The Kingdom of God is Jesus manifest as the church and eventually the new creation. It’s not initially about morals. The morality brigade put Jesus on the cross when life came among them and found them lacking.
Most of us have been reared with the notion that Christianity is about right and wrong. As ‘religion’ it may be. But as the Kingdom it is not. It’s about life, life as a person - life that is Jesus. When we are talking ‘Kingdom’ we are talking Jesus – Jesus incarnate in all and Jesus manifest through us all. Let’s get this straight. Jesus’ Kingdom is not about Christianity. It’s about life in the Son. We might ask ourselves if we have The Son, if the Son has us or whether what we have is just an ideology with Jesus added.
‘Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life’ 1 John 5.12 NIV.
A gospel of morality is a poor man’s parody of Christ our life. A ‘gospel’ it may be, but it is not the gospel of the Kingdom. It is a Christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil. As such it contains the church in a state of blindness, paralysis and is and without the spirit and life. It does this and attempts to drive out the various degradations that afflict humanity under Adam’s law of sin and death. But here’s the catch. It tries to do this relying on Adam’s law of sin and death. Employing carnal weapons is futile and ungodly. Paul assert ‘our weapons are not carnal.’ As Rick Joyner so aptly taught – the world’s stench of degradation is undone when we deploy the presence of Jesus and speak His powerful words of spirit and life. This is the torch and the sword that undoes the stench of moral turpitude, blindness and death.
‘And this GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come’ Matt 24.14 NIV.
WHAT IS TRUTH?
What is the truth of the new testament age. Truth is that we are of the essence of God, sons and daughters of our Father and kings and priests authorised to expand His new creation Kingdom of life. But what is the ultimate truth? This is that Christ is our life as individuals and of the world.
Jesus is your transformation and the transformation of the world of carnality and chaos into the Kingdom of Heaven.
A WHOLE YOU, A HEALED WORLD
A crippled man cried out to Jesus. He replied ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The man of the bent back and arthritic limbs replied, ‘I want to be made whole.’ Jesus healed limbs as a sign – the sign that He is the Healer of the World. Wholeness and completeness is what Jesus offers society. He presents us with much more than healing from maladies and a decrepit body. He offers us ourselves as sons of God, ourselves as the expression of life to the full. He offers a new creation called the Kingdom of God.
Neither the law or a moral program are a representation of God. The Ten Commandments are not the expressed character of God and never were. Jesus Christ is. Jesus is the complete representation of God and the fullness of righteousness. To think God can be represented by a list, a set of values or a belief system is very far from the truth. To think that a human being can be summed up in a compilation of good deeds is equally deficient. You are much more than a moral compilation. You are a son of God!
Francois Du Toit writes, ‘According to Gen 1:26 man was created according to the image and likeness of God!
Man is the only being with whom God can liken himself without feeling at all intimidated as if it were a lesser representation of Him! Man is the bearer of God's image, of his likeness and glory!
Isa 4o:5 says ‘The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.’ God's glory was revealed in Christ Jesus, who is the mirror of man's identity (2 Cor 3:18). He [Father] associated us in Christ before the foundation of the world!’
Du Toit is saying that God’s glory is revealed in you and all people for whom Jesus is life. Do you see what we are saying. Morality is not life. Jesus alone is life and when people live in Him they cast off death and become alive.
Sadly, many who live in Christian conformity have never been touched by Jesus much less transformed. Not many are alive. They just stagger on as cripples obsessing over abortion and homosexuality while the world disintegrates around them.
CHRIST THE LIFE OF THE WORLD
Christ is all and in all. By Him the entire universe holds together and finds its meaning and purpose. In Jesus we live, move and have our being. Not in morality or by controlling strategies in the arm of the flesh. Jesus Himself is the light and the life of the world. One can be a moralist and a religionist and have little of His life. Yet none whose life is Jesus are the slaves of sin, dead in their spirit or victims of Satan and his works. We are living at a time when the people of the world are in desperate need of the new creation that is Jesus writ large as the church. We can be the cure to an ill-world when we allow ourselves to be the church Jesus builds without human hands.
