BUT HAS THE CHURCH HIJACKED THE KINGDOM?
In his insightful book, "The Gathering", Ray Barnett points out that, "The Gospel of the New Testament is the Gospel of the kingdom...(Matt.24:14)." He continues, "In all of the Gospels, the word "kingdom" appears over 130 times." Then he makes this challenging statement, "the church has hijacked the kingdom!" (page 83). Do you think this is true?
"The biggest game change in our days, is the current shift from Church (religion) to Kingdom. We need to make sure we know who our King is." International speaker & writer, Wolfgang Simson <email@example.com>
"We don’t have a “church” focus, but focus on recognising the spheres of influence we have in the workplace etc and being “Kingdom agents” as our King would have us be. So gatherings are about equipping, encouragement and ministering to one another as equals. (It's) encouraging to see others finding similar tracks to walk in. House church leader, Michael Arndt.
Just this week, a provocative (in a good sense) book arrived at my house titled, The Kingdom Focused Leader. In it author Michael Miller encourages business leaders to grasp the Biblical truth that their "business calling" is just as 'spiritual' and important as any missionary or full-time Christian worker. He quotes Mike and Debi Rogers, in their book, The Kingdom Agenda: Experiencing God in Your Workplace. The Rogers state, "...many believe that unless a person is a preacher, a church or denominational worker, or a missionary, then one is not "in the ministry." They continue, ...God assigns a person to a position such as bricklayer, traffic officer, farmer...! We call them "secular" and therefore consider them insignificant to God...(But) the kingdom of God doesn't stop at the doorway of the church building! The sovereign kingdom of God extends to the office, the factory, the classroom, the cafeteria, and the boardroom." (page 50).
So what are my reasons for highlighting the above quotes? Here are six important principles revealing why we need to be Kingdom Focused:
- We will be freed from the misconception of dividing life and ministry into 'secular' and 'spiritual'.
- We will be freed from the devilish doctrine of the so-called 'clergy' and 'laity'
- We will possess a sense of honour in our workplace calling.
- We will at all times seek the guidance and wisdom from our King (JESUS)!
- We will experience release from the programmes and pressures of man-made schemes.
- We will experience a new intimacy with Jesus, when serving under His Kingly authority.