Kingdom, Kingdom EverywherePosted: November 6, 2015
“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,…”
As Jesus followers, we live, in a very real sense, in the kingdom of God. Jesus said it is “at hand” and “in the midst of you”. As other have said, the Kingdom is both “now” and “not yet”.
In some Christian traditions, the emphasis and praxis is toward the “not yet”. In many churches, evangelism means getting people “saved”, i.e., getting them to recite the “sinner’s prayer”.
I want to do more than simply inform folks of the whereabouts of the escape pod.
I want to teach them to use the escape pod as a tractor for plowing the ground.
It’s my believe that if there is little or no evidence that we are living in the Kingdom now, it looks kind of silly to point to a future Kingdom. Such evidence needs to appear in how we live our lives. It also needs to affect our message and our ministry toward others.
I notice that Jesus, as well as Peter, Paul, etc., performed a lot of miracles which often preceded their preaching, but always accompanied it. These miracles always met real needs, desperate needs. When I was being taught in churches after I became a Christian, evangelism was always presented as a duty I must perform. I was always really uneasy about it without knowing why. One of the reasons for that, though I could not have articulated it at the time, was that I was uncomfortable talking about only a future hope, with nothing to offer here and now. Often, I would hear others telling people that if they gave their lives to Jesus, they would be instantly happy and would remain that way the rest of their lives. That wasn’t my experience. And I knew it wasn’t the experience of those who were saying such things, their smile masks notwithstanding.
Today, evangelism is what I do. And I love it.
Today, I have something to offer from within the Kingdom that is relevant to the here and now. Healing. Deliverance. A sense of Identity as a creation of God. All of which comes through an encounter with Jesus. In other words, I know how to facilitate an encounter between God and the person I am ministering to. Do they all get “saved”? No. But virtually all them leave having encountered God FOR THEMSELVES, after receiving relief from some pain, getting healed, or hearing God Himself speak words of loving insight to them.
The good news is, EVERY Jesus follower has Kingdom stuff to give to people. We all have the capacity to love and the ability to encourage. And, trust me, once you start, and with a little practice or mentoring, God will fill your mouth with the right words. Powerful words. Words that change lives. When that happens, you’ll often be asked about the hope within you. And then you get to talk about Jesus 🙂
“Thy Kingdom come; they will be done ON EARTH as it is in Heaven”.
Get a glimpse of heaven, and then you’ll know what God wants to happen on earth.