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The Blue Letter Bible

Clarence Larkin :: Chapter 21. The Four Gospels

The word "Gospel" means "Good News," and is so familiar that its application is supposed to be uniform. When, therefore, we read of

The Gospel of the KINGDOM,
The Gospel of the GRACE OF GOD,

it is taken for granted that they all refer to one and the same thing. But this is not true.


Matt. 24:14.

This is the "Good News" that God purposes to set up a Kingdom on this earth over which David's Son, JESUS, shall reign, as prophesied in Luke 1:32-33. Two preachings of this Gospel are mentioned, one past, beginning with the ministry of John the Baptist, and preached by Jesus and His Disciples, but it ended with the rejection of Jesus as King. This Gospel is to be preached again after the Church is taken out. It will be the fulfillment of Matt. 24:14, where it says "This Gospel of 'THE KINGDOM' shall be preached in all the world for a WITNESS unto all nations; and then shall the end come." This has no reference to the Gospel that is now being preached to the nations. It is the Gospel of SALVATION, but the "Gospel of the Kingdom" is not for "Salvation" but for a WITNESS, that is, it is the announcement that the time has come to SET UP THE KINGDOM. It will be preached first by Elijah the forerunner (Mal. 4:5-6), and by others who shall be commissioned to bear the news to all nations as a proclamation of the coming of Christ as King to occupy the "Throne of David," and for the purpose of regathering Israel to the Promised Land.


Acts 20:24.

This is the "Good News" that Jesus Christ, the rejected King, died on the Cross for our SALVATION. This form of the Gospel is described in many ways. It is called the "GOSPEL OF GOD" (Rom. 1:1), because it has its source in the LOVE OF GOD. John 3:16. Its Character is GRACE. Acts 20:24. Its Subject is CHRIST (Rom. 1:16; 2 Cor. 10:14), and it is the POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION. And it is the "GOSPEL OF PEACE," because it makes peace between the sinner and God, and brings peace to the soul. Eph.6:15.


2 Cor. 4:4. 1 Tim. 1:11.

The "GLORIOUS GOSPEL" is that phase of the Gospel of "The Grace of God" that speaks of Him who is in the GLORY, and has been GLORIFIED, and who is bringing many sons TO GLORY. Heb. 2:10. It has special reference to His Second Coming, and is especially comforting to those who are looking for His GLORIOUS APPEARING (Titus 2:13), and it is to this Gospel that Satan, the "God of this Age," is particularly anxious to "blind the minds" of those who believe not in the Pre-Millennial coming of the Lord. 2 Cor. 4:3-4.


Rev. 14:6.

This Gospel will be proclaimed just before the "Vial judgments," and by an angel. It is the only Gospel committed to an angel. It is neither the Gospel of the "Kingdom," nor of "Grace." Its burden is not SALVATION but JUDGMENT-"Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT IS COME."

It is "Good News" to Israel, and all who are passing through the "fires of judgment," because it declares that their troubles will soon end in the judgment and Destruction of Antichrist and his followers. It calls on men to worship God as "CREATOR," and not as "Saviour" and so it is called in the Revised version-"THE ETERNAL GOSPEL," the Gospel that has been proclaimed from Eden down by Patriarchs and Prophets, and not an "Everlasting Gospel" in the sense that it saves men for all eternity. Its burden is not "Repent," or "do this" or "do that," but-"FEAR GOD, and give GLORY TO HIM; for the HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT IS COME; and WORSHIP HIM THAT MADE HEAVEN, AND EARTH, AND THE SEA, AND THE FOUNTAINS OF WATERS." From this we see how important it is to distinguish between the various Gospels, not only as to their message, but the period to which they apply, other wise there will be confusion and false teaching. See Chart, "The Four Gospels."

There is also "ANOTHER GOSPEL" (Gal. 1:6-12, 2 Cor. 11:4), which is not another, and which Paul repudiated. It is a perversion of the true Gospel and has many seductive forms, and in the main teaches that "FAITH" is NOT SUFFICIENT to Salvation, nor able to keep and perfect, and so emphasizes "GOOD WORKS." Col. 2:18-23, Heb. 6:1, 9:14. The Apostle Paul pronounces a fearful "Anathema" upon its preachers and teachers. Gal. 1:8-9.

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