The majority of Christians only know about “church” i.e. making converts, church attendance, building projects, maintaining religious structures and programs, works of charity, etc.
Question: If all this “stuff” doesn’t change the community around us, then are we really doing what Christ asked us to do?
A recent study was done on the city of Dallas, Texas, because it is the most Christianized, as a community, in the USA with the largest percentage of regular church attendance.
When the study was completed it was concluded that no one would want to live in Dallas based on sociological factors such as high crime rate, poverty factors, racial issues, etc. Ever factor related to being a transformed community was nonexistent.
When the pastors were asked to review the facts about the condition of their city, they all indicated the same thing. By their response they demonstrated that they had a “church” mentality, stating that their focus was the “spiritual” health of their community, not the problematic areas.
This same type of mindset can affect not only the condition of a city but a country as well. Let’s look at Nigeria.
60% of Nigeria's population is listed as born again Christians. The ‘Gospel of Salvation’ has been the primary message. It would appear that the salvation message by itself has had minimal effect on their community. Today, their culture has one of the greatest problems of crime, and corruption of any nation in the world.
Contrast this to Almolonga, Guatemala where 90% of the population is Christian and there are no jails, because they don’t need them. Why? They have effectively applied the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ to every aspect of their life and their community.
Myles Munroe states “A kingdom is the sovereign rulership and governing influence of a king over his territory, impacting it with his will, his intent, and his purpose; manifesting a culture and society reflecting the king’s nature, values and morals.”
Jesus’ desire was for the ‘Kingdom of God’ to be manifested on earth. Matt 6:9-10 “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This was Jesus’ instructions to His disciples; not go build four walls and keep His message contained within it letting the world fall apart around you .
So what is the Kingdom of God? The Gospel of the Kingdom includes the Gospel of Salvation, but includes bringing heaven here onto earth in practical and tangible ways. It impacts the world around us, changing families, cities and even nations.
When we move into “Kingdom” we move into operating out of the supernatural realm. The supernatural steps outside of the box and doesn’t fit our natural mind or our way of thinking. But God is way bigger than our way of thinking! If He created this universe, let alone earth and all its inhabitants, then obviously He thinks outside of the box.
Contrast religion which loves to operate with rules and regulations. Everything has its place. Everything is under its control. Religion kills the spirit because it lives by the letter of the law.
In summary it is important that we don’t dumb down the gospel of the Kingdom, the power of the cross, or the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and that we take it outside of the four walls called the church transforming of our communities.
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I want to also invite you to share your thoughts on the above blog. In your mind what is there a difference between church and Kingdom, and if so how are you personally walking it out?