Kingdom.08 All in?

April 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

The Gospel of the Kingdom is not, I repeat not praying a prayer, and at some point that prayer keeps us out of hell.  If that is all it is than just beam us out of here after the prayer.  No, the Gospel of Kingdom that Jesus preached, was so much more and as I wrote previously, until that Gospel is preached to the whole world the end is not coming.

We are either all in to the Gospel of the Kingdom or we are not in at all.  Jesus said it in many different ways but everything He said added up to this, are you in or out, your choice.  How do I know this?  Two words-the Cross.

So much about the cross of our King is a conundrum.  I don’t mean so much that it is a mystery, what I mean is that the Cross embodies so many of the Kingdom principles that to the non-believer make no sense, we understand the words but don’t get the point.  Wisdom is revealed in foolishness, strength is found in weakness, in death we live, decrease leads to increase, losing to save and so on. 

The Cross is the great divide.  Life in the Kingdom begins with death, and coming to terms with one’s own death, both in the natural and the spiritual, is an essential part of Kingdom life.  It is the one “concept” that separates those who will hear, believe and follow from those who hear, believe and walk away. (John 6:65-66)

It is the Cross that distinguishes those who have entered the Kingdom life and identifies them as His followers, exclusively.  It also allows us to recognize those who claim to represent the Kingdom, but have not actually followed through (separating sheep and goats).  The Cross is such a huge obstacle for those who remain in the flesh, are half-hearted, lukewarm or careless.  You cannot go around it, over it, through it or under it.  It must be faced, on the Kingdom road.  There is no way to follow this King and avoid the Cross.  Jesus said: If anyone will come after me, let that one deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24) There are many other verses that teach the same truth.

For the true Kingdom person there is a two part work to the Cross.  The Cross must be accepted, embraced, taken up, and experienced as a subjective or personal reality.  It must be deeply personal not just an historical reality.  It is not enough to mentally embrace the reality of a crucified King or be one who reads the story and believes it is true but does nothing.  A Kingdom person enters into the experience of the Cross and becomes personally acquainted and familiar with it.  That is what it means to take up your own cross and follow the footsteps of our King.

The objective work of the Cross is the part that saves us, that pays the penalty for our sin, the action of a sacrifice by the perfect Lamb of God that took away the sin of all human beings.  That is the first part but the second part is a recognition that our King intends that all of His followers be crucified as well.  This is one of those Kingdom principles that sounds strange, but there is a huge spiritual principle here.  On the one hand Jesus is my Substitute, Who stood in and died for me.  I do not take up my cross in order to do what He has already done.  His righteousness is already mine because of His sacrifice.  Yet, on the other hand, He says I cannot be His true Kingdom follower unless I carry my own cross and die daily.  He is not just my Substitute, He is also my Example. (1Peter 2:21)

There is no way to flesh out all of this in a blog but I want to mention five ways, as followers of Jesus, we must identify with our King, because  of the Cross:

  1. We are crucified with Him. (Romans 6:6;Galatians 2:20) Here is where we begin this process of conformity to our King.  It is the secret of discipleship.  He must increase and I must decrease and if you follow this Kingdom principle all the way to its conclusion and you see that there will come a time when it is all Him and none of me.
  2. We died with Him. (Romans 6:8;2Corinthians 5:14;Colossians 2:20) There is only one sure thing related to crucifixion and that is death.  No one ever survives a crucifying.  So if we joined Him in His crucifixion, then it goes with out saying that we died with Him too.
  3. We are buried with Him. (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12a) Crucified, dead and buried-end of story. No one ever gets buried until there is certainty of their demise.  Burial signifies the end of hope. That is what water baptism is a picture of.  Death and burial, but as in water baptism there must also be a coming up and so there is for the Kingdom citizen who has died with his King.
  4. We are raised with Him. (Romans 6:5; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:12-13) Everything that is lost in death is redeemed in the resurrection.  This is true in the natural and in the spiritual.  Any talent, gift, resource, relationship, that is put to death by the Kingdom minded follower, is resurrected to New Life and is never again the same.
  5. We are seated with Him in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1; Revelation 3;21) After going to death by crucifixion there is no higher place to ascend then to the place where our King has ascended.  No one, or nothing can touch us there.  We do not struggle nor anticipate one day being seated in that place of honor, authority and worship, the fact is we are there now, if we embrace the death.  I do not try to rise up, try to get some victory, or to try my best to enter in.  I am all in because of the Cross.

Give that some meditation.  Read the verses.  Think it through.  This is the place of the Kingdom person.  Are you all in?

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Jesus, King Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom Gospel, Kingdom Life, Revelation, The Father, Theology, Thoughts, Uncategorized.

Friday Funny Monday morning meanderings. Vol.40

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