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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Thy Kingdom Come, Revisited

Adam has a post on the Protestant Pub in which he seems to ask what relevance the Kingdom has in the preaching of the Gospel. Many have responded and as I expected from my previous experience the answers are varied.

From my own perspective the Gospel is incomplete if the teaching of the Kingdom is not included but does that necessarily mean that the Kingdom must be preached in order for men to be converted and receive the gift of eternal life? I don’t think so. In fact I believe I am still “hearing” the Gospel message even after nearly thirty years of listening. Be that as it may the question still remains, what part does the Kingdom play in the Gospel?

My present understanding is centered on what it means to be King. I think this is a foreign concept to most Evangelicals, as we seem to be obsessed with having been liberated but fail to understand how we are then obliged to Him who has liberated us. The consequence has often been that we live as though we have no ruler, no King to answer to. This in no way implies we are not part of the Kingdom, but rather that we one day we must all account to the King as to the “deeds done in the flesh”. We will suffer loss for being unruly. For this cause I say we must understand that Christ is our King and as His subjects we should subject ourselves to His Lordship or be prepared to suffer when we face His judgment.

The King is seated at the right hand of the Father and He has left us instruction and provided all that is needed for us to follow His will. If we submit He now rules in our heart but one day he will establish His rule here on earth and rule with a rod of iron. What a glorious day that will be!

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28 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think it is incorrect to talk of Christ's kingship in the present.

The NT never speaks of Christ reigning as king now. Rather, He shares in the heavenly rule of the Father.

God Bless

Matthew

4/30/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matthew you are probably right in your thinking and I admit there is much I can learn concerning Kingship and the Kingdom. I appreciate the admonition.

I am presently focused on submission as it relates to rule within the Church and admittedly my thoughts on Kingship are purely an extension of my own perception and not scriptural. In fact our Lord gave us the example and instruction that we do the will of the Father, which I think adds weight to your opinion.

4/30/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

So Matthew, Jesus is not King now? I guess that is reason why the LORDship position would be so false...if not King, then definately not LORD.

That gives a whole new light to the matter...

4/30/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger curious servant said...

Thought-provoking

4/30/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Zeke said...

The Lord's (as in Jesus') Prayer:

'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
-Matt 6:9-10


That's Jesus (the Lord) addressing the Father, whose kingdom Jesus is calling for.

Here's another one for you all:

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever!
-Rev 1:5-6


This is John talking, and I am reluctant to add anything by way of comment because I have no idea what he's trying to convey by saying that Jesus has "made us to be a kingdom"... but it's intruiging, isn't it?

And how about this one:

But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
-Matt 12:28


And of course Jesus did drive out demons by the Spirit of God, and thus the kingdom did come upon Israel.

Just to throw a few Scriptures out there for the mix.

5/01/2006 01:33:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Great verses Zeke. My thoughts about the Kingdom of God are beginning to have the same effect on me as thinking about eternity. I just wind up going into that glassy-eyed gaze. I can relate to the earthly Kingdom age but the paradox of the present and all the illustrations that Jesus gave always seem too much for me to wrap my mind around. When taken individually as object lessons I'm okay but try to combine them for a perspective and "poof". ;-)

5/01/2006 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Soyfst, I strongly believe in the present Lordship of Christ. Jesus is Lord or Jehovah. That is His divinity, as opposed to His kingship.

Zeke,
There is a future aspect to the Kingdom in the Lord's prayer, but of course this is the kingdom of the Father, rather than that of the Son. This is certainly active in the present.

The kingdom of the Father is made manifest in the establishment of Christ's Kingdom in the future on His return.

In the KJV we have 'kings' rather than kingdom.

With regard to the kingdom and Israel, Christ is the king and the kingdom. He offered to Israel the establishment of His kingdom promises. However, Israel rejected these by her failure to repent. Hence, God's dealings with Israel have been suspended and the kingdom has been postponed until Christ's return.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/01/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

cough...DISPY!...cough...

Matthew, you didn't address the verse that Zeke pointed out:

But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
-Matt 12:28

In your honest dispy opinion, did the kingdom of God come upon those people?

