I'm still bouncing our Sunday School discussions off of you. Hope you don't mind.
"Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God." Luke 8:1
Glad tidings. Good news. Gospel. Good news of salvation? hmmm. Yes and no. The good news of "the kingdom of God." What the heck does that mean?
Average 21st century evangelical Christians tend to focus the gospel we share (at least theoretically if not in practice) on what we have been saved from. And I'm willing to admit that's a big deal. Sin, guilt, death, hell, eternal separation from God ---a huge deal in regards to life after death.
But most of us, God willing, have 75 or so years of life before death which begs the question: what are we saved to? I think the verse above (and the preceding chapters of Luke) tells us --the good news of the kingdom of God.
You already know by the title of this post that I am no scholar. I have no seminary education, but according to my understanding and some help from Luke and the Holy Spirit (I don't think they had seminary educations either so take it for what it's worth ;-)), the kingdom of God seemed to look something like lepers, prostitutes, and demoniacs being touched, loved, and restored; the rich selling what they have to give to the poor who are no longer outcasts; and systems that perpetuate neglect, abuse, oppression, and hierarchy in the name of religious piety and arrogance being challenged by justice, community, equality, and freedom in the name of and imitation of Jesus.
Not much has changed. We still have our cast offs -addicts, homeless, immigrants. We still have the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We still have greed, systemic poverty, and corruption. While Jesus walked the earth, He lived the kingdom of God. Exampled it for us in every relationship. And His devoted followers did likewise. What about us?
Do we know what we've been saved from? Praise God! Do we know what we've been saved to? If Scripture clearly defines it --will we follow?
"Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46)