The Gospel of the Kingdom
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matt 3:2)
God is doing a unique work on the earth today. There are seasons in which the Holy Spirit speaks things to the Church. During one decade it might be a focus on evangelism. During another, it might be a greater awareness of the Holy Spirit. During yet another, it might be a focus on social problems in cities.
Today, God is speaking very clearly to the Church about societal transformation. Fifteen years ago, the idea of a community being totally transformed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a foreign concept. However, according to George Otis, Jr, director of the Sentinel Group, there are over 500 communities that are in some form of quantifiable transformation process today.
The defining characteristic of a community that is being transformed is that the socio-economic traits are being positively affected. The crime rate goes down, the economy is improved, and the number of Christians in the city increases, prayer increases, and the city leaders become Christians. It is the manifestation of Deuteronomy 28:13, "The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom."
In order to go beyond the Gospel of Salvation to the Gospel of the Kingdom we must exercise a different level of faith for our communities. Jesus talked about the kingdom of God more than 70 times in the New Testament - much more often than he mentioned salvation. While salvation is part of bringing the kingdom of God on earth, it includes much more.
When the Gospel of the Kingdom comes into a life and a community, everything in its wake is transformed. How might God want you to be the catalyst to bring the entire Gospel of the Kingdom into the lives and communities you are called to influence?