Hold Fast to the True Gospel!
God’s faithful ministers have always taught “the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12). How important is Christ’s name? The Apostle Peter explained, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Without Christ, mankind would not have heard the Gospel. Christ went about preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14; Matthew 9:35). Teaching His disciples about signs preceding His Second Coming, Jesus warned that although false ministers would deceive many (Matthew 24:11), the true Gospel of the Kingdom would be preached to the entire world (v. 14)!
Was Jesus’ message, “Call on Me and be saved”? No! Christ warned that people who call on His name but disobey Him will not enter the Kingdom of God! Even in the days of the Apostle Paul, some were already disobeying Christ by preaching a false gospel. Notice: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6). Paul explains that there is only one Gospel (“there is not another”). That one Gospel is the Gospel of Christ—the Gospel Jesus came preaching. That Gospel of Christ is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!
The true Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ will return and establish His Kingdom. His Kingdom will encompass an actual physical territory—planet Earth—it will not be something abstract “in the heart.” It will have actual physical subjects under its rule. It will have laws: the commandments of God. And it will have a King: Jesus Christ.
Some have dared to assert that Jesus Christ is not an essential part of the Gospel. Of course, this is absurd! One cannot have a Kingdom without a King! And, unless Christ is our Savior, He will never be our King. Unless we truly make Christ our Lord—through repentance, baptism and obedience to God—we will not enter into the Kingdom of God. Paul acknowledged that Christ’s sacrifice is foundational to the Gospel message (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
As Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, our predecessor in this Work, once wrote: “We must believe the Gospel, and that means also believing on Jesus Christ, the King of the Kingdom of God, and coming King of kings over all the families of the earth. It means believing in Him as personal Saviour, as High Priest now, and as coming King” (“What Is the True Gospel?,” Tomorrow’s World, January 1970, p. 7).
Sadly, some have tried to distort Mr. Armstrong’s bold proclamations of the Kingdom of God, ironically creating a misleading message about Mr. Armstrong—much the same error as was made in the first century AD when some began to preach a message about Christ instead of preaching Christ’s true Gospel message.
So, what is the true Gospel? In his booklet, Do You Believe the True Gospel?, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith explains, “The Gospel embraces God’s entire plan of salvation. It is a message centered on who and what God is and the purpose He is working out through humanity” (p. 35).
What purpose is that? Today’s Christians are not destined to be some kind of “angels” floating around with nothing substantial to accomplish. Rather, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God proclaims the amazing truth that today’s faithful Christians will become literal sons of God—actual members of His divine Family—ruling under Christ in the coming Kingdom of God!