Question: Is the "gospel" preached by modern Christianity the same gospel Jesus Christ preached and commissioned His New Testament Church to proclaim to the world?
Answer: You may be surprised to learn that most professing Christians have never actually heard the true gospel of Jesus Christ! Many have heard a message about Christ, but very few have heard the wonderful good news He announced. The "religious leaders" of Jesus’ day rejected that gospel—and crucified Him for preaching it.
Jesus Christ tells us it is absolutely necessary to believe His gospel message to be saved (Mark 16:15–16). So what is the "gospel" Jesus brought, which would lead us into eternal life?
The message Jesus Christ proclaimed was the "gospel of the Kingdom of God" (Mark 1:14–15). "Gospel" is an old English word which means good news. Jesus Christ was sent by His Father (John 12:49–50; 14:24) to preach the good news of the coming "Kingdom of God" on earth.
The central message of the entire Bible is the coming Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom will be a literal government ruling over the nations. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great image, recorded in Daniel 2, makes that very clear.
But the Kingdom of God is more than just the government of God. When Jesus came preaching about the Kingdom of God, He was also talking about the family of God, and how humans, through Him, may be born into it (John 3:3, 5–6)! The family of God is presently composed of God the Father and God the Son (Christ) in heaven, and of Spirit-begotten sons and daughters on earth (2 Corinthians 6:18), not yet born of the Spirit.
God’s family is also a ruling family, and it is the Spirit-begotten children of God who will, at the first resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50–53), be born of God. Jesus is the "firstborn" among many brethren (Romans 8:29)—and God’s children will join Him to become part of that divine, ruling Kingdom! Notice: "Then the kingdom… shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And all dominions shall serve and obey Him" (Daniel 7:27). Elsewhere we read: "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection… they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6). What will happen after that? "And they shall reign forever and ever" (Revelation 22:5).
The plain truth of the Bible reveals that the "Kingdom of God" will be a literal government composed of spirit rulers who will rule over all nations on earth (Revelation 5:10). This is the very good news, or "gospel," of the Kingdom of God—the gospel that Jesus preached!
The biblical record shows that the New Testament Church continued to proclaim Christ’s gospel as He had commissioned (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:3; 8:12; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31). God’s Church today is also faithfully proclaiming that same message to the world through the Tomorrow’s World telecasts and magazines and other literature. However, most who hear or read that message are not heeding it (Matthew 20:16).
In His Olivet prophecy, Jesus foretold that His gospel message of the Kingdom of God would be preached mainly as a "witness" to all nations at the end time (Matthew 24:14), because the Father is now choosing (John 6:44), through that announcement and His Spirit, only a relative few to prepare to rule with Christ when He returns. Those few, who will be made immortal at Christ’s return, are the "called, chosen and faithful" (Revelation 17:14).
Those who have responded to God’s calling are doing their part in helping to spread the good news of the coming "Kingdom of God," and are preparing to become literal members of that glorious, ruling family at Jesus Christ’s return!