The Gospel

Concise Bible Dictionary:

“Good news” or “glad tidings.” Everything worthy of this title must come from God. It has not always had the same character. It was good news to Adam and Eve that the Seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. Doubtless they believed it, for Eve said, when Cain was born, “I have gotten a man from the Lord” (Gen. 3:1515And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15); Gen. 4:11And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. (Genesis 4:1)). It was good news to Noah (when God made known that He was going to destroy all flesh) that he and his family should be saved in an ark, and that God would establish His covenant with him. Noah believed God, and was preserved (Heb. 11:77By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)). It was good news to Abraham, when called out by God to be blessed by Him, to be told that he should have a son in his old age; that his seed should possess the land, and that in his Seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gal. 3:88And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. (Galatians 3:8)). Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Gen. 15:66And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6); Rom. 4:33For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (Romans 4:3)). It was good news to the Israelites, when slaves to Pharaoh, that God had come down to deliver them by the hand of Moses. They believed the good news, “they bowed their heads and worshipped” (Ex. 4:3131And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 4:31)). But this was only a part of the good news to Israel; they were not only to be brought out of Egypt; but to be brought into a “good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” Here alas, many of them failed; though this “gospel,” as it is called in the Epistle to the Hebrews, was preached to them, it did not profit them, because it was not mixed with faith in them: they “entered not in because of unbelief” (Heb. 4:2-62For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: (Hebrews 4:2‑6)).
To Paul was revealed “THE GOSPEL OF THE GLORY,” that God has glorified Christ, and that His glory shines in the face of Him who put away the sins of believers (2 Cor. 4:44In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4); 1 Tim. 1:1111According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (1 Timothy 1:11)). So peculiarly was this committed to Paul that he called it “my gospel” (2 Tim. 2:88Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: (2 Timothy 2:8)). It embraced more than salvation, great as that is, for he was desirous of making known “the mystery of the gospel,” which separates believers from the first man of the earth, and associates them with Christ glorified in heaven.

From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

The word “gospel” means glad tidings or “good news,” and it is used in Scripture to indicate that God has good news for man. This fact shows that God is interested in the blessing of man.
Scripture records that there have been different gospel messages that were preached to men at different times in history, promising different forms of blessing from God. To meld these gospel calls into one message is a mistake and does not take into account the dispensational ways of God.
“The gospel of the kingdom was preached to the nation of Israel by John the Baptist (Matt. 3), the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 4), and the apostles (Matt. 10). It promised that if they accepted Christ as their Messiah, He would establish the kingdom in the literal way in which the Old Testament prophets portrayed it. But the Jews rejected the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa. 49:4; 50:5-7; 53:1-44Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. (Isaiah 49:4)
5The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. 6I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:5‑7)
1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:1‑4)
; Micah 5:22But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2)), and consequently, this gospel offer of the kingdom was postponed (Micah 5:33Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. (Micah 5:3); Matt. 12:14-2114Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16And charged them that they should not make him known: 17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 18Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles. 19He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 21And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. (Matthew 12:14‑21); Rom. 11:7-117What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 9And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 10Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 11I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (Romans 11:7‑11)). It will be preached again in a future day (in the 70th week of Daniel 9:2727And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)) by the faithful Jewish remnant (Psa. 95-96; Matt. 24:1414And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)). Many in that day will be blessed through it—including Gentiles (Isa. 55-56; Rev. 9:77And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. (Revelation 9:7)). They will participate in the earthly blessings of the kingdom which this gospel promises.
The gospel preached in these Christian times has at least seven titles, conveying various aspects of the message of God’s good news to the world today. This gospel announces that God in grace has come down to man in the Person of Christ, and through His atoning sufferings, death, and shed blood has secured salvation for sinners who believe. More than this, it announces that God has raised Christ from the dead and has seated Him at His right hand on high, and the believer now has a place of acceptance in Him, in whom are all his blessings. The person who believes this great message is sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:1313In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)) and made part of the Church of God, the body and bride of Christ (Eph. 1:22-2322And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:22‑23)). Thus, this gospel is a heavenly call of believers to a heavenly destiny with Christ (1 Cor. 15:48-4948As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15:48‑49); 2 Cor. 5:11For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1); Eph. 1:3; 2:6; 6:123Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3)
6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:6)
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
; Phil. 3:2020For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (Philippians 3:20); Col. 1:5; 3:1-25For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; (Colossians 1:5)
1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1‑2)
; Heb. 3:1; 8:1-2; 9:11; 10:19-21; 11:16; 12:22; 13:141Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (Hebrews 3:1)
1Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. (Hebrews 8:1‑2)
11But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (Hebrews 9:11)
19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; (Hebrews 10:19‑21)
16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:16)
22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (Hebrews 12:22)
14For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Hebrews 13:14)
; 1 Peter 1:44To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:4)). All who believe this gospel will live and reign with Christ in the heavens over the millennial earth (Rev. 21:99And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. (Revelation 21:9)–22:5).
•  When it is called “the Gospel of God” (Rom. 1:11Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1)), it is pointing to the source of the good news—God Himself who drew salvation’s plan.
•  When it is called “the Gospel of His Son (Rom. 1:99For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; (Romans 1:9)), it is referring to the love of God that would cause Him to give the dearest Object of His heart to save sinners.
•  When it is called “the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 6:1515And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (Ephesians 6:15)), it is referring to the practical peace that our feet preach (i.e. our lives) as we walk through this troubled world.
•  When it is called “the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:88In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: (2 Thessalonians 1:8)), it is not only emphasizing the salvation of our souls, but also the salvation of our lives by making Christ the Lord in our lives practically.
This distinctly Christian gospel must not be confused with the gospel of the kingdom. As mentioned, the destiny of those who believe the gospel of the grace and glory of God is to live and reign with Christ in heaven in His millennial kingdom. Whereas, the destiny of those who believe the gospel of the kingdom is to live on earth in Christ’s millennial kingdom (Rev. 7). These are two different spheres of blessing—heavenly and earthly. These distinctively different messages are not going out to the world at the same time; it would be confusion if they did.
“The everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6-76And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6‑7)) is the good news that the creation itself preaches throughout the ages. It bears witness of the glory of God (Psa. 19:11<<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork. (Psalm 19:1)), the wisdom and intelligence of God (Psa. 147:4-54He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. 5Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:4‑5)), power of God (Rom. 1:19-2019Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:19‑20)), and the goodness of God (Acts 14:1717Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. (Acts 14:17)). If people never come in contact with the gospel of God’s grace, which tells us of the finished work of Christ, they can still be reached and blessed of God by believing this witness in creation. The proof of their faith in the Creator God will be seen in them fearing God and working righteousness. As a result, they will be “accepted” with Christ (Acts 10:3535But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (Acts 10:35)). If they die in their simple faith, they would go to heaven, but they will not be part of the Church of God, because such requires the sealing of the Spirit, which only occurs upon believing in Christ’s finished work (Eph. 1:1313In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)).

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