The Kingdom

The Gospel is the good news that Jesus is now King of all nations. What makes the Gospel such good news is that this did not end with the Resurrection, but that was only the beginning. We can still participate in this good news today because Jesus the King inaugurated a new Kingdom with his death and resurrection. As Christians, we all participate in this new creation. This Kingdom has different rules than the Kingdom of this World. These rules are summed up in the death and resurrection of our Lord. These are the rules that should now guide all Christian’s lives, even in politics. These are the rules or principles we will attempt to outline.

Rediscovering the Kingdom

With the Enlightenment Compromise, Christians serve two masters. Our Enlightenment master wanted religion out of politics. This motive encouraged Christians to interpret their faith individualistically. Salvation increasingly became understood as the individual going heaven. This served two goals of our Enlightenment master: salvation does not involve other people and is put off until the afterlife. This effectively puts religion out of the realm of politics. Christians are told they can have their cake and eat it too. They can “faithfully” serve God privately and faithfully serve their Enlightenment master publicly. Yet, as Jesus pointed out, such a compromise cannot last. Today, Christians have found out the truth of this the hard way. Our secular masters have not been satisfied with only pushing our faith out of politics. They have pushed our faith out of education, business and the media. The current battle is the family and this is one area in which Christians have finally given some resistance. Yet, this battle too has been lost because Christians were already too compromised in their faith and too enslaved to their secular masters. The crowning shame of the sexual revolution is the victory of same-sex marriage. This trend will continue until Christians repent of our idolatry. We cannot continue to serve two masters and expect things to get better. We must deny our secular masters and acknowledge Jesus as our one true King!

Christians must return to the traditional biblical understanding of our faith. Salvation is not about an individual going to heaven. Biblically, salvation is understood as entering the Kingdom of God. The Bible describes this in various ways. Matthew calls it the Kingdom of Heaven; Luke names it the Kingdom of God; Paul uses various names, the church, the family of God, being in Christ. Saint Augustine later described this as the City of God. The Scriptures never talks about salvation individualistically. A person enters into the body of believers and this body is saved. Matthew describes the final judgement as a mass of people who will be separated into two groups, the sheep and the goats. This may be hard for us to comprehend as we live in such an individualistic culture and we have read the Bible this way for so long. Yet, this is an Enlightenment interpretation read back into the Scriptures.

For our purposes here, the importance of the Kingdom is that it help us rediscover the political dimension of our faith. We are saved when we enter the Kingdom that has no end. This means that salvation begin right now and not after we die. The Kingdom is not a mystical spiritual other-worldly place. The Kingdom is real, here and now. It is in fact more real than your family, your church or our nation. Christians often denigrate the Kingdom by describing it as invisible, spiritual or mystical. Just try to define your family. Our individualistic culture might define the traditional family as a group of biologically related individuals who share the same house. Does this capture the essence of your family? Does this describe what is unique about your family that makes it different from mine? Of course, not. A family is more than the sum of the individuals that make it up. It stands for something, believes in something, it has shared experiences together. We consider it an entity in itself and regularly treat it as something real and unique. If someone comes along and implies that your family is not quite real by calling it a mystical or spiritual body and something otherworldly, you would be offended. In this way, the Kingdom of God may be hard to define but it is just as real as any other institution. And like any other institution like a family or government, it can break down and be dysfunctional. The sad fact is that the Kingdom of God is dysfunctional. Like a family that is fighting amongst themselves without leadership or direction, God’s people are in disarray. Yet, the good news is that the Kingdom of God is not like a government or family. These can break down to the point where they no longer exist. The Kingdom is more real because no matter how unfaithful we are, God remains faithful to us and will not allow his Kingdom to fall. With this hope and God’s help, Christians United! is dedicated to the long hard struggle to make our dysfunctional “family” whole again. The first step is to reestablish leadership: Repentance. Jesus is King and the head of our Kingdom. The next step is to end the squabbling within the “family:” Reconciliation. The next step is to pray and wait for Revival. In all this we should be Renewing our gifts and rededicating them for the service of God’s Kingdom. The good news is that Jesus has already won the battle and our victory is assured.

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