I CAN HELP YOU GET UNSTUCK
To get unstuck we must first understand what has us stuck. Jesus encountered the temple system of worship in Israel when He came to earth, a system where men built shrines to God, ordained “pastors” to “shepherd” the flock, and then abandoned their personal responsibilities to God, leaving that to the ordained ones. This then evolved into a system of professionals and amateurs, and of the certified who were revered and the uncertified who were largely forgotten.
To this system “The Good Shepherd” came, setting a new example and introducing a new form of the practice of faith. He said the response of His sheep would be twofold: “to hear His voice and follow Him” (John 10). Then He led them out of their lukewarm faith and mundane existences and showed them, through His words and his example, “they could have life, and that abundantly.” He didn’t promote professionals and amateurs and neither do we. We believe every man’s place is significant in the body, and each has been given unique and critical giftedness that can be discovered, developed, and deployed there.
Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven on earth to overcome an opposing kingdom: the kingdom of man and religion. It is Satan’s most prized possession and the one he has, since the Garden of Eden, employed to deceive God’s people. He tried to deceive Jesus in the desert with it and he uses the same ploy today with us. The enemy will do anything to keep us in his kingdom, all the while thinking we are in God’s. He does that by first bringing us into the love of money before we come to faith, and then setting up false religious systems that deceive us into thinking it’s OK for us to live in both kingdoms after we come to faith. That’s the Matrix.
The church of Laodicea had succumbed to this deception, thinking that because they were wealthy, and all was good in a worldly sense, they needed nothing spiritually. This earned a telling rebuke, “Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3). These people thought because they were rich in the kingdom of man and they were “a church” all was good. All the polls, without dissention, tell us this is the church in America today: living in a deceived state while thinking all is good. Jesus called this condition “lukewarmth.” Think about that. Do you like anything lukewarm? Lukewarm is boring, and that’s what church life is. It made Jesus sick and it makes us sick—sick of mediocrity when our Bibles tell us there’s something so much more!
For the two opposed kingdoms on earth there must be two belief systems, for the enemy needs to capture both body and soul [“the lust of the flesh and eyes, and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 3)] to gain victory. Religions of the kingdom of man must have a “gospel” to lure in believers with a façade of truth to make them think they are kingdom saints when they are still living worldly lives. We call religion’s gospel “the gospel of salvation,” and it is marked by:
- Praying the sinner’s prayer with someone so you can be fully assured you’re going to heaven no matter what. After that all that is necessary is a couple of hours per week spent in church activities and perhaps a few other special events now and then. Moreover, this gospel encourages an event-driven mindset, allowing faith to be compartmentalized from the rest of life because conveniently scheduled meetings don’t interfere with life in the Matrix.
- Seeking to evangelize, for the most important thing of all is getting others to pray the Sinner’s Prayer like you did, saving souls, and making new converts who can “start going to church” like you. The gospel of salvation is first, foremost, and always about saving souls at the expense of discipling the ones already saved.
- No obligation on the part of either the one evangelizing nor the one being evangelized to actually live out the gospel in the flesh. The purpose of this gospel can be accomplished for both participants through preaching and teaching from tongue to ear. It’s a gospel of knowledge passed down through words alone. John said, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3). Converts are made with preaching and pacified at weekly meetings with teaching, with no requirement for obedience in deed and in truth.
- Being able to pick and choose how and when you follow Jesus, or whether or not you are obedient to His commands, because once you’ve “been saved” by praying the prayer you cannot possibly fall away from God’s grace and forgiveness no matter how you respond to it. This is the primary reason most men in the church are lukewarm and bored with their faith. They don’t serve Jesus, but rather the Idol of Grace modern Christianity promotes. This errant understanding of grace robs men of the excitement of following Christ and robs the church of an element critical to its growth: a healthy fear of God.
- Teaching and preaching is for professionals, and if you want to be one of them you need to go to seminary so you can be certified to uniquely handle God’s Word. Furthermore, “full-time ministry” is for the truly spiritual among us who are called by God to it. You can watch from the sidelines as a spectator because you have other priorities and it’s OK.
- Moreover, [mostly through temple involvement] just survive this sinful world until you die and go to heaven, where you will finally meet Jesus and live in His kingdom.
