Categorizing the Kingdom

The Kingdom is liberal. It has great concern for the well-being of the poor and dispossessed in society (Matthew 25:31-46).

The Kingdom is conservative. It upholds God’s standard of morality and does not excuse sin (1 Corinthians 5, Galatians 5).

The Kingdom can be communal. When necessary, its members come together and provide all things in common so the needs of all can be met (Acts 2:42-47).

The Kingdom is radical. It teaches the message of Jesus Christ which turns the world upside down: the poor are blessed, the humble are exalted, the servant is greatest (Matthew 5).

The Kingdom is antidisestablishmentarian. It does not advocate anyone leaving their place in society and does not foment political revolution (Romans 13:1-7).

The Kingdom is tolerant. It consists of anyone from any race, ethnicity, class, or any other such mark of identity who would obey Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28).

The Kingdom is intolerant. It preaches that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and promotes the need for obedience to His standard and His standard alone (John 14:6, Romans 6:13-18).

The Kingdom is humble. Its members are entirely dependent on their Lord who bought them and saved them, and they recognize that it is through love, mercy, and compassion that they reflect Christ to other men (Matthew 5:13-16, John 15:1-7).

The Kingdom is exalted. Its ruler has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, and it is most precious in His sight (Matthew 28:18-20. Ephesians 5:22-33).

Many people attempt to understand the nature of God’s Kingdom in terms of worldly ideas. They try to fit God’s message into “boxes” of human creation. Yet, in the end, the Kingdom transcends all these worldly categories. It does not fit any one of them perfectly, and if we emphasize one element of Jesus’ instruction to the detriment of the other, we find ourselves lacking.

It is easy to take our “secular” categories and try to move them into the spiritual realm, but any such endeavor will fail in the end: Jesus and His Kingdom cannot be so pigeonholed. We must understand and respect all the aspects and attributes of Jesus and His Kingdom. We must always make sure that our Christianity informs our worldview, and to not allow devotion to anything else– our political philosophy, our economic philosophy, our standard of judgment, etc.– to twist God’s presentation of His truth. The former is deemed righteousness; the latter, idolatry.

As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as yet, abounding in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7).

ELDV

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