But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
“Being missional means moving intentionally beyond our church preferences, making missional decisions rather than preferential decisions.” ― Ed Stetzer,
Do you wear skinny jeans or pleated pants?
Kind of a funny question, but those are the metaphors theologian Scot McKnight uses to describe two prevailing and popular views of the Kingdom of God in his book, Kingdom Conspiracy. The first view, skinny jeans, predictably represents a more current approach that frontloads public sector social justice activism, while often times bypassing the church. He writes, “Kingdom means good deeds done by good people (Christian or not) in the public sector for the common good.” (p.4) The second picture is, again predictably, a perspective that is more represented in “traditional” Christianity. He describes this group’s view by saying, “…the Kingdom is both present and future, and the kingdom is both a rule and reign.” (p. 9)
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him (enthroned) at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to
come.” Ephesians 1:18-21
“When Jesus healed people, when he celebrated parties with all and sundry, when he offered forgiveness freely to people as if he were replacing the Temple itself with his own work – in all these way it was clear, and he intended it to be clear, that this wasn’t just a foretaste of a future reality. This was reality itself.”
"The Kingdom is primarily the dynamic reign or kingly rule of God, and derivatively, the sphere in which the rule is experienced. In biblical idiom, the Kingdom is not identified with its subjects. They are the people of God's rule who enter it, live under it, and are governed by it. The church is the community of the Kingdom but never the Kingdom itself. Jesus’ disciples belong to the Kingdom as the Kingdom belongs to them; but they are not the Kingdom. The Kingdom is the rule of God; the church is a society of men."
“If God’s tomorrow means the end of exploitation, injustice, inequality, war, racism, nationalism, suffering, death and ignorance of God, Christians must be ‘signs’ of God’s conquest of all these ‘burdens and evils’ through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ"
Jim Wallis writes, “The goal of biblical conversion is not to save souls apart from history but to bring the Kingdom of God into the world with explosive force. It begins with individuals, but is for the sake of the world… Churches today are tragically split between those who stress conversion but have forgotten its goal, and those who emphasize Christian social action but have forgotten the necessity for conversion… Both need to recover the original meaning of conversion to Jesus Christ and to his kingdom.” Announcing the Kingdom p. 194
I do not know how to blog. This blog is not one of intellectual prowess, I find it perplexing that you should take the time to read it, but here I am, honest and open with my struggles, knowing that through wrestling with these issues, God will transform my heart. I am consistently finding myself in desperation. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Yahweh is in control, yet I am subject to a nearly continuous feeling of urgency. I want God. Now. We live between Jesus’ two comings and have been commissioned to be lights to His world, dull as we may shine. How do I, a 20 year old child with close to no knowledge of my Creator and his ways, not only accept this mission, but enter into it with faith? Is the answer found in words? And furthermore, who is able to articulate this answer? Search your soul and answer me this, how do we, as servants of the Most High, bear witness to the world of the reality of the Kingdom and the good news therein? I feel wholly inept, but in my immense feeling of inadequacy, I find a crucial dependence upon the Lord. You and I are called to respond to His word, and I find myself stymied. If my soul had a face, surely the expression would be one of wide eyed, restless confusion. I long to venture further into this journey set before me, but am overcome by a feeling that I will only blunder about, hoping that I may somehow bump into God. To depart from our threshold of comfort devoid of God would be foolish, yet it is necessary to find the balance between knowing God will come through for us, and operating under a false justification that we are acting in the will of God, for his Kingdom.