One Gospel or Two?

Dispensationalism makes a fairly hard distinction between the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached and Paul’s gospel of grace. I’m not convinced that this distinction holds though. It seems to me that the kingdom finds its inauguration and fulfillment in Christ so that Paul’s preaching of Christ is shorthand for kingdom. Put another way, we can understand “gospel of the kingdom” to mean “good news about God’s reign.” Paul’s gospel is precisely that good news! God reigns in Christ through the Spirit!

And while I wouldn’t stake much on this (at least not yet), I do find it interesting that Mark, who has a penchant for abbreviation, describes Jesus as proclaiming the “gospel of God” (Mark 1:14) while Matthew uses “gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23 cf. 9:35; 24:14). Paul also uses this term (gospel of God) in arguably the first (1 Thes. 2:2, 8, 9) and last (Rom. 1:1; 15:16) of his “undisputed” letters. Perhaps this is evidence of a Pauline abbreviation of the gospel of the kingdom.

B”H

4 thoughts on “One Gospel or Two?

  1. Dispensationalism misunderstands Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom as focused on the kingdom of Israel and its Messiah (similar to the misunderstanding of his disciples in the Gospels). But in Jesus’ new kingdom, he will be Christ/Messiah/king over disciples who will be the light of the world, thus an international kingdom. It is Paul then who especially (early on) spreads this gospel and kingdom among the Gentiles, calling on them to submit to Jesus as Lord (king). Thus Acts 28:31 concludes Luke-Acts by saying Paul was in Rome “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

  2. Soon after I became a Christian I was introduced to the Christian Life Convention, a convention for deepening of spiritual life. We are with the one.

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