I was a bit concerned that so few ventured forth with what they believed was the safest place on earth. Those who did clearly understood it was THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
The Kingdom of God a.k.a as the effective range of God’s will. The Kingdom of God right here right now, no death required except death to self.
Sadly that the Kingdom of God is available here now is a foreign concept to far too many who claim the name of Christ. I missed it for the first twenty years of my claims to the cross of Christ. I was in little churches, mega churches, dead churches, spiritual alive churches and absolutely never heard the Kingdom is here NOW. NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!
Where did I first hear it? In a book by Dallas Willard entitled Divine Conspiracy and he backed it up with scripture of course.
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’
Now there is no doubt that the kingdom of God is not fully consummated on Earth at this time but that does not discount it’s availability to all of us NOW. The rub is our “wills.” Remember the Kingdom of God is experienced by us when we align our “kingdoms” with His Kingdom. As it is so brilliantly put by Dallas it’s a WILL deal. When we operate in God’s will we are safe, when we wander we are like sheep without a shepherd and the wolf is always nearby.
So let’s take this to the reality of our lives interfacing it against the words of Jesus as He spoke to the multitudes from the hill. Matthew 5, 6 & 7.
In this talk Jesus deals with ANGER, LUST, LYING, VAIN GLORY, THOSE WHO CURSE US, AVARICE, WORRY, JUDGING OTHERS. Familiar character issues that are the bain of our existence day after day. Which when engaged in makes our world dangerous, unsafe and destructive. The wolf howls as he drools waiting to devour our souls as he sees sheep who have wandered off.
But life DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AS SUCH! Jesus asserts with ALL AUTHORITY HIS KINGDOM IS HERE RIGHT NOW and it’s SAFE. To access it requires one disciplined step- SURRENDER, HIS WAY OVER YOUR WAY. Again we are not talking about SALVATION, I have not just issued an altar call, I have issued a LIVING call, an call to ABUNDANT LIFE (John 10:10) Your initial acceptance of Jesus and is atoning work on the cross forgives your sins and secures your eternity but it will not change your character. Your life will remain unsafe and dangerous unless you desire a relationship with our Trintarian God through the spiritual exercises. Think – why would Jesus assert the Kingdom of God is here now and that He has come to give us an ABUNDANT life if this was an afterlife process.
I have written about the topics that Jesus spoke on in the talk on the hill in several other offerings that you can read here. So briefly let me say that the ANGER, LUST, LYING, VAIN GLORY, THOSE WHO CURSE US, AVARICE, WORRY, JUDGING OTHERS are not existent in the KINGDOM of GOD when it is fully consummated in Heaven. But, wait a minute, it is just as true these issues have no place in the KINGDOM OF GOD life we can have NOW. Being an apprentice of Christ makes no sense unless you clearly understand the Kingdom life an apprentice can have on EARTH, NOW!
I am still so charged up about this even after grasping it eleven years ago that one post cannot begin to do justice to the immense need for us to grasp this and live it.
We need to unpack each of these issues one at a time interfacing them with the KINGDOM of GOD life now.
Since Jesus begin His talk with ANGER we will start there in a few days.
To prepare please read Matthew 5:21-26 and John 15:5-8, Colossians 3:1-17
Are you in?