In the last few posts, we’ve reflected on how the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the coming of the Holy Spirit, impact us on a very personal level. This is important, because we need to realise that God is deeply committed to saving individuals from their personal sin.
We need to be aware, however, that God is at work throughout creation. This is especially important, I think, for us in “the West”: our culture and societal emphasis is increasingly individualistic. In many ways, we have lost sight of the “collective”.
The phrase used to describe God’s work throughout creation is, “The Kingdom of God”. This conveys the idea that God is King, and is at work to establish His Kingship over the whole of creation. God’s ultimate goal is to bring the entirety of creation under His authority as King.
The concept of “the Kingdom of God” is massive: this idea crops up throughout Scripture, and theologians have written tomes exploring this. I have little chance of doing justice to any of this in a short blog post. There may be, however, a couple of questions which come to your mind when you think about “the Kingdom of God”, and hopefully I can answer those here.
Why would I want to be part of this Kingdom?
If you’re not a Christian, then this is probably your main question. Why would I want to be part of God’s Kingdom? And how dare he try to assert His rule over creation!
To fully answer these concerns, we would need to spend a great deal of time reflecting on the reality that this universe is God’s creation, that He has always been its King, but that humanity rejected that rule. Because of this, our world is a broken and troubled place, and God therefore has to work to re-establish His rule.
Looking at those issues in detail may help to answer the latter concern. But what about the former? Why would anyone want to be part of God’s Kingdom? Here is why:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ (Revelation 21: 3-4 NIVUK)
John paints a wonderful picture of a creation put to right. God the King has come to live with His subjects: He has dealt justly with the evil and darkness of this world, and has recreated the world where these things no longer exist.
In response to the question, “why would I want to be part of God’s Kingdom?”, I would as, “why wouldn’t you want to live in a place where there is no death, mourning, crying or pain?” That’s what God is working to create, and that’s the kind of Kingdom of which He wants you to be a part! The way to access this Kingdom, as we’ve seen in these posts, is to put your faith in Jesus Christ.
What part do I play in building God’s Kingdom?
When you put your faith in Jesus, and become a part of this Kingdom, you also accept a calling from God to help build His Kingdom here on Earth, which acts as a signpost to the future Kingdom which God is working to build.
We cannot respond to this calling as individuals, so we work with other believers in what is called, “the Church”. The next post will explore this in more detail.
For now, it is sufficient to say that all of us who follow Jesus (not least me, as a minister in His Church!) have a calling to help build His Kingdom. A song which best expresses this is Build Your Kingdom Here, by Rend Collective. Enjoy!