The Essence of the 'Everlasting Gospel'

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The Essence of the 'Everlasting Gospel'

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The apostle John tells us that, in a vision, “I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth; to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people . . .” Notice the essence of that everlasting gospel: “Fear God and give glory to Him . . . and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (Revelation 14:6-7 Revelation 14:6-7 6 And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
American King James Version×
).

God’s message to mankind is eternal and consistent. He has always emphasized the importance of our having a relationship with Him as our Creator. He said to Abraham, “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you” (Genesis 17:7 Genesis 17:7And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you, and to your seed after you.
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). God later repeated similar words to the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 29:13 Deuteronomy 29:13That he may establish you to day for a people to himself, and that he may be to you a God, as he has said to you, and as he has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
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The term Kingdom of God implies much more than Jesus Christ’s administration of the righteous laws of God over the earth. It also encompasses the very children of God—God’s family. He reveals that the members of that family, which He is in the process of building, are His own sons and daughters who will share with Christ the administration of the laws of God over the nations.

Jesus promised, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21 Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
American King James Version×
). What will they then do? “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations” (Revelation 2:26 Revelation 2:26And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
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A remarkable relationship exists between Jesus Christ and those who will share responsibilities with Him in the Kingdom of God. “In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers” (Hebrews 2:10-11 Hebrews 2:10-11 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,
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, NIV).

Not only are they the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, but God the Father regards them as His own sons and daughters. “As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people . . . I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty’ ” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
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Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to “a mustard seed . . . which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32 Matthew 13:31-32 31 Another parable put he forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
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The gospel is the story of God building His family by first calling out of the world a small number of people who, like a mustard seed, will increase in number and scope until the earth is filled with the children of God.

No wonder Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14 Mark 10:14But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said to them, Suffer the little children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
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). The Kingdom of God will consist of the children of God who receive the gift of eternal life as spirit beings at the return of Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul describes how this will occur: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:50-53 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
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From the beginning, God has wanted to offer humanity the most priceless of gifts: the gift of eternal life as a member of His family in the Kingdom of God. Even as Adam and Eve were escorted out of the Garden of Eden because of their sins, God had already planned another opportunity for human beings to share in a loving, personal and eternal family relationship with Him.

Jesus Christ is even now preparing for the Kingdom and a future with us (John 14:1-3 John 14:1-3 1 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
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). God the Father offers us the opportunity to enter the Kingdom as His own immortal sons. As the apostle Paul said, “you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 11 As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father does his children, 12 That you would walk worthy of God, who has called you to his kingdom and glory.
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).