Part 1: The kingdom of God
Imagine a group of skilled craftsmen building a house without any plans. Highly skilled carpenters randomly cutting, sanding, and then putting pieces of wood together with no idea or goal as to what they are making. Electricians, plumbers, and other skilled workers doing the same.
Unfortunately, this is often what the church is like. Skilled workers using their skills for what they believe is the glory of God. They may even feel a sense of pride because they are using the gifts for the Lord.
But, if they are not working together, and if they have no set of plans, let alone any idea what they are building, then are they really using our talents for the glory of God?
If we were to ask the average Christian, even those who know the Bible with some level of confidence, “what was the most common topic of Jesus?” I suspect that most would seriously struggle to come to the correct answer. The answer, of course, as the title of this series of posts suggests, is the kingdom of God.
Though it is somewhat disheartening to acknowledge that most Christians are unable to identify the kingdom of God as Jesus’ most common topic, it is perhaps more tragic that most Christians are unable to adequately explain what the kingdom of God even is.
In this series of 9 posts I will attempt to flush out the nature of the kingdom of God. In doing so, I will set forth three key elements of the kingdom of God:
- The kingdom of God is where God reigns
- The kingdom of God is both a present and future reality
- The kingdom of God advances when the people of God live in accord with the ethics of the kingdom: namely, through lives of loving sacrifice that are concerned with the other.
If these propositions are in accord with Scripture, then one may well discern that it is essential for the followers of Christ to discern the nature of the kingdom. After all, how do we know if we are doing kingdom work, if we don’t know what the kingdom is?
This is tantamount to skilled craftsmen using their gifts and applying their trade with no real objective. Are they really building something for the Lord?