Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tens and Hundreds (22) - Kingdom View

Authority is the heart of the Kingdom of God. The defining quality of a king is authority, so understanding the nature of authority is essential for understanding the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ prayer defines the Kingdom of God.

Your Kingdom come
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven. Matt 6:10
The Kingdom of God comes when God's will is done. God's kingdom comes into being as his authority is widely accepted and obeyed.

Authority, not geography, defines the boundaries of a kingdom. A kingdom extends as far as the authority of the King is accepted. The Kingdom of God is defined in terms of attitudes to the authority of God. It extends wherever his authority is accepted. Every person living under the authority of God is part of the Kingdom of God. Every aspect of life that is submitted to the authority of God is part of the Kingdom of God. Tens and Hundreds turn authority upside down and bring the Kingdom of God into being.

If the Ten serves really effectively, the local people will participate in some of their activities, especially those that advance justice, protection from crime, welfare and defence. When the non-Christians in the neighbourhood participate in the activities of the Ten or Hundred, they will have to compromise with their standards of behaviour:
  • People will be treated with respect.
  • No one, not even elders or leaders, can force another person to do things they do not want to do.
  • The truth will be spoken love.
  • Forgiveness is the best solution to hurts and misunderstanding.
To participate in activities organised of the Ten, others will have to fit with their lifestyle. They will compromise their behaviour gladly, because they will see the benefits the Tens provide in their neighbourhood. However, they will not feel forced to change, because they remain free to opt out at any time.

Something interesting has happened in A Street.
  • If they serve effectively, the Tens will be the most influential group in their community.

  • Non-Christians living in the locality will submit to God’s authority some of the time, so they can benefit from the activities of the Tens.

  • The members of the Ten will have submitted voluntarily to the authority of the elders, to each other, and to God.

  • The elders will have submitted to God, and to each other. This makes the Kingdom of God a reality in their midst.

  • Then Tens, Fifties and Hundreds could keep society functioning effectively, even if all national and city authority has collapsed.

Taken together, this means that most people in the neighbourhood will be submitted to God, so in a sense the Kingdom of God has come to A Street.

This full series can be found at Tens and Hundreds.

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