5/01/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam I would say that Christ both represents and "is" the Kingdom of God as it is His will that all things that are of Him be in Christ. In that respect the Kingdom was "upon", "near", "close", etc.. while Christ was on earth.

5/01/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I'm seeming to remember a lengthy discussion we had on the Kingdom several months ago--ah, yes, I see you linked to it.

I would say that it depends on what gospel (good news) you are preaching. I believe there is a gospel of the kingdom which is separate from the gospel of Jesus Christ. So the role the kingdom plays in the gospel is a vague statment until you define which good news you are referring to.

5/01/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

I like the verse in the Revelation that Zeke quoted, saying that Jesus has "made us to be a kingdom."

To me, that parallels the verse in Deuteronomy 32 that I referenced elsewhere recently: “For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.”

But to answer the question at hand, I offer Romans 10:9: "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

The gospel of the Kingdom may not need be understood, nor even preached as a prerequisite to salvation, but enough so that "Jesus is Lord" may be comprehended.

5/01/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I did address that text, Sofyst, you just did not like my answer.

The kingdom came upon them in that the messiah, the bringer of the kingdom was there among them ('within them'). His casting out of devils was a sign of the approaching kingdom, which Israel subsequently rejected.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/01/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

My friend, I apologize, lets then consider your response.

"The kingdom came upon them in that the messiah, the bringer of the kingdom was there among them ('within them'). His casting out of devils was a sign of the approaching kingdom, which Israel subsequently rejected."

You would claim that the kingdom was there with them in the form of Jesus. Correct?

I would partly agree. Jesus, being the King, does bring with Him, by His very presence, an introduction to the Kingdom.

Are we agreed?

So then, when Jesus was present, there was an aspect of the kingdom present.

If you agree with that, very good. Some of your camp would be unwilling to do so. When I asked Thomas Ice if there was any aspect of the kingdom that was now, he responded quite sharply, 'no'.

5/01/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think Dispensationalists can be confusing on this point.

They hold that the mystery or spiritual aspect of the kingdom is here, but want to avoid making this too obvious or else people will start talking about the kingdom a lot, as Charismatics do.

I would say that the reference to the kingdom in that text relates primariliy to the future aspect of the kingdom in its relation to Israel.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/02/2006 03:13:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Doesn't the kingdom, like the Church, simply consist of the King and His subjects?

The kingdom is wherever Christ is, including in us and where we are. This idea seems to mesh with Christ's comments. But in a culture where you can't have the Church without a piece of land and some buildings, I can see how the notion would trip some people up.

5/02/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Great subject Sofyst and KC.
The kingdom is a physical reign of Christ wherein He will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem. He isn't there now, is He? We pray "Thy Kingdom come..." because it isn't here yet!

5/02/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

The paradox of the Kingdom of God is that it's here and not yet.Noted scripture scholar Raymond E. Brown says, "The Kingly rule of God was already making itself present in Jesus' person, proclamations, and actions, but
the complete and visible manifestation of the Kingdom lay in the future."

Jesus Himself never defined the Kingdom of God. He described the Kingdom in parables and similes and in concepts like life, glory, joy, and light. The kingdom of God expresses itself in different stages through redemptive history.

Two biblical passages that fuel the debate over the timing of the Kingdom are: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, `The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel"' (Mark 1:14-15), and Jesus telling the apostles, "Preach as you go, saying, 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand"' (Matt. 10:7).


Whereas the Kingdom had traditionally been understood as a future earthly reign of Christ that would be established by his dramatic second coming, the present character of the Kingdom is also stressed, because “the Kingdom of God is near you”. (Luke 10:8-9) The Kingdom is not something far removed, but something into which humans can enter. There is a realm of spiritual blessing into which we may enter today and enjoy in part the blessings of God’s Kingdom. It is a present spiritual reality. “For the Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17) Righteousness and peace and joy are fruits of the Holy Spirit which God bestows now upon those who yield their lives to the rule of the Spirit. They have to do with the deepest springs of the spiritual life, and this, says Paul, is the Kingdom of God. At the same time, Kingdom of God is a future realm which we must enter when Christ returns. Our Lord Himself frequently referred to this future event, “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Issac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 8:11).

