When we do talk about life in the Kingdom of God it is usually with the goal of getting something through applying biblical principles that are suppose to produce certain results. Or, in some streams, we talk about maintaining a ‘holy’ life full of rules designed to keep us from being polluted by the sins of the world.
It seems that very little time is given to walking with Jesus and doing what He is doing.
In his book “Christianity Beyond Belief” Todd Hunter seeks to teach us how to walk with Jesus beyond our time of rescue. It is a book that looks at the gospel of Jesus, the role of the church and our own lives with new eyes – trying to see what life would be like if we knew that we would be living tomorrow.
In one of his best quotes, Todd describes the life of a Christian accordingly:
“The Christian life is life in the kingdom, living as ambassadors of the kingdom. It is being the cooperate friends of Jesus, living in creative goodness for the sake of others through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Followers of Jesus are both friends with Jesus and ambassadors of Jesus, joining with Him to tell the world about Him through His power.
Notice the focus?
It is about Jesus and others and not about us. We have been brought with a price and our lives are not our own. This is a hard teaching in a land of hyper-consumerism, individualism and entertainment.
Instead of joining together in communities dedicated to helping each other walk through this tough life, we go to coolest religious club in our area – and then leave a little bit later as they did not met our needs. We claim to be looking for the ‘meat’ of Christian life, yet rarely do we leave the comfort of our couches.
The ‘meat’, as John Wimber used to say, is in the streets. It is teaching others how to follow Jesus – it is being faced with the difficult decisions of life – it is praying with a lady on the verge of suicide and hoping beyond hope that Jesus shows up – it is giving out a box of food to a hungry person while praying for the presence to God to come and tear down the injustice and pain that surrounds them.
It is not enough to simply bring people out of darkness; we – the followers of Jesus – must bring people INTO the Kingdom of God. It is Christianity beyond believing.