The results of this gospel are tragic and currently on display for all to see. But don’t lose hope, for below is the gospel of the kingdom Jesus both preached and displayed:
- There is really nothing wrong with saying some form of Sinner’s Prayer, for we must begin the journey somewhere. However, uttering a few words to Jesus at one point inn life does in no way ensure our ticket to heaven, or necessarily transform our lives at all. John talked about those receiving Him “being given a right to become children of God” We conveniently take the “If we confess with our mouths” part of Romans 10:9 but ignore the “believe in our hearts” part. That must come from a process of maturing that grows us from “babes in need of milk” to “those ready for solid food who are mature through the practice of their faith” (Heb. 5). Without that, there is no guarantee of heaven.
- Jesus never taught a single truth He did not also set a “lifestyle” example of, and that cannot be done at conveniently scheduled events. This gospel demands a lifestyle-driven mindset because that’s what Jesus displayed and demanded of those who truly followed Him [“follow Me!”]. It must be lived out every day in our homes, schools, and the marketplaces of the world. It cannot be compartmentalized from the rest of life, it becomes life! The kingdom is not grown in events but in lifestyle.
- This gospel does not promote evangelizing for the sake of saving souls, but rather evangelizing for the sake of making disciples “who do all Jesus commands.” The kingdom is about both actually living out the gospel “in deed and in truth.” This mindset causes the sharer to have an entirely different perspective of the seeker as a future kingdom saint rather than another soul evangelized. The preacher of this gospel wouldn’t think of birthing a new child and leaving it alone on the sidewalk, while he goes off looking for another babe to birth. There is only one standard: the Great Commission.
- The very definition of grace, “unmerited favor,” employed by modern Christendom is incorrect. “Charis” means the divine touch upon the heart and the evidence of that touch witnessed in the life. Unmerited favor requires nothing at all from the one getting it. The gospel of the kingdom demands a testimony of God’s presence in our lives because true grace brings with it the life of Christ within us through the Holy Spirit, and that means radical change in the very DNA of who we are.
- In the kingdom there are no spectators or students sitting passively in the pews. The kingdom, along with all God’s gifts, are available to every man, even more so to those the world does not consider worthy. Paul says God uses those the world shuns to shine in His kingdom (1 1), and how more honor is given to the lesser members of the body (1 Cor. 12). The Bible is full of stories about normal people being used by God to do extraordinary things.
- Jesus is here, now, in us in the form of the Spirit, and as real in presence as if he was standing right beside us. In John 15, He speaks of “abiding in us and we in Him.” Abiding is the most complete and intimate form of loving relationship possible. Paul said it was no longer he who lived, but “Christ lived in him” (Gal. 2). He was no longer his own, but Christ’s. We can know what it is to walk with Him and feel His presence right here, right now on in the kingdom of heaven on earth. No waiting until death required.
- Jesus did, “in deed and in truth” everything He spoke “with word and tongue,” and then said, “Follow Me!” In John 15, He called those His friends “who did what He commanded [per the Great Commission],” and all others, “slaves who did not know what He was doing.” How would one describe those who say they have known Him for years, yet do not follow Him nor hold Him as any sort of real priority? Paul said we were to present our bodies to God as living and holy sacrifices and called that our “Spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12). The gospel of the kingdom is a gospel of show and tell.
The two gospels are, as the two kingdoms they represent, nothing alike. One is meant to pacify our need to know “a higher power” while keeping us engaged in the world. The other allows us to fully experience God and brings us out of the world and into His kingdom!
Call to Action!
God doesn’t expect us to accomplish what only He can, but He does expect us to accomplish whatever we can.
- Read all the pages of this website, sign up for the blogs and get my book, The Kingdom Election [when it becomes available summer of 2021], find a small group who will do likewise and gather to understand and engage the kingdom.
- Pray for God to reveal His kingdom to you and lead you to others like you seeking it. Ask Him to open your eyes to the Matrix.
- Accept you play a role in the kingdom, it is a partnership between you and God, and accept the responsibilities of your part in your spiritual growth.
- If you want to “go to church” on Sunday that’s OK because we need to gather as much as possible as Christians but understand that is only one small part of your kingdom walk.