The Apostles Teach the Same Gospel

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The Apostles Teach the Same Gospel

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What message did Jesus command His followers to preach?

Then He called His twelve disciples together and…sent them to preach the kingdom of God…” (Luke 9:1-2 Luke 9:1-2 1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
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“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
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“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15 Mark 16:15And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
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Did they do as He commanded?

“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20 Mark 16:20And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
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“But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized” (Acts 8:12 Acts 8:12But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
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Was the Kingdom of God the goal of the early Christians?

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28 Hebrews 12:28Why we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
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What reason did Peter give for God calling people into His Church?

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11 2 Peter 1:10-11 10 Why the rather, brothers, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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Did James, half brother of Jesus, also teach that the Kingdom of God is the goal of a Christian’s life?

“Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” (James 2:5 James 2:5Listen, my beloved brothers, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?
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What did Jesus Himself say should be the goal of any Christian?

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness . . .” (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
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To enter into and share in the Kingdom of God is consistently given as the ultimate goal of believers in Christ. It is the very purpose for their lives. Throughout the four Gospels and the other writings of the apostles, the reality of the Kingdom of God is treated as a foregone conclusion.

Was the Kingdom of God a major theme in Paul’s teaching?

“And [Paul] went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8 Acts 19:8And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
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“So when they had appointed him a day, many came to [Paul] at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23 Acts 28:23And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
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“Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him” (Acts 28:30-31 Acts 28:30-31 30 And Paul dwelled two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in to him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
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Paul emphasized the theme of the Kingdom of God, continuing the teaching of Jesus Christ and the other apostles.

For what reasons were Paul and his companions persecuted?

“But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus. And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things’ ” (Acts 17:6-8 Acts 17:6-8 6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brothers to the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come here also; 7 Whom Jason has received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. 8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
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Paul taught that Jesus would return as King to establish the Kingdom of God. Because of this teaching, he was falsely accused of inciting his followers to overthrow the Roman government. Although this was untrue, it put Paul and his associates in serious trouble. F.F. Bruce in his commentary on Acts says: “The apostles proclaimed the kingdom of God, a very different kingdom from any secular empire, and no doubt they gave Jesus the Greek title basileus (‘king’), by which the Roman Emperor was described by his Greek-speaking subjects” (F.F. Bruce, The Book of Acts: The New International Commentary on the New Testament , 1984, pp. 344-345).

Since the gospel spoke of a literal Kingdom with Christ as its king, it inspired charges of treason against Paul. The citizens feared the Roman authorities would step in and deal harshly with them if talk of the Kingdom of God continued openly. This incident shows the powerful impact the message of the Kingdom had in the Roman world.

Paul taught that people should turn from false gods and idols and immediately begin to obey the teachings of the living God. He challenged their pagan superstitions. Paul’s preaching that God plans to send Jesus Christ to set up the Kingdom of God often brought persecution on him and his companions (Acts 16:19-24 Acts 16:19-24 19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace to the rulers, 20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
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; Acts 19:25-29 Acts 19:25-29 25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, you know that by this craft we have our wealth. 26 Moreover you see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: 27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nothing; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships. 28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
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Why was Paul often accused in court of doing evil?

“And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:6-8 Acts 26:6-8 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, to our fathers: 7 To which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
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Paul based his teachings on the promises made to his forefathers. He preached that people everywhere could be blessed forever through the Seed of Abraham as promised. He preached the promise that a Ruler would come from David who would sit on his throne forever. Both promises referred to the role of Christ in God’s plan. Even in that day, many Jews anticipated the appearance of this Ruler because of the same promise and the words of the prophets.

Paul’s teachings included the promise that humankind would be reconciled to God through the forgiveness of sin (Jeremiah 31:34 Jeremiah 31:34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, said the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
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; Colossians 1:18-23 Colossians 1:18-23 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
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). Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection provided for that. Paul taught that Christ was a sacrifice for sin as promised in the Scriptures (Isaiah 53:3-6 Isaiah 53:3-6 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
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; Romans 3:23-25 Romans 3:23-25 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
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). Paul believed and taught that God would resurrect the dead (Daniel 12:2-3 Daniel 12:2-3 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
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; Acts 23:6 Acts 23:6But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
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Paul’s message included all of these promises as well as God’s wonderful teaching that Christians will have a part in His Kingdom, which will replace the disobedient kingdoms of this world. Paul summarizes by saying, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14 Colossians 1:13-14 13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
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