“… When you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:31 Luke 21:31So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is near at hand.
American King James Version×).
Our world desperately needs some good news.
Today’s headlines are filled with bad news—wars raging around the globe; famines devastating entire countries; environmental catastrophes and natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts and floods killing multiple thousands of people; grinding poverty holding entire nations in its brutal grip; violent crime increasing in spite of man’s best efforts to deal with it-the litany of tragedies and bad news is relentless.
Accidents and diseases kill thousands every day. Tragically, accidents, suicides and murder are leading causes of death among teenagers and young adults in economically and technologically advanced nations. Drug and alcohol abuse and sexual promiscuity are rampant, bringing epidemics of broken marriages, broken homes and broken lives.
Baffling new diseases spring up around the world, defying the best attempts of scientists to contain or cure them. Other diseases, long thought to have been conquered by medical science, resurface with deadly vengeance, having grown resistant to the medications that easily cured them only a few decades ago.
Even religion, to which many look for solutions, is often a part of the problem. At any given time, wars and armed conflicts flare and burn, fanned by the fires of religious fervor. Wars are fought not only between major religions, but between sects of the same religion, supposedly out of devotion and service to the same God.
Human existence threatened
In this century, more than 150 million people have been killed in war alone. Well over 100 million more have died from diseases and natural disasters. Terrifying nuclear, chemical and biological weapons have the capability to annihilate armies—even entire nations—in seconds. Government leaders grow increasingly worried about such frightening weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists who stop at nothing to achieve their ends.
Why do we see so much sadness, sorrow and suffering around us? Where is it all headed? Why is the world in such a precarious condition? With all this bad news, is there really any hope for the future of humanity?
Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, came to earth prophesying a wonderful future for humanity after an intense period of earthshaking calamities. His message, called “the gospel,” means “good news”—the very good news the world so desperately needs.
But what exactly is this good news—this gospel—Jesus Christ preached? Is it only a wonderful story about Jesus Christ’s birth, life, activities, death and resurrection? Certainly these are an integral part of the good news of God’s plan for humanity (Mark 1:1 Mark 1:1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
American King James Version×). But there is so much more to His message.
Message of salvation
We will see that the good news Jesus Christ brought is not just a message about His life and death leading to our salvation; His message also concerns the meaning of salvation and how He intends to save the human race from its present problems. The gospel reveals the glorious destiny of mankind!
Sadly, humankind has reduced the gospel to the story about the person of Jesus Christ while neglecting and overlooking the deeper and vastly more encompassing message He brought. He most certainly brought good news—the most wonderful news this tired, troubled world can hear! An entire section of the New Testament is devoted to the historical record of the message Jesus Christ taught while on earth. This portion of the Bible, appropriately called “the Gospels,” comprises the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The writers of these accounts all tell us that Jesus’ primary message was the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Mark tells us: “Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’ ” (Mark 1:14-15 Mark 1:14-15 14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.
American King James Version×, emphasis ours throughout). “The gospel of the Kingdom of God” is the message Jesus Christ instructs His followers to believe. This booklet will help you understand and believe this wonderful good news Jesus Christ announced to humanity!