The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, is not an appeal. It may sound like an appeal, because it is an invitation. But its no appeal to our carnal sensibilities.

It is not a plea.

It is not an advert or a commercial.

It is not a campaign for election or re-election.

The Gospel is a bold declarative and an authoritative summons to mankind from God.

It might take an understanding of the cultural context of Rome-ruled Judaea to grasp this.

Back then, when a new Caesar ascended the throne, messengers bearing the “good news” of the new king took to the streets. Their message to the people: Bow the knee! A new emperor has arisen! That is the cultural context from which originated the word Gospel(Greek “euangelion”, from where we borrow the English word ” “evangelism”).

The evangelists of ancient Rome took to the streets and announced(heralded) the coming of a new king and his kingdom. Then they demanded unqualified loyalty from the people for the new Caesar.

History testifies to the consequences of refusing to align with the Roman empire. Ask the Christians of the First Century. They have a lot to say about this.

In the midst of that, John the Baptist showed up in the deserts of Judea and gave a similar message. This time, the Emperor of the Universe was making His entry.

That was the context.

We need to be reminded of this, perhaps even to rethink our methods of evangelism. The Gospel is a commandment from Heaven. It sure doesn’t sound that way now. But if we refuse to bow the knee now voluntarily to Jesus, we will bow anyway under divine duress, before facing the consequences of our choices.

You might hear the Gospel as God begging you, or asking you for a favor, or advertising Himself to you. That is how is sounds now. But later, the music will definitely change.

You are not doing Jesus a favor by accepting the Gospel. You are not doing yourself a favor by rejecting the Gospel. You are doing no one any favors by accepting or rejecting Jesus. God has done all the favors in Christ. You just need to accept it the way it is. He wants your citizenship.

The times of ignorance, God overlooked. Now He calls everyone everywhere to repent. That is the Gospel. It is no plea, but an authoritative declaration the present reality of the Kingdom. When the King finally shows up, the music changes, depending on your decision about His Kingdom.


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