be confused with the fullness of the Kingdom of God. This does not mean that the Kingdom has already come or is fully manifested. It means that the door is open for you to be included in the Kingdom and now begins your process of perfection and submission.
- The cross and the resurrection of Yeshua did not only provide salvation for mankind; it placed all things in subjection to Yeshua, establishing His Lordship over all creation.
- The Messiah will exercise that Lordship until all things are in subjection to that Lordship, and then He will subject all things to the Father so that God is all in all and over all.