Proclaiming the Kingdom
When we proclaim the Gospel that Jesus is King, we also proclaim the Kingdom of God. The two go together like two sides of one coin. A king rules over his kingdom and kingdom by definition is governed by a king. Thus, we should not be too surprised that just as Christians have de-emphasized the kingship of Jesus, we have also downplayed the Kingdom of God. Just as all nations are ruled by Jesus Christ whether or not they acknowledge it, all people should strive to enter his Kingdom and live by its rules. Those of us who call ourselves Christians already live in the Kingdom of God whether or not we are conscious of it. We are like a prodigal son who has lived apart for so long that he no longer feels apart of the family. Yes, to our shame, most Christians do not feel apart of the Kingdom. This is from long years of misinterpreting our Christianity individualistically. If we hope to return to God, we must understand that our faith is not about me but about the Kingdom of God. The first step, along with proclaiming the Gospel, is proclaiming the Kingdom.
What does it mean to proclaim the Kingdom?
Throughout the ages, many people, parties or armies have proclaimed to a subject people that they are now in charge. Yet, when they heard this news, how many of these people really thought that this was good news? And, after these self-proclaimed powers ruled for a while, how long did these people still think it was good news? The news that a new ruler is in charge is only good if that ruler himself is truly good and the kingdom he inaugurates brings life, love and peace. When we proclaim the Gospel, we know that it is good news because Jesus has shown his love for us by sacrificing himself on the cross for our sins. By his resurrection, we know that this sacrifice was not in vain but that Jesus won the victory over all the powers of evil that enslave our world. Yet, this is only the beginning. When we proclaim the Kingdom, we announce the good news that a new creation has begun, will never end and we can be apart of it. This is truly good new!
The Kingdom is a way of living, a way of ordering our lives, a way of associating together for the common purpose of participating in the redemption and the stewardship of all creation. It is the way Jesus taught that is true and brings life. Out of love, we must proclaim it because Jesus’s way is the only way that leads to life. We proclaim the Kingdom because it is the only way that brings life, love, peace and joy.