Should the church or the state be supreme on earth? This was a question in the middle ages; it is relevant question today, and it will need an answer in the future as the Kingdom continues to advance on the earth.
This was a real issue in the middle ages. Two events acutely illustrate how serious the question was in the middle ages. The first event was the murder of Thomas Becket on December 29, 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral. Becket had served as Lord Chancellor for King Henry II of England since 1155, and was so competent and loyal that in 1162 Henry decided to appoint Becket Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the church in England.
But Becket, who apparently understood what it meant to do his job sincerely, acted in loyalty to the church rather than Henry when Henry demanded he sign papers effectively acknowledging the supremacy of the crown over the church. Becket’s loyalty to the church led ultimately to Becket’s murder in Canterbury cathedral by some of Henry’s men in 1170. Whether Henry impliedly ordered or merely negligently enabled Becket’s murder will probably never be known, but Henry publicly repented, and the relationship between the church and state was temporarily restored.
Reconciliation begins with one’s reconciliation to God. This is the linchpin of all reconciliation that follows.
When a person is reconciled to God, he becomes a new creation; all the old things have passed away, and all things become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17. This supernatural event brings with it the real possibility of transformation and reconciliation in the three other areas of separation.
The new believer is reconciled to himself. Those areas where he suffers from emotional separation, guilt, insecurity and other results from the Fall of Man, are all candidates for being remedied. Continue reading “Six Kingdom Questions: Part 6”
I promised to go lawyer on the issue of the kingdom of God, asking the Who, What, When, Why, and Where questions about the Kingdom.
We’ve now and asked and answered four of those questions.
Now it is time to ask the Who question.
Who are the people relative to the kingdom of God?
No kingdom would be a kingdom without a king, and the kingdom of God is no different. The king of the kingdom of God is Jesus. When Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you a king?”, Jesus’ answer was, “You say rightly that I am a king.” John 18:37. All authority on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. Matthew 28:18. Enough said. Continue reading “Six Kingdom Questions: Part 5”
We’ve looked at what the Kingdom is and where it is.
Now it’s time to explore the why of the Kingdom.
Why does the Kingdom exist?
To answer this question, we need to go back to the beginning. In the beginning, God created a paradise on earth. There was beauty, community, provision, abundance, and freedom. Genesis 1, 2. Man rebelled, and creation became fractured. Francis Schaeffer described what resulted as the four separations: Man became separated from God, from himself, from others, and from nature.
When God came looking for man, man hid from God (separation from God). Man felt guilty and afraid (man’s separation from himself). Man blamed his wife for what happened (man’s separation from others). And the ground began to bring forth thorns and thistles, and man had toil to gather food from nature (man’s separation from nature). Genesis 3. That pretty much sums up what is wrong with the world. In fact, all the world’s problems fit neatly into one or more of those boxes. Continue reading “Six Kingdom Questions: Part 3”
We have answered the question, “What is the kingdom of God?”
The question now is, “Where is the kingdom of God?”
Jesus answered this question for His disciples.
He said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is! or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” Luke 17:20-21.
If the kingdom of God is the reign of King Jesus, then the kingdom of God is where King Jesus reigns. The kingdom of God, like any kingdom, has territory.
Jesus reigns in heaven; the kingdom of God is in heaven. Jesus reigns on the earth; the kingdom of God is on earth. If Jesus reigns in your life, if Jesus is not just your Savior but your Lord, and you submit your life to Him, then the kingdom of God is in your midst, and it goes where you go. Continue reading “Six Kingdom Questions: Part 2”