Synoptic Gospels

The Old Testament ended with an unfulfilled promise to the Jews of a kingdom and a king to rule it.  When the time was right, Jesus was born and the New Testament began.  And what does it begin with but the announcement that that kingdom is at hand.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke together tell THIS story.  They are the Synoptic Gospels.  

Speaking of John in Luke 1:17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

How were the Jews supposed to get prepared? 

Let’s read it again.

Luke 1:17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

They needed to DO something 1)nationally for the kingdom to arrive and 2)individually to be part of it.

Do what?  Repent.
  • John in Matthew 3:2Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
  • John in Matthew 3:6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
  • Mark 1:4   John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
  • Matthew 4:23 Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
  • Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
  • Luke 3:3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;
  • Luke 3:18 So with many other exhortations he preached the gospel to the people.
  • Matthew 9:35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
  • Luke 4:43  But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
  • Luke 8:1 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him,
  • Luke 9:11 But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.
  • Luke 4:17-19  17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed,19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
  • Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
  • Luke 20:1 On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him,
  • Luke 1:77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins,

You can see that John the Baptist and Jesus both preached the Gospel of the Kingdom or the Gospel of Repentance to the Jews in those verses.  Later the disciples were also sent out to do the same thing.

  • Luke 9:1,2,6  And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. ” 6 Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
  • Matthew 10:7   And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Now let’s look back a verse and remind ourselves who they were sent to (hint:  it’s not us!).

  • Matthew 10:6-7  6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of IsraelAnd as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Do you see it?  THE GOSPEL THEY PREACHED WASN’T OUR GOSPEL OF I CORINTHIANS 15:1-4. 

Let that sink in. 

They were not telling the Jews that Jesus was about to die and they needed to believe that He would do so.  They needed to REPENT to be forgiven.  That is NOT what is required of us.  (Please see Church Chart for the difference between the ‘small c’ church in Acts and us, the Secure Church.)  OUR gospel is faith alone.  No prerequisites.

THEIRS WAS THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM.  We are NOT the kingdom!!  [Nor are we the kingdom in mystery form!!]  The kingdom they’re waiting for cannot come until after Daniel’s 70th Week (the Tribulation).

John the Baptist is telling them to DEMONSTRATE that they’ve repented.  They must show a change in behavior as proof.

  • Matthew 3:8-10 8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Evidence that looks like this:
  • Luke 3:10-18  10 And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?” 11 And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.” 12 And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” 14 Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.” 15 Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, 16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 So with many other exhortations he preached the gospel to the people.

Actual actions.  

Jesus says the same thing. 

What brings salvation to Zacchaeus’ house?  Faith in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection or belief and action demonstrating repentance? 

  • Luke 19:8-9 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.

Notice what Jesus says later.  Same concept. 

  • Matthew 12:33-37  33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

NOT ceremonial.  NOT our Gospel.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke are NOT for us DOCTRINALLY.  We’re not justified or condemned by our words (which evidence what’s in the heart).

Now with that understanding, let’s look at the Great Commission.  

You tell me:  Who is Jesus giving the Great Commission to – us or them?

  • Luke 24:46-49 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
  • Matthew 28:16-20 16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

It’s clear in Luke 24 that He’s talking about the Gospel of the Kingdom/Gospel of Repentance.  And by the time you’re done with this article, it’ll be clear what He’s commanded them in Matthew 28. 

  • Matthew 24:14  This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.

Matthew 24 is not about us or our gospel.  It’s THEIR gospel during the Tribulation.  Hmmm.  Looks like the answer is them.

Now let’s look at the parables. 

Hang on, it’s about to get bumpy.

Jesus had been teaching kingdom principles directly to the people up until this time.   But in Matthew 12 we see the scribes and Pharisees accusing Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan, which is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (the unpardonable sin which only they could commit).  [I personally think that not only did the blasphemy bring on the parables, but it also officially caused the kingdom to be postponed, since it’s obvious their rejection of Him at the Triumphal Entry was a result of this mindset.  Individuals can still repent and obey to be saved, but the kingdom itself cannot arrive until they repent and call upon Him to save them nationally at the close of Daniel’s 70th Week.  That’s why only they could commit that sin.]   

