Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People | Learn More…

What Is the True Gospel?

You are here

What Is the True Gospel?

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

The Old English word godspel, or “good spell,” means “good news.” The good news was the centerpiece of His message. He defined His mission with these words: “I must preach the kingdom of God … because for this purpose I have been sent” (Luke 4:43 Luke 4:43And he said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
American King James Version×
).

What did He command His disciples to teach? “He sent them to preach the kingdom of God… (Luke 9:2 Luke 9:2And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
American King James Version×
, Luke 9:6 Luke 9:6And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
American King James Version×
).

What is that message about, and why is it such good news?

When Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God (Luke 8:1 Luke 8:1And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
American King James Version×
; Luke 9:11 Luke 9:11And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
American King James Version×
; Luke 12:31 Luke 12:31But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×
; Luke 13:18 Luke 13:18Then said he, To what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
American King James Version×
), He was continuing the messages of the Hebrew prophets whose words are recorded in the Old Testament. Centuries earlier God had inspired such faithful men as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah to look beyond the difficulties and destruction of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah to a magnificent future when God would establish His world-ruling Kingdom on earth under the reign of the Messiah.

Notice some of their prophecies describing this wonderful age to come:

• “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6 Isaiah 11:6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatted calf together; and a little child shall lead them.
American King James Version×
).

• “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse [the phrase referring to the promised Messiah, Jesus], who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious” (verses 9-10).

• “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14 Daniel 7:13-14 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
American King James Version×
).

• “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5-6 Isaiah 35:5-6 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
American King James Version×
).

• “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid” (Micah 4:3-4 Micah 4:3-4 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken it.
American King James Version×
).

• “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1 Isaiah 35:1The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
American King James Version×
).

• “ ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it’ ” (Amos 9:13 Amos 9:13Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that sows seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
American King James Version×
).

• “So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden’ ” (Ezekiel 36:35 Ezekiel 36:35And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
American King James Version×
).

• “Then the Lord will go forth . . . And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley . . . Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You . . . And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:3-5 Zechariah 14:3-5 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal: yes, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with you.
American King James Version×
, 9).

Jesus Christ and His apostles spoke of this same world-ruling government, which He called “the Kingdom of God.” In Luke 21, after describing a series of trends and events unparalleled in history, He concluded: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near . . . When you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:28-31 Luke 21:28-31 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near. 29 And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now near at hand. 31 So 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×
).

The ancient prophets, Jesus and His apostles all spoke of a literal kingdom that will replace the world’s governments. When these prophecies become a reality, a triumphant cry will ring out: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×
, NIV).

The true gospel, the good news Jesus Christ brought, includes the hopeful message that those who humbly surrender their lives to God now, in this age, will have a part in that age to come—reigning with Christ in that world to come as part of the family of God (see “God’s Great Purpose for All Mankind “).

Sadly, this message is seldom understood and rarely taught in churches. Many have accepted “a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6 Galatians 1:6I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:
American King James Version×
) that distorts and obscures this vital biblical truth. Replacing the true gospel, this “other gospel” (Galatians 1:8-9 Galatians 1:8-9 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.
American King James Version×
), as Paul labels it, evolved and spread throughout the world.

The United Church of God is dedicated to proclaiming Christ’s true gospel to the world (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.
American King James Version×
). For help in discovering the full meaning of the gospel—the incredible good news—that Jesus Christ and the apostles preached, be sure to read the Bible study aids The Gospel of the Kingdom and What Is Your Destiny?