This is my two-cent contribution.

5/02/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I really appreciate everyone's thoughts here. I think it's difficult to try and pinpoint a specific aspect of the Kingdom as it pertains to the Gospel. Like Kitty I find that the various concepts are all we have to offer at present.

With respect to Adam's point I think that today we submit to God through Christ rather than being subjected to Him by force. I am also persuaded that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.

5/03/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Kc, do you think then that people enter the kingdom now by 'choice' (I concede momentarily), whereas in the future there will be no choice. The kingdom will be so present and prevalent that all will either be a part of the kingdom, or an enemy of it?

Rose, if this:

'The kingdom is a physical reign of Christ wherein He will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem.'

then necessarily not this:

'The King is seated at the right hand of the Father and He has left us instruction and provided all that is needed for us to follow His will.' - Kc

What good is a King without a kingdom? I can claim that I am the king all day long (technically, I am A king, Nathaniel Adam King...but you know) I can claim this all day long, but until I have subjects and authority, my 'kingship' is just one of word.

I mean, David was annointed king, but Saul was still in place as king. David was the proper king, his rulership just hadn't begun yet.

Consider the parallel.

David (Christ) was annointed king by Nathan (Holy Spirit) yet Saul (Satan) was still king of the the land Israel (the world). David was in essence opposed to Saul's kingship, as the land was rightly David's. David even had followers and people that were loyal to him. It was a time of confusion. When there were two kings struggling over one land.

Souds eerily familiar.

5/03/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Too often we forget that we serve a king.

We offer Him our broken pianos, our used coffee makers, nursery cribs that have long ago seen their better days.

Malachi suggests that we offer them to our governor and see whether he will accept them. If not, what make us think they are good enough for the King of Kings?

5/03/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

This is a good discussion. I believe that possibly from God's point of view (eternity) the kingdom is already a reality. It will of course become a physical reality for us during the 1,000 year reign of Christ.

Adam you and discussed this briefly at the pub and I don't think we are that far apart on this. That was an interesting analogy you gave concerning David and Saul, but I thought Samuel anointed David.

5/04/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

KC,

Doing some text crit work here on this subject in regards to the Lords Prayer. If I get it done I'll let you know

5/04/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I feel much better now that I can post without being a subscriber to kc's club. LOL

Even though I don't have much to say on this subject that I am comfortable with; I will say that I believe the Kingdom of God is within us now and will be a physical kingdom here on earth when Christ returns to rule for the 1000 years before the final judgement. Then the new heaven and new earth will come.


As far as trying to proclaim or explain the Kingdom of God to unbelievers Jesus basically told Nicodemus that no can see the Kingdom of God unless they have been born again. So I'm not sure asking a lost person to understand it is profitable. Heck all of us who have been born again already seem to have trouble putting a definate answer to it.

5/04/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Herobill said...

I think God had the Kingdom in mind all the way back in Eden. (He didn't get it, then, there.)

I think God will have His Kingdom in it's total fulfillment, someday.

But I also think God likes to have His Kingdom HERE, as often as possible.

He had it in Antioch, Galatia, Macedonia, Greece, and Italy, for a while, there.

Time and space must not prevent us from living in Eternity with Him, together!

LET CHRIST BE KING, AND THE ONLY KING, AMONG ME AND MY PEOPLE HERE.

And I don't even care WHAT we call it! :)

5/04/2006 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Where is KC?

5/05/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Sorry Rose and everyone for not commenting but I have been following the discussion. Pech you know I would really appreciate your understanding.

Adam I really look at the parable of the talents for the answer. There were three servants. Who decided what each would do with their money? It was not their Lord but they themselves who were faithful. What meaning is left in the word faithful if there is no choice?

5/05/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Procyon said...

You have an amazingly well-networked blog. Im a blogspotter Christian. Will you kindly take a look at my blogs at http://procyon4x.blogspot.com and get to know a new type of Christian from another, faraway land?

Regards
In Christ
Procyon

5/06/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Procyon welcome and thanks for the visit. I'd love to catch up on your site and look forward to reading there. ;-)

5/07/2006 08:20:00 PM  

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