Jesus did not come to earth to establish a church. In the Gospels he tells us over and over again that he has come to bring the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt 4, Mark 1, Luke 8, John 18). The Kingdom, according to Scripture, is Jesus’ presence. It is here now, with Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. And it is still to come, with Jesus’ second coming. He taught his disciples to pray for this spiritual realm that is and is yet to be, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.” The Lord explained the Kingdom to his disciples using many parables which typically begin, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…”
The Kingdom of Heaven according to Jesus’ teaching, permeates every aspect of our life. God is at work in multiple ways every single hour of every single day in each of our lives. Every person that you will see today, God is at work in their life. Every person that you converse with today, God has work that he wants to do in that person’s life. And God wants many of the people around you to have an impact for Him in your life. The Kingdom of God is not small, is not geo-political, it is not a building, it is not a particular point in time during the week. The Kingdom of God is more like daylight, rain, sunshine, fresh air, and other elements of God’s creation that permeate our world in so many ways that we can’t number them. God in his grace, allows the rain and the sun to fall on both the good and the bad. God is at work in this world, and he calls us to be co-laborers with Christ in bringing Heaven to Earth.
We often have a fortress mentality about our faith — the church is a place that I go for safety, comfort, and security. It’s a place I go to have my needs met, or the needs of my children, family, and friends taken care of. It’s a quiet place where I can escape the difficulties and dangers of the world. Little wonder many non-Christians assume that the church is simply a country club for people with religious interests. This fortress mentality, this congregational perspective, is the opposite of the Kingdom perspective that Jesus taught his disciples and lived with his own life.
REFLECTION: Here’s my question for today: Ask God to show you your world through His Kingdom eyes. This is the question I am asking myself. If I had God’s Kingdom perspective rather than a congregational perspective on my faith and on my world today, what difference would it make in my life?