INTRODUCTION TO “SONS OF THE KINGDOM”

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Should we wonder or be surprised when we actually see aspects of our lives coming under the loving lordship of King Jesus?  Should that not be our expectation?  We should be sitting on the edge of our seats (in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus), leaning forward to watch His government increase within, among and around us.

We get to participate as parts of His body in the earth today.  Sometimes, His life in us is full of exciting activity.  Weeping and grieving also have their place.  A full range of emotions is both possible and normal.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.

We are blessed with the God-given capacity to align and calibrate both our vision and responses to Jesus—through the cross—so that we may present Him and His kingdom to our world.  What an honor and privilege is ours to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. – to find our way into their world, so that we might introduce them to our world.

For too long, religious leaders have focused upon special places, special times and special people, rather than intentionally and strategically equipping the saints for life itself.  It will be the living out of kingdom life that will convince others of our authenticity in Christ.

Too often, the religious world separates itself from the real world by erroneous concepts of sanctification that isolate rather than insulate.  We are to be a city set on a hill, destined for the throne, not a sect waiting in hiding to be rescued and carried off into some ethereal existence.  Most of us were brought up, praying:

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

What’s that?  On earth as it is in heaven?  Yes.  God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven!  This is a work in progress—the kingdom has come, is coming and will come.  John’s revelation envisions us:

I saw Heaven and earth new created.  Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.  I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.

May the Spirit of God help us to read what is written just beneath the surface of these words!  This is a vision for a new creation, assurance for sons of the kingdom.

The first inference of the kingdom is found in the first chapter of Scripture:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

The first specific mention of the kingdom of God is found in Exodus.  Here are God’s words to Moses:

Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.

“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

“And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’  These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Surely, these promises are conditional:  “IF you obey My voice and keep My covenant.”

God has taken the time to demonstrate the failure, frustration, and futility of men and nations ruled by their own flesh.  Contrasting Adam and Jesus, Paul wrote:

The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.

Jesus had said to the Jewish leaders:

The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.

Each failed attempt by men and women to serve God on their own terms, and in their own strength was expected, anticipated and calculated within the context of God’s original strategic plan.  God has been neither surprised nor disappointed by Adam’s fall or Israel’s failure.

God will have a global garden filled with holy enterprise.

His kingdom will be given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.  Kingdom fruit is the inevitable result of kingdom living.  His sons are to exemplify and reveal all that heaven holds, right here on the earth, as we faithfully and obediently invade the marketplaces of life.  Only sons of the kingdom can extend God’s kingdom into the family, church life, business and industry, science and education—all arenas of life, including governments at every level.

Using metaphor and symbol, image and illusion, John’s poetic language prophetically points to a kingdom that is both coming and already at hand:

You (Jesus) are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voice in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

  • John the Baptist preached the gospel of the kingdom.
  • Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom
  • His disciples preached the gospel of the kingdom

God is bringing forth sons who are establishing His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  This is not an elite remnant; this is the actual church in the earth.  We carry His life within, and we will literally fill the earth with His presence, His kingdom, and His glory.  All of creation awaits that emerging reality.

Father is entrusting His many sons to strategically function together in the marketplaces where life is truly lived, tenderly nurturing every kingdom seedling that is within their spheres.  For this to happen, tradition must bow to Truth.

We are marching to the beat of the Eternal Drummer, pursuing the conquest of love.  We eagerly obey and follow because of His uncompromising and unconditional love for us.  It is our privilege to house this love within our hearts, and to demonstrate and express this love to others, as the proactive lifestyle of a new creation.

Beloved, let us love one another.  For love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

 

SONS OF THE KINGDOM is available in Kindle and Paperback at:

https://www.amazon.com/Sons-Kingdom-Don-Atkin/dp/1595944443/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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