The Kingdom

I keep coming back in my thinking to the idea that the “gospel of the Kingdom” (which is, according to Luke, what Jesus preached) is so much more than personal salvation.

If we are just preaching a gospel of personal salvation I’m afraid we’ve misunderstood what maybe the whole point of what jesus was saying and doing the whole time he was here. Scripture says time after time that God will put all the all things “under His feet”, under His reign and dominion. In other words the Kingdom will be restored under the rightful King’s rule.

When I’ve talked about this with folks I usually throw in the emotionally charged, but pertinent question, “Which gospel are we teaching our children?” It’s a question I asked myself before I asked anyone else, and was … to say the least uncomfortable with my answer, as was everyone else when I asked. The response was striking in its uniformity. “Well you’ve got to talk about personal salvation first, and then later you can teach about the Kingdom. The Kingdom is a much more complex concept.” To which I reply, You’re right, forensic justification is a much easier concept to grasp than a story about a rightful King who comes to defeat a evil one who isn’t really a King at all. What were those guys at Disney thinking marketing The Lion King to a bunch of kids?”

The Kingdom is too hard to understand?

I told that the other day to a couple of pretty bright guys. One said, “Why do they think there have been 85 million sets of the Chronicles of Narnia sold?”. The other said, “Well, scripture says you have be like a kid to even get in the Kingdom, so there ya go.”

I thought about that again that night. I had realized that the gospel I had told my children about was one that centered on their forgiveness of sins, and them going to heaven, but I hadn’t told them much about the Kingdom.

So as I laid down on my youngest’s bed that night to say good night and pray, I told this kind of stilted, not so creative story about a king in space who came to a planet to put down a rebellion and so on, and so on.

When I was finished, I made the leap to the “and that’s kind of what God does.” explanation.

My youngest thought for a couple of seconds and said, “Oh, I get it now! That’s why we go to church and pray.”

So there ya go.

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2 Responses to “The Kingdom”

  1. Rob Scott Says:

    Amen! I think this is one of the biggest plagues of the modern church. Every sermon, every talk, every program is aimed at “presenting the Gospel.” Period. That was *not* how Jesus did things. And I think it’s a big reason we have become irrelevant — we have a truncated, incoherent message.

  2. seaton garrett Says:

    And we wonder why we”re not having a bigger impact on the world.

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