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ 2 Cor 5.17 NIV.
‘Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen--the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's new creation’ Rev 3.14 NLT.
The world ignores the Christ and crawls further in to its chaos of wickedness and situation ethics. The current version of the knowledge of good and evil is largely political correctness. This arrogant moralism consists of a few good ideas and many godless presumptions. But we must not resort to a cure that is equally as controlling and manipulative as the secular bullies. Jesus did not endorse Barabbas and He but He graced the thief with His eternal life. Jesus will manifest His life through anyone who can be still and rest in the reality that Christ has come in our flesh.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NLT.
MORALISM THE COUNTERFEIT CHRIST
Don’t tout moralism – as though the Kingdom of God is chiefly about morals, ethics and spiritual performance. It is not. The Kingdom of God is all about Christ. It is Christ’s life as your life and His life as the life of the world. If you think, as many do, that it’s all about moral issues and ethical performance you are gravely mistaken. You are a blind guide.
God’s chief interest is not about morals. It’s about you. It’s about loving you. His desire is for you. He wants you as part of His life. He wants your company forever. He wants to draw you into life in our Father.
Sin appeals but always destroys. Sin is caused by separation from God. Jesus has made us one with God. Our first step in joining with Father to heal the world is to live in this already-ours-union and abandon our try harder religion.
PRESUMING TO BE GOD TO DEFINE SIN
Many Christians are so blind-sided by a moralist gospel. They obsess over common perversions – like homosexuality, marriage equality, pornography and fornication. Not much said though, about tax evasion, personal greed and despising the poor. Sexy things are easy to identify. But they are not more sinful than social and economic sins.
‘But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time’ John 8.6-9 NIV.
Conveniently many are strangely blind to the injustices of capitalism, the greed of individuals, the lust of corporations and the creeping destruction of the earth brought about by consumerism. Many are conveniently look the other way because they would rather retain their life-style than confront themselves with the truth of what their way of life is doing to the earth.
The environment is being suffocated and we are doing it. The corals are dying and we want more coal mines and jobs. The weather is punishing cities and farms and the stubborn put it down to chance. But the Weather has a voice that cries ‘Enough!’ Semi-pagan environmentalists are more in tune with God than many Christians here. There’s problems are not insoluble. It’s not as if the polluted earth and the broken weather cannot be healed. It can. But it takes a wider moral view than sexual myopia to do it. It takes repentance. God is judging those who destroy the earth with the effects of their own actions.
It is this non-Kingdom, this lop-sided moralism that is the religion of too many Christians. Moralism is neither the Kingdom of God or the gospel of Christ. The lie of climate change denial is an affront to wisdom and to Christ who love the world and specifically the earth. This mischievous and foolish belief ‘that all things continue as they have ever been,’ will judge many and find them wanting while they arrogantly hide their heads in the sand, ignoring science and history. Will they suffer the same fate as those who mocked Noah and remained outside the ark?
If we do have a sense of righteousness that comes from God, we will know that it’s not ok to vote an incompetent, ignorant man of poor character into office as president of the United States. This foolishness not ok for the social fabric of the United States and its not ok for the peace and well-being of the world.
‘Israel's watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep’ Isa 56.10 NIV.
If the idea of the Kingdom of God is real and has any content, then placing an incompetent in position as the leader of the free world is a wickedness far grosser than any of these so call sexual evils. This is the folly of the religious mind posing as the Kingdom of God. When Mr Trump was elected as president of the United States, a man I know wrote on Facebook, ‘Thank you Jesus!’ What kind of Jesus does this man worship? In grace we might say that he was misinformed. Or then again some might say he was just stupid. What we do know is that the Bible says. ‘The wise shall shine as the sun.’ It also says ‘The world groans when a fool become king.’
‘It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury-- how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!’ Prov 19.10 NIV.