Due to this hard-heartedness of the Jewish leadership, He’ll begin concealing kingdom truths from them by using parables.  What little understanding they had would now be taken away.

  • Matthew 13:11-13  11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
  • Mark 4:11-12 11 And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 so that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.”
  • Luke 8:10  And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.

And after the parable is given in Mark and Luke, He repeats His reasoning again:

  • Mark 4:24-25 24 And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. 25 For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”
  • Luke 8:18  So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”

I’m not going to go into each parable.  You can do that yourself.  I’m just going to look at the Parable of the Sower because Jesus explains it.  Again, remember this is NOT to the Church, therefore, all the commentaries you’re reading that say this is about Church Age salvation ARE WRONG.

This parable is found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8.  Here’s the explanation in Matthew.

  •  Matthew 13:18-23  18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Now look at Luke’s explanation.

  • Luke 8:11-15   11 “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12 Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved13 Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

Notice the bolding.  Kingdom salvation requires believers to persevere and bear fruit.  Can Church Age believers fall away and lose their salvation due to affliction, persecution, or temptation?  No, we cannot lose our salvation period, much less for these reasons.  Can Church Age believers lose their salvation due to unfruitfulness?  Again, no.   The parables are not TO the Church or ABOUT the Church.  They teach the Jews about entrance into their kingdom, not how to be saved in the Church Age. 

Remember, they were the same principles Jesus had been telling them directly.  And guess what — it wasn’t have faith in the coming death, burial, and resurrection of your-soon-to-be revealed Messiah, was it?!  If you recall, Jesus didn’t want anyone to state that He was the Messiah until the Triumphal Entry.

  • For example, Matthew 16:20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.  Mark 3:12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was. Luke 8:56 Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.
Folks, are you getting this? 

Salvation in our time is so marvelously unique! 

OT requirements for forgiveness/salvation were not the same as ours.  New Testament requirements for salvation up until Paul’s revelation were not the same as ours.  After the Rapture, requirements for salvation will not be the same as ours.  We HAVE NO requirements:  we’re saved by grace alone through faith alone.  We are secured by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Because they lack this eternal security is why they have those requirements.  They must believe God and then show their faith/belief/trust by their actions—i.e. OBEY HIM! 

Stating that everyone ELSE besides us has some type of action/perseverance/obedience requirement attached to their initial faith DOES NOT lessen the importance of Jesus’ death on the cross.   We all needed Jesus to pay the price that God the Father demanded as payment for our sin.   He is the hinge the door of salvation swings upon.

Here’s another way to look at it.  

Notice the below references to righteous and justified people in Matthew and Luke.

  • Matthew 1:19 Joseph was a righteous man.
  • Luke 1:6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
  • Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  (the sinner praying)

Are you surprised God called them that?  Now go to your concordance and look up blameless and righteous.  Go ahead.  Are you surprised at how many times you see them in the Old Testament?  I sure was.

How can this be?  These people were not sinless and perfect, nor were their sins paid for, yet we see them called blameless, righteous, and justified.  Jesus hadn’t even died yet and rose again! 

OT people were not declared blameless, righteous or justified by trusting in Jesus’ shed blood on the cross like today. 

You might want to reread that sentence.

Now read Ezekiel 18.  All of it. 

Here’s the gist.
  • Ezekiel 18:5-9 But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness, and does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period— if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, if he does not lend money on interest or take increase, if he keeps his hand from iniquity and executes true justice between man and man, if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully—he is righteous and will surely live,” declares the Lord God.
  • Ezekiel 18:30-31 30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?

Maybe to clarify that, God declared righteous those who believed Him, those who trusted that He was a promise-keeping God, those who regardless of circumstances had faith in Him.  This faith/belief/trust was then demonstrated by their corresponding actions.  (See Romans.) We’re righteous through faith alone in Jesus’ shed blood.  The difference being the Holy Spirit’s sealed within us, affording us no works requirement.  They didn’t have that.

Therefore, their Gospel is different than ours.

Now back to the kingdom.  Notice how God will expect their inward righteousness/love to be shown in outward ways – through obedience to His kingdom laws/principles.

