Sunday, May 18, 2014
Let us build the Kingdom of God Together!
"I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also. For this reason, I have been sent." (Luke 4:43) Nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is in your midst." (Luke 17:21)
The ministry and mission of Jesus was to preach the beginning of God's Kingdom on the Earth.
We are called by Jesus to use all that we have - our skills, our talents, our abilities, our Reason, our compassion and our treasure - for the advancement of God's spiritual Kingdom, and for the benefit of our fellow human beings.
The greatest lie ever told was that the Kingdom of God was not yet among us. Jesus clearly taught that it was present and "at hand" when he began his ministry (Mark 1:14-15) and he was clear that we were to build it, with God's help and guidance (Matt. 6:10.)
He left no doubt that this spiritual Kingdom was not a political one - designed to throw out the Caesars and place himself on a vengeful throne as Vindicator of his fellow Jews. No, he clearly said to pay Caesar what was his, but also give God what was His (Mark 12:17.)
Nor was God's Kingdom to be a kingdom of wealth, ease and prosperity. No, he taught the inconvenient belief that serving money and wealth is at odds with God's Kingdom, that material goods fade and rot, while Spiritual goods last forever (Matt. 6:19; Luke 12:33; John 6:27.) He did not guarantee easy times for those who followed him, but instead, persecution, division within families, and the leaving of possessions behind, as people became Reborn into God's Kingdom (Matt. 24:9; Luke 12:52; Luke 14:33.)
And belief in God, in the Kingdom, and in the mission and person of Jesus, while the first step on the journey, was hardly the last one required of the Believer. Those who looked back (Luke 9:62) who didn't take on a humble, obedient mindset (Matt. 11:29) or who didn't do the will of God, our Father, were not fit for God's Kingdom (Matt. 7:21.) Only those who endure in the faith will see eternal salvation (Matt. 24:13.)
Tough words, and hard for most in Christendom to hear, given the centuries of false teaching that implies that the Gate to eternal life are wide and is easy to obtain with a simple prayer and a small, shallow, works-free faith, or that we will somehow not face God's judgment for our unrepentant evil deeds (Matt. 16:27.) This has made many think the Kingdom was a future place, or a future event. But Jesus' eternal words (Mark 13:31) do not teach us this (Matt. 7:13-14.)
If we claim to be followers of Jesus, and to serve the God Who sent Jesus to us, then none of us are ever unemployed. We are all charged with the Good Work of going out into the world teaching what Jesus taught, serving like Jesus served, loving like Jesus loved, and preaching that God's Kingdom is here NOW, and it is looking for more followers to expand its reach! (John 12:44; Matt. 28:20)
God's spokesman, this man, Jesus, calls us to press into the Kingdom of God without delay (Luke 16:16.) Jesus shows by his fully human life that a human being may fully serve and please God, and that God's will for our lives is neither unreasonable nor impossible (John 13:15; 1 John 5:3.)
So, may God's Kingdom come - as Jesus taught: on EARTH just as it is in Heaven! Let us be God's instruments in this great task, and let's not wait a single more day to begin anew!