The Mystery of the Kingdom
A couple of days back I talked about the "mystery" of the Gospel. That was Paul's word in several places for the message that he preached. Now, perhaps he was making a point by using a word common to the mystery cults of his day, but it remains true that the Gospel message embodies something much larger than that which the human mind can grasp by purely rational processes. On this score, here's a relevant passage from George Eldon Ladd's The Gospel of the Kingdom:
This is the mystery of the Kingdom: Before the day of harvest, before the end of the age, God has entered into history in the person of Christ to work among men, to bring to them the life and blessings of His Kingdom. It comes humbly, unobtrusively. It comes to men as a Galilean carpenter went throughout the cities of Palestine preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, delivering men from the bondage of the Devil. It comes to men as the Disciples went throughout the Galilean villages with the same message. It comes to men today as disciples of Jesus still take the Gospel into all the world. It comes quietly, humbly, without fire from heaven, without a blaze of glory, comes like seed sown in the earth. It can be rejected by hard hearts, it can be choked out, its life may sometimes seem to wither and die. But it is the Kingdom of God. It brings the miracle of the divine life among men. It introduces them into the blessing of the divine rule. It is to them the supernatural work of God's grace. And this same Kingdom, this same supernatural power of God will yet manifest itself at the end of the age, this time not quietly within the lives of those who receive it, but in power and great glory purging all sin and evil from the earth. Such is the Gospel of the Kingdom.