“but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:13–14, NIV84)
The message of the kingdom of heaven is so important that it marks the end of time. Time as we know it will end, and Jesus will return when the gospel of the kingdom has been preached to the whole world. There are a lot of themes that come from the Christian message. Christians find themselves speaking about hope, peace, love, forgiveness, self-worth, purpose, identity, empathy, etc. All of these characteristics have a very special meaning inside the Christian worldview. But none of them defines the message of the kingdom of heaven. The one thing that must be preached is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without that message being received, there is no salvation and the other characteristics lose their meaning. All the characteristics mentioned earlier get their depth and meaning from the message of salvation we have in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The fact that Jesus atoned for all of our sins and makes us right with God is the message that must be preached. It is the message that saves souls. It is the message that redeems and transforms hearts and minds. This gospel message has been preached since the time of Jesus and must continue to be preached until He returns again. Jesus is coming back! And yes, He does want to find that His people are loving, hopeful, empathetic, peaceful creatures. But we cannot know the true nature of those characteristics through introspective discovery. We can only find them through the born again experience we gain when we encounter Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and victoriously rising from the dead as our Redeemer and Savior.
May the true gospel message be at the core of our faith and the core of our life message.