Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Church and Kingdom

To understand the difference between the church and the kingdom of God, we must grasp the importance of territory in God’s purposes.

When the followers of Jesus living together in one place engage in spiritual warfare, they can force all the spiritual powers of evil out of that territory. Once they achieve victory, this territory belongs to Jesus, not to the spiritual powers of evil.

Within this territory, there will be two types of people.

  • Citizens of the Kingdom who given their allegiance to Jesus.
  • Residents living within the territory, but who have not given allegiance to Jesus. Most of them just keep their heads down and try to remain invisible. A few will be outlaws, looking for a chance to rebel against the King, but they will be outnumbered.
Jesus is the king of everyone living and working within that territory.

An ekklesia is a gathering of the citizens living in a place (Act 19:39). In terms of the Kingdom of God, the ekklesia is all the citizens of the Kingdom (those who have given allegiance to Jesus) living in that piece of territory. Not everyone living within that territory is a citizen.

Citizens are a body of followers of Jesus, who are:

  • rescued by Jesus
  • in allegiance with him
  • living close to each other, and
  • walking in the Spirit
The citizens (ekklesia) in this piece of territory engage in the following activities.
  • proclaiming the good news
  • loving one another
  • serving each other through giving and sharing
  • celebrating the Lord’s Supper
  • prayer
  • eldership
  • discipling new believers
  • prayer
  • spiritual defence of the territory against all spiritual attacks.
Citizens can operate in the spiritual realms. They can go into the king’s presence because the King is their brother and friend.

Residents live within the territory of the king, but they are not citizens, because they have not yet given allegiance to the king. They only know the king by hearsay. They cannot go into his presence, because they are confined to the physical realms of life.

Residents are not interested in the activities of the ekklesia listed above. However, because they belong to the Kingdom, they are entitled to the following benefits.

  • justice
  • security and protection
  • economic support
The King cares about all residents of his kingdom. He wants them to prosper, so they do not rebel against him.

Kingdom Communities serve citizens and residents, although most of the work will be done by citizens because they are committed to the king and his kingdom. Residents will also be glad to receive:

  • education
  • employment
  • sanitation
  • healthcare.
Kingdom Communities make human government redundant. Political power takes plenty, but has nothing to offer, because what the Kingdom Community delivers everything better.

For more see Government of God.

No comments: