Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carrying the Kingdom of God

As believers in King Jesus the Messiah, we bring the kingdom of God wherever we go and it addresses every part of life in every part of the world. The apostle John said, “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8). That is quite an amazing thing, especially when many Christians seem to think quite the opposite, that the darkness is getting darker and the true light is fading away. But in the overlap of the ages, the age of God’s kingdom breaking into this present evil age, it is this present age with all its darkness that is passing away and God’s kingdom with all its light that is continually increasing.

In Isaiah 9, the messianic prophecy of the Child that is born and the Son that is given, it says that “of the increase of His government and peace will be no end” (vv. 6-7). That Child has been born and that Son has been given. All authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18), and His government (His kingdom) will continue to increase until it fills the whole earth.

In recent days, we have seen the disturbances in Libya, Egypt and Syria. But because the kingdom of God has come into the world we have some powerful ways to address that. For one thing, in our worship when we proclaim that Jesus is Lord over all, we are not just doing our own little thing in our own little space. We are announcing the Lordship of Jesus in the heavenlies, including to the principalities and powers (the demonic influences behind all the political, religious, cultural and economic oppressions). Paul said that God is making His manifold wisdom known to the principalities and powers — through the Church! (Ephesians 3:10).

For another thing, we have the very powerful way King Jesus taught us to pray: Kingdom of God, come! Will of God, be done on earth as it is in heaven (my paraphrase). So in this present situation, for example, my prayer is, “Kingdom of God, come into Libya, Egypt and Syria. Will of God, be done in Libya, Egypt and Syria just it is being done in heaven.” Because Jesus is Lord and King over all those. They belong to is domain, His kingdom.

I also pray that the Father will give them a revelation of the Lord Jesus, by the Holy Spirit. I keep hearing reports about an amazing thing that has been happening in Muslim countries and communities. Many Muslims have been having dreams and visions of Jesus — they are clear that it is Jesus, not Mohammed, that they are seeing — and because of this they seek out Christians to learn more about Him. Many have come to know the Lord Jesus through way. On one of my other blogs, I have curated some links to what is happening with many Muslims, how they are coming to the Lord Jesus because of dreams and visions, healings and other miracles: Muslims Come to Jesus. I pray for the Lord to continue and increase that.

We also have the Holy Spirit, to bear the fruit of the Spirit and gifts of the Spirit wherever we go. This is a manifestation that God’s kingdom has truly begun and is now present in the world.

And we have the Great Commission. The Lord Jesus announced that all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth, and then He commissioned the disciples to go out into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them about Him and all that He taught (Matthew 28:18-20). In other words, to go out and announce that the kingdom of God has come and Jesus is the King of heaven and earth.

Within that discipleship, we bring the influence of God’s kingdom to bear in every aspect of life. Including government, religion, media, family education, business, arts and entertainment — these are the seven “mountains” of the Seven Mountain Strategy movement. The kingdom of God has something to say about all of these because it comes to redeem every part of life.

Seeing the kingdom of God at work in the world and participating with Him in that work is very exciting. I live now with great expectation of what God is going to do next. Not a dread that things will get darker and darker and that the true light will fade but a joyful anticipation of the darkness fading more and more as the light of King Jesus and His kingdom increases more and more on the earth. I’ve never been more passionate about the gospel than I am now.


  1. Hi Jeff,

    as much as I want to believe what you write (and reading N.T. Wright's "Surprised by Hope" certainly put me on that track), I still feel how my "eschatological upbringing" keeps telling me that "it's gonna get (a lot) worse before it gets better"... And it might be my mindset to prepare for the worst - schizophrenically hoping that that might prevent it from happening.
    Comparing those two views of the future, what do you respond to those who think that believing in everything getting continually better might be a dangerous lie that leaves us unprepared for what's "really going to happen".

    Thanks for your response,

  2. Hello Daniel,

    In what way do you think things are getting worse? I think the world is in a much better condition than it was 2,000 years ago. In addition to wonderful technical advances, which make life considerably easier for a large portion of the world, there have also been tremendous advances in medicine and the healing arts -- many people are living longer, healthier lives than today than in the past. The world is a much more civilized place than it was centuries ago. Though there are still pockets of barbarity, it is not as prevalent as it used to be.

    MUCH of this has been because of the influence of the Christianity, the Church and the gospel. A number of years ago, D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe wrote a book called *What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?* It talks about the pervasive and amazing influence the gospel has had in the world. You can preview the book a bit at Even just perusing the chapter titles will give you an pretty good idea.

    Also, I recommend a recent book by Christian sociologist Bradley R. E. Wright, *Upside: Surprising GOOD NEWS About the State of Our World* -- the title speaks for itself.

    Though there is much trouble in the Middle East with the Arab states, in the past few years there have been hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have come to Christ, and thousands of new churches planted in Muslim communities, with many even in more difficult Muslim communities. I've been reading a book about that called, *Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus* by Jerry Trousdale

    I have also heard several estimates that the church in China is growing by about 20,000 new believers each day. Plus another 20,000 new believers in Africa.

    There is still much left to do, of course, but there is a lot that has already been accomplished that has changed the world for the better. I believe that the commission Jesus gave the disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 will not fail but will be fulfilled -- that all the nations will become disciples of King Jesus.