The Gospel of the Kingdom - Bob Sawvelle

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Mark 10:15

What is the Kingdom of God?

If you were to ask the average believer, they probably couldn’t answer you. Yet, in the New Testament, the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is mentioned about 80 times.

Historically the Jews thought the Messiah would come and establish a political Jewish Kingdom, much like what David had done. So, when Jesus came, He was rejected by the religious leaders because His kingdom was not political.

Jesus instead declared something else:

Matt 3:2; 4:17 John first then Jesus … “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was put in prison, 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.”

Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom. “Gospel” means “the in breaking of God into this world,” and Jesus specified: it’s “at hand” (pressing in upon me). The authority of Christ completes the kingdom message, which is essentially, the rule of God as supreme and His realm over which He reigns—the universe and all of creation.

The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.” Psalm 103:19

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:13

God’s kingdom is everlasting, His rule over all never ceases.

We may think of the kingdom as primarily God’s realm, but it is first His authority. He has authority as the Creator. In the New Testament, the kingdom of God is the divine authority and rule given by the Father to the Son. When Jesus testified to Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world, He was not saying that He had no authority on earth. He was saying that His authority was not given to Him by anyone in this world. (Luke 22:29) [1]

Matt. 28:18-19: “…All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” It was the Father who gave Jesus all authority. Jesus has delegated His authority to His followers.

When is the Kingdom of God coming?

Answer: It is both present and it is future.

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.” Luke 17:20-21 NLT

When is God’s Kingdom coming? It is present now and it is also future.

The Kingdom of God has always been present. Jesus began to demonstrate what was already a present reality. Matt 28:18 states that all authority has been given to Him. Until He returns, we operate in part. God’s kingdom manifests through us partially until He returns—when it will then fully be revealed. 

What gospel is preached?

Most of us are familiar with a gospel of reconciliation. This means that when we by faith receive Christ, we are forgiven and reconciled with God, and we go to heaven when we die. But is there more?

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” Matt 4:23

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Matt. 9:35

You see, Jesus went around teaching, preaching, and demonstrating the gospel of the kingdom through healing. By these acts, the Gospel of the Kingdom was declared and demonstrated.

But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.” (Matt 12:28) Jesus manifested God’s authority by freeing the oppressed. Every act demonstrated the reality of the Kingdom.

…in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” Rom. 15:19

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance …” 1 Thess. 1:5

Paul fully preached the gospel of Christ. Do you see the gospel of the kingdom in these verses? Yes! The signs of God’s Kingdom are there. Most of the Church is familiar with the gospel of reconciliation, but sadly, is less familiar with the gospel of the kingdom.

Matt 10:7-8: “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” The gospel is preached and demonstrated with signs.

Kingdom living is essentially walking in the fullness of life and being a conduit of the power of God to impact the world in which we live. It is experiencing victorious living and being in the flow of resurrection power. And it is meant for you!

How does the Kingdom of God affect my life personally?

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt 6:33

We benefit when we make the Pursuit of God a priority.

As you seek God’s rule, His Lordship in your life, your life priorities become focused and God’s grace operates without hindrance. Think of the Lord’s Prayer: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done”— you are essentially asking God to invade your life with His rule—that’s the kingdom!

Col. 1:13 NLT: “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,

Freedom is realized as we enter God’s Kingdom. Through your new birth, you are removed from the kingdom of darkness and its domain—it has no dominion over you anymore—for you are brought into God’s kingdom. Exercise your right to be free against the enemy—he is illegally squatting in your life!

Jesus said in John 8:36, whom the Son sets free is free indeed! Stay free, live free!

 …For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” 1 Cor. 3:3

You’re not mere men and women, you have a new normal. You’re supernatural now and live at a different level now! Quit acting like who you were, you’re just not normal anymore! You have been elevated to life in the kingdom of God.

Rom 5:10 CEBIf we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son while we were still enemies, now that we have been reconciled, how much more certain is it that we will be saved by his life?

What does this mean? Salvation is realized through experiencing His life. Salvation is not merely something achieved at death, but an ongoing encounter with God.

What gave the 1st century church their boldness?

Jesus demonstrated to the early church life in the Spirit—the realm of the Kingdom. They were drawn to Him and observed what He did. He taught them, they were going to do these things too! And their confidence developed as they operated in the Spirit.

His resurrection also gave them boldness. They were looking at Him, realizing they get what He has—a new body on the other side, and they had no fear of death. They now saw His life on earth from a new perspective and began to live in the fullness of salvation. They were impacted by His life.

The further the Church got away from the resurrection the more they began to focus on the cross (by about the 3 or 4th century). The further away they got from the resurrection, the more emphasis was on the cross and emphasis on the gospel of reconciliation, and not on the gospel of the kingdom.

Elevated living is now your inheritance! You are citizens of heaven and ambassadors of heaven. Your new DNA is inside of you in seed form—most simply don’t realize they have to nurture this.

Kingdom living should be easy. You have the ability to make decisions out of the power of the kingdom in you, this seed you are nurturing. It is not just the power of resolution.

The life is in the seed and not in the farmer. Cooperate with the life in the seed. You’re the farmer who gets to cooperate with the seeds of the kingdom, the life is in the seeds.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Cor. 9:8

God is able to make all grace abound to you in order to have an abundance for every good deed. Anxiety comes because we’re looking at tomorrow’s challenges or concerns with today’s grace. Grace is God’s supply for today.

Have you tasted of God’s Kingdom? Once you have tasted of the kingdom—change!

We are carriers of that kingdom of God and glory. Live as a citizen of heaven knowing God will give you the grace for today’s situation!

Bob Sawvelle



[1] Rodney L. Cooper, vol. 2, Mark, Holman New Testament Commentary; Holman Reference, 23-24 (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000).

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