The King You Want Shows the Gospel You Believe

Mark 1:14-15: “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

One implication of this statement in Mark’s gospel is that there is a close relationship between the gospel and the kingdom of God. The gospel is the good news about a king and his kingdom. In fact, elsewhere in the NT, the gospel is called “the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt 9:35).

The people who welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday wanted Jesus to be king; but they wanted him to be a certain KIND of king. They were believing a certain gospel – a specific kind of good news. And we are the same way. What kind of king you want Jesus to be reveals the gospel you might be believing.

Here are some examples:

It’s important to state that the kingdom of Jesus is the fullest expression of all these longings. It’s not wrong to want personal happiness or social justice or deep community or right living. But when we reduce the gospel to any one of these things, we reduce the gospel into no gospel at all.When the kingdom of Jesus really comes among us, it will produce a reality fuller and more beautiful than any of these pseudo-gospels. We will be marked by:

A broken heart for the city/longing to serve the city (because we’ll die to the false gospel of individualism) // A focus on God’s glory, not ours (because we’ll die to the false gospel of self-esteem) // A desire to lay down our lives for our enemies (because we’ll die to the false gospel of being right) // A desire to see rich and poor serving each other selflessly (because we’ll die to the false gospel of Marxist equality) // A willingness to be in messy (and sometimes shallow) community (because we’ll die to the false gospel of relationships) // A Christlike humility rooted in the gospel (because we’ll die to the false gospel of moralism) // A willingness to be persecuted for the name of Jesus (because we’ll die to the false gospel of tolerance)

May His kingdom come, and His will be done, in Omaha as it is in heaven.

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  1. Bob, thanks for posting this chart. That makes it a lot easier to share with people. I was definitely convicted about some of those false gospels, and there was a lot in what you said that I needed to hear to refocus on Jesus during this time.

    Matt VanEpps

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