My last post was on God’s coming kingdom. Although how extremist-Islam’s version of God’s kingdom is to come about is violent and forceful, Islam also believes in a new kingdom. However, if I may also be critical of us as Christians, throughout sectors of the church, some of our Christian ideas about God’s coming kingdom hasn’t been exactly all correct either. I’m speaking about our “Kingdom Now” theology that some Christians believe in. God’s kingdom is here now but we just need to claim it for ourselves. This is true in one sense but false in another. Theology is not so simple and clear-cut. We are citizens of God’s heavenly kingdom but it hasn’t fully manifested itself on earth yet, until the Last Day.
What some of us Christians might not like to hear is that Christ will accomplish His will in us in our weakness–and not in our strength. In some parts of the Church, even today, it has deluded itself into believing that God’s earthly kingdom must be strong and victorious in an earthly way and we must exert our power and influence over the earth. We look to grandiose schemes that are really focused on the earthly realm and view them as reflections of God’s future powerful rule on earth. This is a theology of glory that attempts to achieve God’s kingdom via human strength–which is pure vanity. The truth is, God’s kingdom is not of this world and will be nothing like what we imagine.
God’s kingdom is of the spiritual realm–which is unseen, and unknowable through earthly eyes and mind. It cannot be built or achieved through the secular-earthly realm. As Christians, some of us have also placed too much confidence in physical-secular power and wisdom. We ignore the Sovereign and Almighty Power and Presence of God the Creator and trust more in our own wisdom and human potential, which in God’s eyes, really doesn’t amount to much when compared to his omnipotent power. Our own ignorance and our arrogant attitudes within the church is proof enough.
Two thousand years have passed since Jesus ascended to heaven and returned to the Father and we still ignore what Jesus reminded the Church just before our Lord ascended.
In Matthew 24:23-27, Jesus also goes on to warn his followers about false messiahs and false prophets, who will also be performing signs and wonders to deceive even the elect.
God’s kingdom will come even in our weakness, and amidst our persecutions, trials and hardships. Didn’t Jesus say:
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth…Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:5,10)
Both Muslims and Christians alike can fall prey to the evil one’s manipulation of believing that God’s kingdom must necessarily come through our strength and power. If God is God, then can’t the kingdom of the Sovereign God come in the midst of our meekness and weakness? When it does, then we know the kingdom belongs to our Lord, and not to us.