Sunday, May 07, 2006

Now is the Kingdom of Heaven (and not yet)

There, I said it. I believe that we experience the "quality" of the Kingdom of Heaven now, and someday will experience the "quantity" of the Kingdom of Heaven in its Fullness forever. Apparently some folks are criticizing me behind my back for this perceived "heresy" that I teach. Well, I don't apologize for it and its not heresy, its the whole basis of the Gospel.

The western world, evangelical idea that Heaven is only a place that we go to after we die is not at all consistent with the words of Jesus, not what he called people to. His Gospel invaded this world in the Now. A Christianity that reduces the Gospel to only going to heaven after we die is a lifeless religion. It is connected not to the Scriptures, but to a modernist worldview and a literal interpretation of all genres in the Biblical record. It is rooted in Plato's dualism, an evil physical world and a preferred spiritual world completely separated. Jesus transcended the teachings of Plato, he taught a wholistic Gospel. One where the good news of the Spiritual realm invaded the broken physical world . . . and continues to invade it even now.

John 14:8-14: "8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." 9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

Jesus was the Kingdom of God, Jesus is in us, the Kingdom is already growing in us, changing us, transforming us, we are communing with Jesus already in the same quality as we will someday forever. Is this so threatening? Is this so heretical? The gospel of forgiveness of sins only, not attached to an ongoing transformation of a person in Christ is not at all consistent with the teachings of Jesus. He calls us to be followers, not only saved.

I believe that we can experience the Kingdom of Heaven Now. Atleast in part, and someday in fullness. The Kingdom of God is now and not yet.

"May your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven." -Jesus

(if this bothers you, feel free to talk to me)

Stop and notice the Kingdom around you.

1 comment:

aqui said...

It won't work in reality, that's exactly what I consider.