The Good News of the kingdom is the message Jesus brought to inform and educate mankind about God’s true and lasting purpose for us. It is called ‘news’ because it is something different from what mankind had previously been taught. The early Hebrew prophets spoke often about a future time when peaceful conditions will prevail on earth.
“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”
– Isaiah 2:4
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus. ...Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.”
– Isaiah 35:1, 6-7
“The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.”
– Psalm 67:6
“May grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. May the crops flourish like Lebanon and thrive like the grass of the field.”
– Psalms 72:16
“They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat.”
– Isaiah 65:21, 22
“No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.”
– Isaiah 33:24
Man continues to look forward to those promises and we are assured they will all be fulfilled. But peace on earth is not all that God has promised. There was something more, something greater, something new! Hence, the Good News of the kingdom!
In summary, the Good News is that God is the Father of all mankind, all mankind are brothers, and all mankind have the opportunity to survive mortal death and enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens where they will live eternally, if they want to. These are ALL new ideas. While it appears that the Jewish people of old had some idea of these matters (Matthew 8:11), no Hebrew teacher or prophet openly taught them.
The Good News as Jesus taught it takes man beyond being good and upright human beings. It uplifts and up steps mankind. It lets them know that God exists, that God cares, and that God has a greater purpose for man than the current limited earthly existence. The Good News opens man’s eyes to greater horizons and assures them that the grand universe that they can observe on a clear night and through manifold telescopes is theirs to explore and enjoy for an eternity. It gives them peace of mind knowing that they are citizens of a friendly universe, and potentially eternal beings who will survive mortal death, if they truly want to.
Jesus intended that the Good News as he taught it be preached to everyone on earth, no matter their nationality, race, social status, political persuasion, religion, or gender. It is a universal message that everyone must hear ‘before the end comes.’
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
– Matthew 24:14
But what is the ‘end?’ Many believe Jesus was referring to a catastrophic end that will be brought about by means of the War of Armageddon. However, what if Jesus meant that the preaching work itself (not a war) would bring an end to sorrow and confusion, an end to war and suffering, and an end to spiritual dysfunction? Yes, perhaps Jesus meant that once the Good News of the kingdom has been preached to all mankind, mankind himself will heed the message, stop the madness, and follow the Christ. Perhaps this is the ‘end’ we are awaiting. Perhaps this is when the ‘meek shall inherit the earth.’ (Matthew 5:5) If so, this makes the preaching of the true Good News just that more urgent.