What is “the gospel” of the Kingdom of God? Many may think of it as a message emanating from the New Testament, but in fact it goes back much farther.
Say the word gospel, and many things come to mind. In a chronological stream, we might include gospel writers, gospel preachers, gospel workers, gospel truth, gospel singers—and perhaps even the 1970s religious rock musical Godspell (from godspel, “good story”), with its allusion to the English language’s debt to its Anglo-Saxon roots.
Most today undoubtedly think of the gospel in terms of New Testament teaching. Yet as we’ll see, the message of God’s plan and purpose spans the entire breadth of the Bible. In the earliest days of humanity’s journey, it is introduced in terms of eating of “the tree of life,” an act that would provide the key to a right relationship with Him and would endow humanity with the ability to live not just temporarily but eternally. Eating of the tree of life could be understood as access to and use of the Holy Spirit. In the Genesis account, when Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden, the consequences include prevention of access to the tree of life and thus eternal life (see Genesis 3:22–23).