My friend likes to say, “Too many Christians have their suitcases packed just waiting to be picked up and taken out.”
In other words, the ‘great event’ of life is a future escape from this world.
But Jesus’ message is the opposite. The ‘great event’ is already under way. His Kingdom is—right now—invading earth. He set this in motion and it is still in play today. And taking part in this heavenly invasion—His Kingdom come—is the greatest privilege and motivator life has to offer.
In chapter eight of ‘Joining Jesus On His Mission,’ Greg Finke does a masterful job describing the magnificence of what Jesus is currently up to on earth and what He is inviting us to participate in.
With the arrival of Jesus who is the king, the invisible kingdom of heaven is now coming into the created realm of earth… breaking in… taking root… taking over (Mark 3:27). The work of this kingdom is to reclaim and restore all created things (Revelation 21:5) but Jesus wants us to know that this “taking over” does not look like what the world would expect (Matthew 20:25)…
And what does he mean by it [the kingdom of God]? A working definition would be: The Kingdom of God is the redemptive presence and activity of God in human lives…
He put into play a plan to redeem and restore the created universe, and people particularly, to himself—or, as the New Testament would say it, to his kingdom. This plan of redemption and restoration is the mission of God…
From now on, heaven has come to earth. There is now overlap. Intersection. Invasion. The kingdom has arrived. The kingdom has come and is now on the loose in our very midst…
For what purpose? To begin what God had promised from the beginning: the reversal of what has become of the created world since its fall and ruin in Genesis 3.
This, then, is now what is in play. Right now! As Finke says, “Game on.”
No more promising or waiting… From now on, Jesus said, redemption is on the loose. The full restoration of all things in in motion. The Spirit of God is on the move in the created world and will not be turned back until all things are made new.
The point is that we are not sitting and waiting for God to bring about some eschatological event. We are joining Him right now in the greatest time in history as He is working powerfully, masterfully, and intentionally to bring about change on this earth that will bring about redemption and restoration in the lives of people who DESPERATELY need it. Today!
What a privilege to partner with Him in this season. What a joy. What an opportunity.
And, finally, the church is meant to be the expression of that Kingdom come. The church is not the Kingdom. It is simply our individual and collective best efforts to live it and express it. Thus we must continually reassess how we live, go, and gather to better align ourselves with who He is, with His intentions, with His kingdom mission, and with His presence. Church expressions that are simpler, more organic, more dynamic, everyone-participating, and always-going are characteristics that reflect, for me, key Kingdom earmarks.