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The Gospel and the Kingdom

The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven is a mysterious phrase among evangelicals at times.  I must confess that it is difficult to define and apply.  One author who is helpful is Graeme Goldsworthy.  His books are gold.  They are refreshing and help me understand the gospel when it comes to prayer, preaching, or the kingdom of God. Today, as I was reading in his Gospel and Kingdom, I was thankful for and reminded of this truth...

The gospel is a gospel of man restored relationships in Christ.  Now, these relationships involve the whole of reality:  God, man, and the created order.  As Eden and Canaan are in Christ, so God's perfect world is in Christ.  This truth has one vital implication often forgotten by evangelicals, but which the Old Testament reinforces by its historicity.  The gospel is not simply 'forgiveness of sins' and 'going to heaven when you die'.  The gospel is a restoration of relationships between God, man and the world (Gospel and Kingdom, 122).  

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So, we see that God's glory through the death, burial, and resurrection is so much more than us and where we are heading.  It has to do with the glory of God in a restored creation and the amazing power of relationships between people that are restored.  This has great implications.  It is no wonder then that Paul states...through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:10).