Note: I know I’ve been AWOL from this blog for too long. It’s not because I haven’t written, but rather because I worry that what I’ve written isn’t fresh enough or inspiring enough. Nevertheless… here goes another determined attempt to do better.
The great missionary and statesman, E. Stanley Jones said, “The Kingdom is God’s total answer to man’s total need.” But tragically in Western Evangelicalism we have replaced the “Gospel of the Kingdom”, (which is what Jesus actually taught), with “The Gospel of God’s answer to guilt”, (which, although it’s implied, Jesus never actually taught).
A close examination of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation reveals that God’s salvation means a total healing of the wretched mess we’ve made of God’s creation since the fall of man. From the moment of Adam’s rebellion, nature became uncooperative and filled with “thorns”, brothers murdered brothers, violence marshaled armies and war machines, bodies and souls became diseased, and suspicion and alienation supplanted love and trust. Sin is a cancer that ruins everything it touches, and a misdiagnoses will guarantee certain calamity.
Hosea the prophet saw with the eyes of God and pronounced a full, accurate diagnoses:
“… there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.
There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery.
They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
And everyone who lives in it languishes
Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
And also the fish of the sea disappear.”
Sounds like a pretty accurate assessment of our condition doesn’t it? Lack of kindness, adultery, deception, bloodshed, people languishing, fish dying, animal life being stressed; Seems like I just read about all this in the morning news. THIS is our problem! The cancer is much worse than we imagined: Sin has metastasized and poisoned the entirety of creation, and what we need is a radical cure that reaches into every part of creation with it’s healing balm. The Kingdom is that cure: Jesus has redeemed all things beginning with the hearts and souls of people. Coming to him in faith is the first life-changing step, but the full cure lies in carrying His healing into everything we touch until the world shines with glory and grace.
How do we do that? By drinking deeply from the well of Christ and becoming purposeful, intentional disciples of Him. Apart from these, we have little to offer our sick world.