I guess for the newcomers, I ought to leave a note about what the purpose of this site is and where it came from. Obviously we want to encourage and challenge folks toward understanding and living in the Kingdom of God. But I think the best option at this time is to simply copy below a couple of the first posts that talk about the subject. So here you go.
Here We Go . . . (Part 2)
I’ve been rocked over how much Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven in the scriptures. We also see that type of thinking from the apostles as they shared the message of Christ around the Roman world. Paul likewise continued that theme throughout the New Testament. One of my favorite texts that illustrate this is in 2 Timothy 4:1 where Paul encourages the young preacher Timothy. Paul states. “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word . . .”
The kingdom reality is just all over the place when you think about it. So what we find is that Christ came for more than just offering fire insurance, but something totally and completely “new and from above”. (Note John 3:3) A common misunderstanding about the Kingdom is that it is something that will be established when Jesus comes back. But it’s much more than that. I cut my teeth on this truth while taking a preaching class from Mark Scott way back in 91 or 92. The main text that I was looking at was Mark 1:15 where Jesus opened up his ministry with the radical words of,”The time has come . . . The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” The old King James Version of the text sheds a bit more light in its translating the verse, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.”
The real shot came when I dived into the original language of the verse, (don’t worry, we won’t get too heady here and I’m really not that smart) and noticed that the phrases, “time is fulfilled” and “is at hand” are both in the perfect tense. The point being that Jesus was saying that the long awaited coming of the Kingdom of God was an “event that happened and is continuing to happen.” In other words, the Kingdom of God was inaugurated with Jesus Christ. We can live in it now as kingdom citizens. Yes the final reward will be when we move on from this side of eternity into its fulfillment. But the Kingdom is also a present reality. This is seen by Christ the King ruling in the lives of His citizens today. This is also seen in His providential sovereignty around the world today. So in the pages and blog of Kingdomolgy, we’ll be exploring and discussing what it means to really live as Kingdom Citizens now. What about you? How are you living out the Kingdom in your world today? Are there areas where you struggle in this area?
Here We Go . . . (Part 1)
Welcome to our first official posting on “Kingdomology”, a site dedicated to expanding the love of Christ and Kingdom of God the world over. While we’re anticipating a lot of really great discussion, the purpose of this site is to encourage as many people as possible toward experiencing what it really means to live as citizens in the Kingdom of God.
Over the next few weeks I’ll spend more time further expanding on the purpose of Kingdomology, but to begin with, I want to explain more about how this blog came about. While on one hand, there is the simple fact that we made a faith move in ministry from our church plant and left our old blog behind. But the root goes deeper than just geography. Part of the drive for this new site and blog actually originated back in January when I took off on a prayer retreat in the coastal mountains near Santa Cruz. The plan for the time there was to review my prayer journal from the previous year, ask some strategic questions, and most importantly, to quietly read through scripture. A big observation came from John 6:29 where Jesus said that the work God requires is to “believe in the one he has sent.” It struck me in a new way that the first call of God is not to some great accomplishment or exploit, but a simple belief in Jesus. As I chewed on that reality among the Sequoia trees a number of other texts came to mind from my reading that week. James 1:5 teaches us that we are to “trust and not doubt.” Luke noted in Acts 14:2 and 19:9 that the Jews who opposed the message of Christ “refused to believe.” It all then occurred to me that in a real sense, belief is actually a choice we all have to make. When it comes to salvation and the changing of citizenship from the world to the Kingdom of Heaven, we have to choose to believe the message of Christ or not.
Just as our citizenship in the Kingdom starts with a choice, we as Christ followers have the daily choice of continuing in that belief or giving in to doubt. Someone much wiser than me once observed that Christians at times live as practical pagans as they trust God for their salvation, but not for their daily bread. The whole revelation brought me to a place of further commitment to God in this area of trust and belief. It called me to whole heartedly believe the things I say I believe. It called me to take ALL of His Word for what it is and rest in His promises. In short, it was a big transition not only in thinking; but in life. Our part in this journey is to rust Him. It’s that belief that is actually a core factor in real Kingdom living. One of the foundational parts of the Christian faith which is missing so much in America and the West is a daily walk with Christ that radically affects our entire life. It changes our world view, how we interact with others, our careers, our marriages, our churches, and life in general. It’s that kind of life that Kingdomology is setting out to explore and live.