Read the Beatitudes in this light.
  • Luke 6:35-38   35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
  • Matthew 5:3-12  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Still in the kingdom.
  • Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
  • Matthew 7:17-23 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
  • Luke 14:11-14 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12 And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. 13 But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
  • Luke 8:21  But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
  • Matthew 12:50   For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
  • Matthew 23:11-12  11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
Forgiveness will be required.
  • Mark 11:24-26  24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. 25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26[ But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]
  • Matthew 6:8-15  8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. 9 “Pray, then, in this way:  ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come.  Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]  14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
  • Matthew 18:21-35 21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
    23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves……  34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35   My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
  • Luke 17:3-4 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
 Salt has to maintain its saltiness.
  • Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
  • Mark 9:50  Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
  • Luke 14:34-35  34 “Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? 35 It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

The Law will exist in some form or function in the kingdom.  *I don’t understand it myself.  Here’s some passages to consider.

  • Matthew 5:17-20  17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • Read all of Matthew 5:21-48.  These are examples of how the OT law will look in kingdom.
  • Matthew 7:12  In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
  • Luke 10:25-28  25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”
  • Matthew 19:16-21  16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 Then he *said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man *said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
  • Matthew 22:37-40  37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
  • Mark 12:28-34  28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him;33 and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.

[*Since writing this article I’ve looked further into this topic and wrote Qualifying for the Kingdom It might help.] 

Are you still with me?  Do you see any differences between their gospel and ours — between their must-be-proven/maintained salvation and ours already signed, sealed, and delivered?

More kingdom principles for you.  You decide if they sound like requirements for us to be saved.

  • Luke 9:23-26  23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
  • Matthew 10:28-33  28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. 32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
  • Mark 10:44-45  44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
  • Matthew 7:24-27  24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” [Also Luke 6:47…]
  • Luke 14:33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
  • Luke 14:26-27  26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
  • Matthew 16:24-27  24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
  • Luke 12:8-9  8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
  • Luke 12:32-34 32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.  33 “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • Rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-25 kept commandment but v22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  v24  And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!
  • Luke 18:29-30 29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”
  • Matthew 19:29-30  29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
  • Matthew 10:37-39  37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
  • Mark 10:31  But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”

Children are also a topic Jesus spends much time on, it seems, in regards to a) not hindering them and b) entering the kingdom with their great ability to demonstrate trust and humility, etc.

  • Mark 10:14-15  14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
  • Mark 9:41-50  esp. 41-42  41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.  42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
  • Luke 9:48  and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”
  • Matthew 18:1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
  • Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
  • Luke 18:16-17 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
  • Luke 17:2-4 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.
  • Mark 9:35-37  35 Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”

There’s also much said about the need to remain faithful and on alert, persevering in the end times (Daniel’s 70th Week). Remember the kingdom WILL ARRIVE once that 7-year Tribulation time is up.

  • Matthew 24:9-14 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
  • Mark 13:32-37 32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34 It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.35 Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’”
  • Luke 21:34-36 34 Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
 Revelation agrees.
  •  Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
  • Revelation 12:17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
  • Revelation 13:10  If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.
  • Revelation 14:12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
  • Revelation 16:15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”)

Since we left in the Rapture before this Tribulation period, these requirements aren’t ours.

Here’s just a few more references, including some parables.

  • Matthew 24:42-51
  • Matthew 25!
  • Luke 10:30-37.  Luke 12:8-9, 16-21, 35-40
  • Luke 14, 15, 16, 17

 Still on end times, I personally was willing to look into this idea of rightly dividing the Bible because of:

  • Revelation 14:9-11  9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

What?  Anyone who takes the mark regardless of their faith is damned eternally?  That’s what it says!  This means Daniel’s 70th Week is NOT in the Church Age since faith ALONE won’t save you then.  

Hopefully now through this writing you can see with your own eyes…

  1. that we MUST rightly divide the Bible.   
  2. that the entire New Testament is not ours DOCTRINALLY. 
  3. that our Gospel is not their Gospel.

Revealing the mystery of the Church was Paul’s job. Therefore, let’s get our doctrine/gospel from his signed epistles, and not from the Synoptic Gospels.                

Now read The Seven Letters.  

 

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