Wings of the Kingdom

Airplanes and birds need two wings to fly, and so does the Kingdom. The greatest tragedy of the modern church is that we have clipped one wing or the other from the Gospel and sabotaged the flight of it’s message.  The twin wings of the true Gospel are Personal Salvation and a Changed World.

Gospel Bird

Today’s evangelicals champion the wing of personal conversion.  “Come to Jesus and receive forgiveness and eternal life.”  This glad and glorious message is as true today as the day Jesus told Nicodemus, “Unless a man is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”   The wing of personal salvation will lift us into the heavens and circle us about in thermals of joy.  Though it is a strong medicine for the soul, evangelicalism often goes silent in the face of poverty, injustice, hope for a better world or strategies for transforming cities.  The born-again crowd mostly expects darkness to grow until Jesus intervenes, nukes the world, and spirits us off to heaven.

Hope for the future rests mostly on the shoulders of mainline liberals who focus like lasers on injustice, environment, and reforming society.  Never mind that a conversion-less gospel is no gospel at all, and doomed from the start.  It too is a one-winged plane so cumbersome it cannot even lift off the ground.

The gospel of the Kingdom is a bird that soars on both wings.  Born anew in the life of the Spirit, it engages the world with power, hope, and transformation.  It’s time the church returned to the full gospel that pulls evangelicalism and liberalism together again.    The good news of the Kingdom begins in the heart and spills out into every crevice of a needy world.

 

7 thoughts on “Wings of the Kingdom”

  1. Jesus instructs that we must persevere through persecutions, that the world will hate us as it hates him. How is that reconciled with the view that the transformation of the world will happen/should happen “now”? Seems to my reading of scripture that the transformation is one of the heart personally, and when Christ returns, then all things renewed.

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  2. Hey Steve! Great question! I believe as you do that all things will be (completely) renewed when Christ returns. But until that time my understanding is that the Kingdom will grow like a mustard seed or spread like leaven, transforming as it grows. Jesus even mentions in Matthew 13 that the good seed and the weeds are allowed to grow together until the harvest when the angels will come “gather the weeds first, and bind them into bundles to be burned.” I believe that the heart of Jesus is to transform nations with the message of the Kingdom. It’s happened several times in history, and it was happening again here in America until Christians adopted the fatalistic idea that the darkness must grow and overtake everything before He will return. If that’s the case, then it seems like he will return to a spectacularly failed church who did not, in fact, make disciples of all nations. Either that, or we are a victim-church who is unable to gain any ground against the power of the enemy.

    I fully agree with you that darkness IS growing in the world, and that we will be hated and persecuted. But don’t the scriptures also make many statements about the growth of the kingdom during this age? “And the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14) Even His instruction that we are to pray “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” seems to suggest that God is wanting to be bringing his Kingdom during this age as we pray this prayer.

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  3. ”It’s time the church returned to the full gospel that pulls evangelicalism and liberalism together again.” I beg your pardon?? Since when are liberals saved?? And no, Don, just… NO: We are going to be caught up in heavens, singing on clouds and golden harps with butt-naked curly-fatty angels while the whole world burns (with the liberals in it). Why care? Why bother?

    I still have nightmares from some church services I attended while being a kid where the only favored preaching topic was the infamous Rapture and the burning of the not-so-saved left behinds. Can you imagine that I heard of God’s Kingdom and its amazing implications only years after? Social involvement/changing those were foreign, exotic and possibly bordering heresy.

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    1. Gabi! You make me laugh. All I’m sayin’ is that Jesus and his kingdom are way bigger than that box we tried to keep him in! Your comments are always appreciated and taken (I hope) in the vein they’re intended. We’re about six years overdue for a good catch up, and I’m definitely starting to feel it. The grasshopper is becoming the sensei.

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      1. Oh Don, thank God Jesus is bigger than boxianity, oherwise some liberals and many evangelicals ( 😀 ) would enjoy a perpetual barbeque while debating the existence of hell. Keep sayin’ great Kingdom-things, Don

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  4. Here is why there is a false gospel being spread. John 3:5,Lev 16:21,Romans 5:18 Matt 3:15 1 peter 3:21. Nic was a teacher and Jesus you should know this I was there with you. let me ask all of you this. if you are born again are you a sinner? No if you said yes go back and read again. you are still dealing with the sin thing don’t send Jesus back down to Jordan here at the right hand. Just my point of view. Water,Spirit,Blood. Mainly the water but please do not omit. .

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