And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
These are words spoken by the apostle Paul in the context of his farewell talk to the Ephesian elders. Paul believed he would not live to see the Ephesians again in his physical life, so he gave a farewell address on the things he had accomplished in the area and instructions for them to remember after his departure.
Within the midst of his address, he made this statement as a summary of his teaching in Ephesus. This is significant because it shows us that Paul’s message perfectly synchronized with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Throughout His ministry, Jesus Christ taught and emphasized the Kingdom of God as the core of His message (Matthew 4:17, 23; Mark 1:15; John 18:36).
Some believe that Paul brought a different message and was a sort of “reformer” of Christianity—changing and redeveloping its message as he took it to the gentile world. This is commonly referred to as “Pauline Christianity.”
Acts 20:25 shows clearly that Paul did not change or reform the gospel message. Paul preached the same gospel to the gentile world that Jesus Christ preached to people of Judea during His ministry: the message of the Kingdom of God.
Additionally, when explaining the gospel he preached, Paul told the Corinthians, “Therefore, whether it was I or they [the other apostles], so we preach and so you believed” (1 Corinthians 15:11). Paul’s message was the same message that was taught by the other apostles.
That message is the same message Life, Hope & Truth takes to the world today. To learn more about that core message, read our free booklet The Mystery of the Kingdom and our article “What Is the Gospel of the Kingdom?”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Mourning for Sin.”