Though Paul and Barnabas were the apostles appointed for the Gentiles, it was Peter who introduced the entry of the Gentiles. It is described in detail in Acts chapter 10.
In his inaugural speech beginning in verse 34, Peter gives clear hints to identify the real Gospel:
- God sent the Gospel through Jesus Christ (verse 36).
- It was sent to the children of Israel originally (verse 36).
- It began after the time of John the Baptist (verse 37).
- It started out in Galilee and spread throughout Judea (verse 37).
This is exactly how Mark describes the beginning of the Gospel!!
- John the Baptist is arrested (Mark 1:14).
- “Jesus came into Galilee” (verse 14).
- Proclaimed the true Gospel God sent through Him (verse 14).
- We know from the gospels that Jesus proclaimed this Gospel to the children of Israel only (Matthew 15:24) which culminated in His death in Jerusalem, the capital of Judea.
Mark identifies the true Gospel of God as “the gospel of the kingdom of God” (verse 14) that “draws near” (verse 15).
A World Government
The kingdom of God is nothing but a coming one “World Government” under the leadership of Jesus Christ with the capital in Jerusalem, “the city of the great King” (Matthew 5:35) ruling over the entire planet Earth! This is in clear reference to Daniel 2:44-45. This is a political (as real as the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires yet will “destroy all these kingdoms” – verse 44) yet spiritual empire that will subdue all the political countries of the then world!
The holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and saints will rule the world under Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords (1 Corinthians 6:2; Matthew 8:11; Matthew 19:28).
Not of the World
Yes, the Kingdom of God is not of this world, Jesus said. This is exactly what Daniel also wrote: “the stone” – the Kingdom of God – “was cut out of the mountain without human hands” – not of this world (Daniel 2:45; ISV). It means this world government will not be originated with any human initiative (i.e., of the world) but it will be originated and controlled entirely by God (i.e., of Heaven)!
However, any kingdom is worthless without a king. The king and the kingdom are interchangeable. So also the Kingdom of God, its King is Jesus. So the Kingdom of God involves the King also. This is clearly expressed by Peter in Acts 10 when he talks to the people in Cornelius’s house.
Thus the Gospel has 2 parts:
- “the things concerning the kingdom of God” and (Acts 8:12)
- “the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12)
Even towards the end of his life, Apostle Paul, who declared “there is no other gospel”, still speaks the same Gospel: “And having appointed him a day, more came to him in the lodging, to whom he expounded, earnestly testifying (1) the kingdom of God and persuading them (2) the things concerning Jesus” (Acts 28:23).
Again, “And Paul remained two whole years in his own rented place, and he welcomed all those coming in to him, (1)proclaiming the kingdom of God, and (2)teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28:30-31).
P.S. Unfortunately, after the Catastrophe of Jerusalem in 70 AD, when people in vain expected the establishment of the Kingdom, the fervor for the Kingdom waned and ultimately the first part of the Gospel – the literal Kingdom of God – was swept under the rug and only the second half of the Gospel – the things concerning Jesus – is proclaimed today in the world!!
However, Jesus prophesied that the particular Gospel of the Kingdom of God (i.e., the first part of the gospel) will be revived in a large way all over the world just before the End of the Age begins (Matthew 24:14).