Which is more important: the person of Jesus Christ, or the gospel He preached? | Questions and Answers | Tomorrow's World

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Question: Which is more important: the person of Jesus Christ, or the gospel He preached?

Answer: Jesus Christ came preaching the gospel, which is a message about the soon-coming Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15). Although Jesus commissioned His disciples to go "into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15), many who call themselves "Christians" are completely unaware of the gospel He preached. That gospel message announced a coming Kingdom, over which He will be King, assisted by those whom He calls in this age—the "firstfruits" (Revelation 14:4). We cannot understand—or be in—that Kingdom without the King.

Today, many go to one of two extremes in misunderstanding Christ's message. Some, denying that the Kingdom of God will be a literal place, say that the prophesied Millennium—a thousand years of Christ's rule on Earth, before the "Great White Throne Judgment" (Revelation 20:11-15)—is allegorical. They teach that the Kingdom of God is set up "in your heart." This may seem like a pleasant sentiment, but it ignores Christ's plain teachings and what He and the Father have planned for all of humanity. Because this misunderstanding is so common, Tomorrow's World often emphasizes the truth about the glorious Kingdom of God, over which Christ will soon be ruling.

However, a few today fall into a very different error. Because they correctly see that Jesus consistently emphasized the Kingdom of God, they incorrectly assume that because Jesus was His Father's "Messenger" it is wrong to preach about His name and His sacrifice.

As one illustration of the proper balance, Scripture shows us the example of the deacon Stephen—the first recorded martyr of the Apostolic Church. "And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit' (Acts 7:59). While he was being murdered for his bold preaching, Stephen called out to Jesus Christ, his Savior. Stephen had a profound relationship with both God the Father and Jesus Christ.

In the flesh, Jesus accepted worship toward Himself (Luke 5:8; 17:16), and when He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, "they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him" (Matthew 28:9). Indeed Jesus, like His Father, is worthy of our worship—as He is the One who has torn the veil and made it possible for us to worship our Father (2 Corinthians 3:14).

The apostle—whom Christ taught directly—preached the Kingdom of God as Jesus did. After Christ's resurrection, they still preached "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:20-27)—which included repentance toward God, faith toward Christ and the gospel of grace—all of which are necessary for those who will enter the Kingdom of God!

The Apostle Paul preached the Kingdom of God and of those things concerning Jesus Christ (Acts 28:30-31). His focus was on "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2)—on our Savior, the One through whose sacrifice we will be able to enter into the Kingdom of God! How did Paul describe the gospel? He acknowledged that the gospel "by which you are saved" includes the message that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" and that "He rose again on the third day" (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

In summary, we cannot understand and accept Christ's gospel, or truly repent and enter His Kingdom, without accepting His personal sacrifice. Those who assume a mere "belief in Christ" is sufficient for entry into the Kingdom should remember: even the demons "believe" in Christ (James 2:19). Tomorrow's World strives to present the plain truth of the matter—that through Jesus Christ's sacrifice, those who obey Him today are preparing to assist Him in ruling during the prophesied Millennium ahead, when He will right the many wrongs that mankind has committed during thousands of years of mis-rule.


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