Thursday, October 30, 2014

new king and kingdom

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.
Matthew 21:43

Jesus' own prophecy predicting the direction of the kingdom of God is one explanation for how and why I am able to write this reflection today. The kingdom of God is a worldwide phenomenon. It was not localized just to Israel. His gospel changes the world. When the leaders of Israel rejected Jesus, it only served to expand the reach of the gospel. The kingdom grows in the lives of the people who produce its fruits.

This does not mean that God has abandoned Israel. He has not. If anything the prophetic promises to Israel are more clear with Jesus' words. The church knows there is a future role for Israel. Jesus is Messiah for the Jews. Jesus will return to rule in Jerusalem. The New Testament ends with clear teaching of future events occurring there. There are clear Old Testament predictions that must also occur in the Holy Land because God does not lie.

But the "mystery" of the church is still on God's primary agenda until the times are fulfilled. The kingdom must then move forward in fruitful living among the followers of Jesus. The world needs the good news. Jews and Gentiles are still one in the Body of Christ. And it is this kingdom that is our culture... not mega-church attendance to programs, not Christian publishing, not conservative politics, not hip Christian radio or evangelical entertainment that sadly defines my generation. I am called as a subject of King Jesus to live in His kingdom and proclaim the gospel so that He may rule in the hearts of His people.

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