There are two kingdoms: the Kingdom of the World and the Kingdom of God. You are in one or the other, there is no in between. You are taking one side or the other, even if you don’t think you’ve chosen. By default we are in the Kingdom of the World, suffering and destitute without realizing it most of the time. But through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God offers us a better citizenship in an in-corrupt and incorruptible kingdom! We are given a new home for which we don’t even have to pack furniture! We are even given new, good priorities and attitudes! And we can invite anyone and everyone we want, because God is extending that same offer to all!
But even when you’re in the Kingdom of God sometimes you still end up fighting for the Kingdom of the World. We shouldn’t, but so often we do. We even do it without realizing it! We get too attached to our things and positions. We get too uptight about politics. We get too insistent and even belligerent about our rights and freedoms. We worry about what people think of us. We forget that this isn’t our home anymore. We start feeling like we need to hold on to what we have. We start thinking that we need to fight for what we have. We get combative. We develop an “us vs. them” mentality. We pretend and convince ourselves that we’re fighting God’s battles when His Kingdom is not of this earth. We’re not even supposed to be fighting people anyway! (All of Matthew 5 is a good reference, though I’d like to point out verses 3-16 and 38-48.)
God doesn’t do kingdoms like we do.
When Jesus first came, so many people thought He was going to be the conquering Messiah to free them from government oppression! But He knew what everyone really needed, and came as the suffering Messiah to free them and us from sin oppression! Jesus didn’t set up an earthly kingdom, He gave us access to the Heavenly one!
As we look forward to Jesus’ second coming, we still go about like we’re fighting to set up an earthly kingdom. We’re going make sure we’re free from government oppression! But we forget that the real oppression is sin oppression. The root is in the heart of humankind, and if we don’t show people who God is and what He has done, we’re not doing anything of value for the Kingdom of God.
But what about the future reign of Jesus in Revelation 20? Yes, in the future Jesus is going to set up rule, but He already has a kingdom. He doesn’t need to fight for it, and He doesn’t need our help.
God doesn’t do kingdoms like we do. God doesn’t want to fight people. God wants everyone in His Kingdom, and He wants us all to come by choice because of His love and goodness.
A few strands in the web of related topics:
Mind Your Attacks
Strikes Me Interesting – Patriotism and Loyalty
Strikes Me Interesting – Persecution
Just Passing Through