The Body of Christ finds itself in a real predicament today. The Lord is certainly crumbling the Kingdom of men, but we still don’t know how to live in the Kingdom of God. Oh Lord help us make the transition!
The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ exists. Whether we believe it exists or not doesn’t matter. Whether we understand how it operates doesn’t matter. Since it’s the Kingdom of our Creator, I can assure many things are going to be beyond our capability to understand. For example, we are not omniscient, omnipotent, or know the end before the beginning. One thing I know is His Kingdom is visible and it is expressed in Love!
Recently I was contacted by a pastor whom I didn’t know, but he shared with me that he had been following and reading our website for over a year. He introduced himself as Pastor So & So. I told him if he was using the word Pastor as a title, that I didn’t think he had read enough of the website. Yes, I need a little more love!
This brother had pastored in the system for 20 years and according to him had left it now over a year. His first question after we exchanged pleasantries was the usual, “How do I conduct an organic church service?” The religious system has ingrained in us that if we can just get the methodology just right, then the Lord will be pleased and allow signs and miracles to occur in our meetings.
I felt sorry for him because I did the very same thing. As the pastor or presbyter as I was called, I saw myself as the chief baker in charge of getting the recipe just right. Talk about getting the cart before the horse! It’s nothing but seminary-trained ignorance of the highest caliber.
How can we focus on the Church as an entity when the New Testament clearly focuses on people? Since we don’t have any idea how to operate in a Kingdom with all our divisions let’s just put that off as a subject until the Lord returns. Father forgive us!
I am convinced that the early church never made members of local congregations, but instead focused the new believer on the fact that they had been transferred from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Light of His beloved Son.
So, they invited them to hang out with the others like them, the Ekklesia “the called-out ones”, but not do services or perform religious rituals. I am convinced that a first century meeting was more like a gang meeting, or a bowling team meet up than the present day “freakazoid” we now call the church.
“The Focus of the Religious System is the Church (entity). The Focus of the real Church (people) is the Kingdom. God’s present reign in and through His People on earth.” JLB
The word “church” appears in the Bible (New Testament only) 58 times. “churches” appears (again, New Testament only) 35 times. It is from the Greek word ekklesia,
But Kingdom is found much more, but we talk about much less!
The word Kingdom (in Greek: basileíā) appears 162 times in the New Testament and most of these uses relate to either the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven in the Synoptic Gospels.
John the Baptist began his ministry announcing that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 3:2). Then Jesus took over: “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Jesus taught his followers how to enter the Kingdom of God: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
The parables Jesus told illuminated truth about the Kingdom of God: “And he answered them, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.’
Likewise, Jesus urged his followers to pray for the coming of the Kingdom: “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’
Interesting all the above quotes come from Matthew’s Gospel. Why? I think he was, as daily visitor to the Roman world, more knowledgeable of worldly Kingdom rule and practice than the other disciples.
Jesus said in John 18:36, “My kingship is not of this world.” He was not implying that his reign had nothing to do with the world, but that his dominion came not from any earthly human, but from God. For this reason, Jesus rejected the use of worldly fighting to achieve his purposes.
How important do you think the Kingdom is when our Lord spent His last 40 days on earth after His resurrection and before His Ascension teaching on this one subject?
to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Jesus also promised he would come again to earth in glory to establish his Kingdom as an eternal inheritance for his people.
So, let me ask you brother What are you concerned with in Christ?
- You want to make sure everyone reads their bible?
- You want everyone to faithfully attend your church services
- You want to make sure they invest (Tithe) to your brand of Christianity?
- You want “your members” to be not worldly and live in sin?
Or maybe by the grace of God you consider yourself an organic believer now. Do you now switch from looking for right recipe to now finding the elusive “original” pattern? Which organic church belief or behavior are you going to hang your doctrinal hat on?
It’s time to ask yourself am I operating in the Kingdom? If not, Why not? What in my heart needs to change? What part of my identity constantly reverts back to the system?
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
May this new year bring fresh revelation!
Jose L. Bosque