New Testament occurrences of the term Gospel of _______ .
Gospel of Jesus Christ (or Christ ) – 12 times
Gospel of God – 7 times
Gospel of the kingdom – 4 times
Gospel of peace – 2 times
Gospel of the grace of God – 1 time
Gospel of your salvation – 1 time
Gospel of the uncircumcision – 1 time
Gospel of the circumcision – 1 time
Gospel of his Son – 1 time
The Watchtower focuses their entire message on the “good news of the kingdom”. Of course the “kingdom”, as explained by the Watchtower is really just another name for themselves (the visible part therof) in their way of thinking. It is repeated so often in Jehovah’s Witness circles that many will go to the extent and say that the bible is a book of government….. which they are quick to point out refers to their own ecclesiastical authority in modern times.
However, an examination of the term “good news of ____” (or gospel of ____) reveals that by far it is the good news of Jesus that is most frequently referred to in the New Testament. In fact, out of the thirty times it occurs, only four of the occurrences are “gospel of the kingdom”.
I believe that anyone who simply reads the word of God apart from someone elses’ explanation will understand that man is in deep trouble with the Creator who is righteous and holy, and we are not. I believe that a person will come to the conclusion that God punishes sin unless he has made some other arrangement for its dismissal. The good news is that God has offered peace with mankind for those who accept his offer.
The pure word of God clearly shows that God, in his grace has offered to make peace with us and grant us salvation through the substitutionary sacrifice of his Son.
THE FACT THAT JESUS HAS OFFERED TO TAKE YOUR PLACE ON THE CROSS SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO HELL AS A CONDEMNED VIOLATOR OF GOD’S LAWS IS THE GOOD NEWS.
For a condemned criminal on death row, the only news he could possibly receive that could be counted as good is his pardon. All other news pales in comparison since he won’t be around to enjoy things anyway. For him, any other news is of no real value. Likewise to try and change the subject of what the biblical good news is, or to focus the entire definition on just one facet of the good news might sound interesting, but it is of no value if YOU do not receive a pardon to enjoy it.
All references to the gospel at the top of this section are about Jesus Christ. He is the one to whom all the prophets bore witness. He is the one who is right now at this moment offering to take THE PUNISHMENT DUE YOU and give you his eternal life in exchange.
Jehovah’s Witnesses constantly read their altered scriptures and miss the one to whom those scriptures were originally talking about. They are lead to believe that it is talking about themselves (they refer to this as the visible part of the kingdom). How sad and how true the words:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. John 5: 39, 40
Instead of saying the Kingdom came in 1874, 1914 or whenever, they need only to obediently believe and seek this kingdom:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17: 21
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory - Col. 1:27
Jesus himself is the kingdom. True, he is returning to physically rule on the throne of King David with a rod of iron. But, His rulership is still primarily a supernatural one (for the believer) that governs within a person. External laws have proven not to work. Because a born again believer has been vicariously punished through Christ’s work on the cross, and Jesus himself bears witness with his spirit through the personage of the Holy Spirit within, there is no condemnation for that person. God has made peace with him, and the believer has been adopted as a child of God with all of the royal rights and privileges that goes with being a loved member of that royal family.
That is the Good News! It is the Gospel Truth.