Monday, January 09, 2012

Participating in the Kingdom of God

It is not necessary to be in a missional church to be missional. It is not necessary to participate in the emergent church to emerge from the deadness of evangelicalism. It is not necessary to wait for the kingdom of God or even understand the kingdom of God in order to live the kingdom of God. We are promised, Christ in us, the hope of glory!
It is only necessary to submit to Him as Lord as bear His cross. Living or dying we seek to emulate Him in the crucified life, giving up ourselves in favor of the other, especially our enemies.
You do not need to change the government or pass new laws to bring in the kingdom of God. You do not need to convince large denominations or even particular church assemblies of your understanding of the kingdom of God to bring about the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ Himself inaugurated the kingdom of God through His own death and resurrection! He has done it! We are now called to participate with Christ in the administration of that kingdom.
As Christ offered Himself for all both in His life and upon the cross, so we are to participate with Him and offer ourselves as one slain for the world. This is the high and lofty goal which none of us has achieved or will achieve. The greatest saints in history have but provided a mere glimpse at this type of sacrifice which is only fully seen in Christ Himself. Christ may not call you to great suffering for His kingdom, but you are called to those around you. Look around you at the saints in your local assembly. They are your mother, and brothers.
Christ has set each one of us a place within the church and woe be unto us if we do not give ourselves in that capacity. I do not speak of church programs which may or may not serve your fellow believer. Church programs are often born of an agenda rooted in an organizational ideology directly contradictory to the kingdom of God. Too often, corporate service is used as a fulfillment of a feeling of obligation, a guilt assuager, keeping us at a distance from those who need us most. I am speaking of what you can do personally. Is your heart and life invested in others? If what you call "church" evaporated tomorrow would you still have a ministry to others?
Our ministry in this regard should be executed to the level that we effortlessly identify to the world that we are followers of Christ and participants in the kingdom of God. Our efforts should then bleed out into the world as we serve those outside the church and Christ begins to draw all men through human vessels--our lives crucified in Christ. It isn't supposed to take "Four Spiritual Laws" and an apologetic program to build the kingdom. We LIVE the kingdom first, speak of the kingdom SECOND, then God in Christ through the Spirit ADDS to the kingdom among the church.
Christ said plainly, go and make disciples, baptizing them, and teach them to do according to My will. We LIVE the kingdom, and we SPEAK the kingdom, and people are drawn to believe, then they are baptized to do the same.

No comments: