Duane Vander Klok
If you asked Chistians why they got saved, many would say, “So I can go to Heaven when I die.” But God doesn’t only want to get you into Heaven, He wants to get Heaven into you right now. See, God’s kingdom is not a place you can only reach when you die, He wants to establish His kingdom here on Earth. And He wants to use you!
Consider looking at your salvation with new eyes. It is possible to have a saved soul but a lost life if you don’t recognize how God wants to further His kingdom through you. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says to all believers, “You are the light of the world.” Stop to think: what is God calling you to do in the kingdom He is building right now?
He is the King
What is the kingdom of God? It is not a national border, dominion, or physical territory. His kingdom is established wherever His will is done and He is worshipped over all else. And His will is that His children are healed, freed, empowered, known, and in right relationship with Him. Most believers know Jesus as a Savior but forget that He is the King! In John 3:3, Jesus says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” If you are not born again, you will only see Christianity as a religion, philosophy, or moral code. You won’t recognize the kingdom without the King!
When sin entered the world through Adam, it created a chasm between God and man. Adam was the first representative of mankind, and through his sin the connection to God and the authority He gave was lost. But through the second, and last representative – Jesus – you now have a bridge back to the Father!
Jesus restored the kingdom of God on Earth when He died and rose again. After He defeated death, Jesus said to His disciples: “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:18-19). He won back the lost authority and instructed you as a believer to make disciples so that His kingdom may be established here on the Earth.
Today is an age of “now” and “not yet.” Jesus brought God’s kingdom to Earth when He defeated death and sat down at the right hand of the Father. At the same time, however, the day is coming when Jesus will return, and wherever He is, the kingdom is there!
Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. When your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you will not be looking at all the distractions and paths that do not lead to Him. Choosing Jesus as the Lord over your life means that He is the priority over everything else – even career moves, money, and worldly happiness. Check your priorities; are they leading toward God or away from Him? Give God first place in your life!
Remember to keep God’s Word in your heart, mind, and mouth. Meditate on and talk about His character, promises, and the things He has already done in your life. Because you will move in the direction of your dominant thoughts, fill your mind with things that are noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). As you keep your thoughts on Him, you will build the kingdom wherever you go.
The life of a believer is not a self-focused life. In 2 Corinthians 12:15, Paul said, I will very gladly be spent for your souls… He realized and accepted that spreading the gospel requires sacrifice and that the Christian life is a fight from the womb to the tomb. It is easy to forget that you are fighting a very real enemy who desires to destroy the lives of God’s people, so keep your eyes fixed on the King who leads you through the battles!
Consumer to Participant
When you were saved, you were accepted into the kingdom. God wants to free you from worldly chains that hold you back from being used in the kingdom. Maybe those chains look like pain, addiction, unforgiveness, or heart wounds in your life, but you are set free by the blood! Colossians 1:13-14 says, He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. You are a part of this world, but your purpose is to lead the world out of the darkness and into His light.
God is calling you to do the work of the ministry; wherever you go, you can bring the kingdom. Here’s the truth: it is easier to only be a consumer, but God calls you to be a participant. You will never experience the joy, peace, and kingdom of God if you are only receiving, and your hunger and enthusiasm for the Word and to see God work in your life will fade if you do not act on what He has called you to. You are not called to be a benchwarmer, but a first-string believer!
By loving God and loving people, you build His kingdom and shatter the works of the enemy. Jesus instructs you to seek Him first so that you can keep your focus on eternity. See, you can spend your talents building something temporary on Earth or you can devote yourself to something that will have eternal impact. Praising Him and sharing the good news throughout the world is a great way to spend your life!
As Joshua is preparing his army to face Jericho, he meets Jesus, the Commander of the Lord’s army, and asks, Are You for us or for our adversaries? Jesus answers that He is not on either side, but that Joshua needs to get on God’s side! (Joshua 5:13-14) We need to follow the instruction given to Joshua and align ourselves with the will of God. Jesus’ appearance to Joshua gave him the strength and direction to take possession of the Promised Land that God had already given him.
God has called the church to be countercultural. We are to align our hearts, minds, and perspectives with His Word. His will may not agree with popular views of the world because He is not of this world. You may be thinking, Is God on my side? But you need to be thinking, I need to get on God’s side.
Know that above all, the church is called to love God and love others. And God has chosen to partner with you to spread the good news! Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. He has prepared paths and works for you to do that will build His kingdom here on Earth. Faith requires action, and when you are seeking first the kingdom, God is glorified in your life!
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So, how do you get saved out of the darkness and into the kingdom of God? Jesus said that you must be born again. That means receiving Jesus as Savior, turning away from your old ways of thinking, and making Jesus Lord of your life.
Romans 10:9 says if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. You can begin a relationship with God by “confessing” the following prayer and believing in your heart.
“God, I believe Jesus died on the cross, I believe His blood paid for my sins, and I believe He rose again. I give Him all of my heart and all of my life. I hold nothing back, and as You help me, I will live for Jesus every day. I receive the forgiveness Jesus purchased for me. I thank you my past is gone, that I am your child, a part of your family today and forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, we encourage you to read Pastor’s free book, Your New Life, to help you grow in your relationship with God. You can request it by Clicking Here, or by calling (800) 988.5120.
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)