The Kingdom of God: The Intersection of the Almighty and Faithful Stewards
The kingdom of God remains a mystery to many believers, to this day, primarily because it’s wrongly assumed to be nothing more than the church and its practices.
That is an extremely limited understanding because the kingdom of God permeates all areas of life, and works to put everything under the Lordship of Christ.
And when you consider the church, under most practices of the day, there is almost nothing the vast majority of those attending church services are allowed to do. Even among Charismatics and Pentecostals they are limited to what they can do within the church building, even though they, for the most part, because of their beliefs, allow for more expression of “gifts” within the church meeting setting.
A lot of this comes from the misguided and wrong overemphasis on the first part of the Great Commission, while neglecting the second. When I hear the Great Commission being talked about, it is almost always spoken of as going into all the world and preaching the gospel, leaving off the second part, which is to teach the nations to observe or obey everything Jesus had commanded them.
If that last part is included in the definition, usually an addendum is added that it really didn’t mean the nations, but individuals within the nations. While we are of course to teach individuals to obey the commands of God revealed from Genesis to Revelation, this is without a doubt a command by the Lord to teach the leaders of the nations as well.
Many Christians have understood this and are responding to that understanding today, but historically, teaching the Gospel and commands of God to world leaders used to be embedded in the calling of the church and people of God. It’s actually not till relatively recently, as far as I’ve been able to discover, that the idea of teaching the nations or world leaders to obey the commands of Jesus Christ has been set aside.
Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Many Christians recognize and generally understand the part of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, but because of its familiarity and usually being repeated by rote, it has lost a lot of its literal meaning.
The truth is this prayer remains as relevant today as it was when Jesus revealed and taught it. Throughout the scriptures God and Jesus are revealed as King or Lord of heaven and earth. This Kingship and Lordship is accomplished by learning the ways and commands of God, living and modeling them before individuals and the nations, and then teaching them to do the same.
As the many parables taught by Jesus concerning the kingdom of God revealed, it’s to spread out across the world as it bears fruit after faithful planting and watering of His word.
This happens because of the intersection of God Almighty with His faithful stewards. Or to put it another way, it comes about from learning His laws and commands, living in obedience to them, and teaching others to do likewise.
We must faithful engage in this way of life, understanding that we can no nothing more than to walk in obedience to the words of Jesus Christ, and plant and water in the lives of others; only God can give the increase. This requires patience.
As for the kingdom of God permeating all the earth, we will accomplish this by developing our gifts in accordance with His calling, and then faithfully execute that calling within the parameters and boundaries God has given us.
Eventually millions of us will develop expertise within our specific callings, while remaining within our allotted sphere of influence. As this happens, the world will quietly change without observance, and will start to start to bear the very image of Jesus Christ – both internally and externally.
This is why I say the kingdom of God goes far beyond the church, by which I mean the practice of attending a church service in a building on Sunday morning. It doesn’t go beyond the church when considering it includes all those who truly have faith in Jesus Christ and walk in obedience to His commands.
The difference is we are to perform our duties outside of church services, and those duties – to one degree or another, should work toward building the kingdom of God on earth.
It can be as simple as being efficient and faithful where you work, looking for opportunities to share the Gospel to fellow workers. That only works well if you’re a good worker and have the respect of your co-workers.
Having a family and raising your children to believe in and obey Jesus Christ is among the most important and effective methods of spreading the kingdom of God on earth.
Jesus Christ has been declared to be Lord of heaven and earth. Every area of life is to come under His Lordship. It starts with us and spreads throughout the entire earth, changing the nations and bringing them to obedience in the entirety of the Gospel.
This will be accomplished with the help of the Holy Spirit and the faithfulness of God’s people over time. Our job is to remain obedient and faithful to Jesus Christ, as we develop our skills within the parameters of our calling, and use them to further God’s kingdom.
We to understand that all of our lives are a ministry unto God and the world, being made priests of the living God, and it goes far beyond what we consider ministries today, such as feeding the poor or helping the homeless, or working to end abortion, and other such callings.
These are Godly things to take part in, but there is so much more than that among the body of Christ and its immeasurable variety.