Christ on the Throne 2In America, we have grown up with the philosophies of a “democratic republic”. It has been a great political experiment. Regrettably, it has created a cultural mindset that makes it difficult to live in a healthy relationship with God.

In God’s kingdom, there is no “of the people, by the people, for the people”. The King has the only and final vote. He is the one that determines and executes mercy and justice. Our rights are what He determines them to be.

For the rebellious, this is an unacceptable situation. And that is exactly what got us into this mess. The first sin was not disobedience, it was outright rebellion. Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they decided that they should determine what was best for themselves. They decided that they would become the captains of their ship. They mutinied, and all was lost (for a time).

Then God sent Jesus Christ to the earth. Why would He do such a thing? Why would He subject His Son to the humiliation, persecution and pain? What was His primary mission?

Most in the Western church have been taught to believe that He was sent to save mankind from hell. We call it, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ” – the good news of man’s salvation.

Man’s salvation is good news; but it is not the gospel that Jesus came to preach.

Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” Luke 4:42-43

Notice that Jesus was not sent to preach the gospel of man’s salvation. The salvation of man is the smaller part of God’s eternal plan; something of a necessary sidetrack. First, there is the kingdom.

Now is a good time to remind ourselves that His story is more about Him than it is about us. Believe it or not, God had a much bigger mission for His Son: The plan to take back the throne of mankind’s heart; to take back His kingdom.

The Gospel of His Reign

Our participation in Jesus’ mission does not begin with our salvation. It begins with the opposite of what got us in this predicament. It begins with our surrender. Surrender is easier when we understand the gospel of the kingdom, its place in God’s story, and our place in it.

Kingdom (basileia): royal power, kingship, dominion, rule (not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom; of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah; of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom); [secondarily] a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king; used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah. Outline of Biblical Usage,

Notice that the primary meaning of basileia is the power and right to rule over a kingdom. The Gospel is the gospel of His reign. It is only secondarily the place or people of that rule. This will be a critical distinction as we explore the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus came to preach and establish.

The Gospel We Believe

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.” Mark 1:14-15

What gospel are we to believe? The gospel of the kingdom. This is the full gospel. It is more than the good news of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Though it is of first importance, the good news that most have been taught is only a part of the good news; for the gospel of the kingdom is literally “the good news of God’s reign in the hearts of mankind”.

Consequently, when Jesus preached, “Repent”, He meant that we were to turn from self-rule to His kingdom rule. We are commanded to move from rebellion to surrender. This was the major theme of His preaching in all of Galilee and throughout Israel.

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. Matthew 4:23

Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” Luke 4:42-43

Jesus was sent with a purpose: To preach the gospel of the kingdom everywhere He went. He had His disciples do the same – even before He spoke to them about His sacrifice of our salvation.

These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Matthew 10:5-7

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Luke 10:1, 9

As you might expect, the gospel of the kingdom continued to be preached after Jesus ascended to sit at His Father’s right hand.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Acts 8:12

So when they had appointed him [Paul] a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. Acts 28:23

There are three important points to emphasize here: First, Jesus began preaching the gospel – and had the disciples do the same – well before He discussed His death, burial and resurrection. Second, it is more about Him than it is about us – His good news, His kingdom, His reign. Therefore, and thirdly, the gospel is much bigger than most have been taught.

For more references to the gospel of the kingdom, see Matthew 9:35; 24:14; Luke 8:1; 9:2, 6, 11; and Acts 1:3; 8:12; 19:8; 20:25.

The One Who Reigns

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Who is the Jesus that we are to believe in? The prophets understood:

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Is Jesus our savior? Absolutely; but first and foremost, He is the One Who reigns over His Father’s kingdom.

Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 1Corinthians 15:24-25

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Revelation 11:15

This Jesus – our Savior – is the Christ, the Anointed Lord of the kingdom of God.

A New Creation

Scripture tells us that this kingdom is an entirely new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2Corinthians 5:17

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. Galatians 6:15

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2Peter 3:13

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21: 1-2, 5

These verses beg the question, “Has the Kingdom come, or is it coming?” It is both. Christ came to establish the spiritual beginnings of the physical kingdom that He will eventually complete. This is good news for us in that we get to participate in the restoration of His kingdom.

We are children of the kingdom, for the kingdom resides in us. We are kingdom warriors, for it has been given to us to be instruments (aka, weapons) of righteousness. Those of us that are alive and in Christ at this time in history are truly blessed. These are exciting strategic times. We are to be the violent that take the kingdom by force (Matthew 11:12).

This Kingdom’s Purposes

Now that we understand this first of God’s three principle purposes, let’s look at a few passages that speak to the general purposes that flow out of it. As you read these, listen carefully to the Spirit. He may use one or two of them to identify the specific desire of your heart for this season of your life.

When you are ruled by a king, it is desirable to know what kind of king you have ruling over you. In something of an inaugural address, Jesus announced the purposes of His reign.

And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

” The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21

Wow! What good news!! The kingdom is ruled by a good king!! He has come to heal, rescue, enlighten and protect His subjects. These purposes did not end with His ascension. He left specific instructions that we were to continue in them.

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21

God is calling us to continue the fulfillment of Jesus Christ’s purposes here on Earth. As heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ we are called to the family business: The fulfillment of the gospel of the kingdom. We are called to disciple others into the repentant surrender that leads to salvation.


God is establishing His kingdom as a new creation that is ruled by His Son, Jesus Christ. Our repentance from sin must begin with the sin: Our rebellion. To be saved by the King, we must first come under His reign.

A gospel that does not include our unequivocal and total surrender will not save anyone. Tremendous resource has been wasted preaching a partial gospel. How many will be surprised to find that their savior does not know them, because they did not surrender to His reign (Matthew 7:21-23).

The good news of kingdom is the power and character of our King. He is sovereign, He loves us, and He has a plan for us. As Christ, Jesus has shared His desires with His subjects. These connect our hearts with His. We can be sure that there is a desire in our hearts for every command of Christ.

In our surrender to God’s desire to reign in our heart, and Jesus Christ’s desire that we love Him by continuing His work here, we will discover the personal and specific desires God has put in our hearts. Our surrender to these desires begins the transformation process (2Corinthians 3:18) that culminates in our strategic assignments for His kingdom (Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:16). It is in these assignments that we find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry.


The gospel of the kingdom – the good news of Christ’s reign over the hearts of mankind – is the solution for most of the problems facing the church in America. When leaders give up their reign for His, many will follow – thus creating a mass movement from the enemies’ camp, into the kingdom. You have been given influence for such a movement. It is time to get moving.


  1. Review your notes and the Scripture passages from this week’s module. Share the ones that are most meaningful to you, with someone else. The truth will make them free.
  2. Each day this week, ask the Lord to show you the areas of your life where you are reigning. Repent of this rebellion and trust Him to forgive you and lead you into His reign (1John 1:9).
  3. Consider Christ’s announcement of the good news of His reign (Luke 4:16-21). As His bondservant and steward, ask Him how He wants you to represent Him. Be careful to record His answers.

Recommended Reading

The following are some of my favorite books on this subject. Most can be found at your local Christian book store, or at one of the many online distributors.

Humility and Absolute Surrender (combined set); Andrew Murray

Spiritual Authority; Watchman Nee

Humbly yours and forever His,