The Kingdom at Hand: The Gospel Is Bigger Than You Think

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“Repent,” John the Baptist cried in the desert, “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

In other words, it’s HERE. The kingdom has arrived. It has come. It is no longer far off, but at your fingertips.

Jesus, Matthew tells us, preached the same thing. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. The Bible calls this “the gospel” — the good news — “of the kingdom.”

In our day “the gospel” has become this very narrow, very personal thing: The gospel is that Jesus died for our sins so we can be forgiven and go to heaven when we die.

But the biblical gospel is the gospel of the kingdom.


It’s individual, yes. It’s personal, yes. The invitation to enter the kingdom is an invitation to be born again; it does not get more individual, more personal, than that.

But it doesn’t end there. This is a kingdom that sets up shop in the hearts of men and women, reigns there, and spills over into the world like yeast in a batch of bread dough. It starts as the tiniest of seeds but eventually becomes a great tree, giving shelter and refuge to all. It starts as a handful of fishermen following a wandering rabbi and ends as a city descending from heaven to earth and filling the world with its light.

Ultimately, that’s why I’m passionate about the kingdom of God. Because it ISN’T just about me.


Years ago in the entrepreneurial household where I grew up, my dad taught us the importance of setting up rewards for ourselves as a means of motivation. (God is in favor of rewards, by the way; he uses them to motivate us all the time.) Since I grew up to be an entrepreneur, I use those principles and build rewards into my life, be it a donut at the end of the day or a trip to Disney World next year. They keep me going.

But a funny thing happens: if I focus too much on those rewards — if life becomes all about them — I get “me burnout” really. fast.

It turns out we need something bigger than ourselves and our own comfort to find real happiness and fulfillment.

Maybe that’s because the God in whose image we are created is always doing things with mutual glory in mind: he glorifies himself, he glorifies us, he glorifies creation. He’s all about magnification and multiplication and blessing.

The kingdom is not just about me getting a ticket to heaven. It’s not even just about me and my relationship with God.

It’s about all of creation coming under the lordship of the Blessed King. It’s about the world being anointed with the glory and goodness of God until our cup runs over. It’s about good triumphing over evil — in my heart, in your heart, in my life, in your life, in our society, in our descendants, ad infinitum.

“Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
on earth as it is heaven.”
(Matthew 6:9-10, HCSB)



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4 responses to “The Kingdom at Hand: The Gospel Is Bigger Than You Think”

  1. Jana Denninger Avatar

    Rachel…what an awesome message…I couldn’t agree with you more..such great wisdom! So glad to have found you via mutual friend, Mercy Hope!

    1. Rachel Avatar

      Thanks, Jana! Great to meet you!

  2. Sarah Avatar

    This is so good, so true and such a good reminder. Thank you for writing!

    1. Rachel Avatar

      Thanks, Sarah!

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