Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
After Jesus and His apostles, St. Augustine was arguably the intellectual and theological giant of the first thousand years of the church.
Augustine was converted to Christ in the late 300s, within just a few years of Rome becoming officially Christian. Then, like now, there was much misunderstanding as to what this meant for Christian involvement in the kingdoms of this world. If Rome was now a “Christian Empire,” does this mean it is the “kingdom of God”? Many had begun to equate Pax Romana (The Peace of Rome) with the Peace of Christ.
Augustine, though he loved Rome, rejected this misinformed notion. Augustine knew from the teaching of Scripture that Jesus’s kingdom is ultimately not of this world.
Sadly, as Augustine lay dying in AD 430, vast parts of the Roman Empire were being overrun by foreign forces. The “Eternal City” of Rome, having first crumbled from within, was now crumbling from without. Nonetheless, Augustine had hope. He knew that in the rubble of this empire a new eternal civilization was rising, not one built on the love of power, but on the power of love.
Christians do not ultimately find their hope in this present world. Earthly empires are not God’s Kingdom and earthly leaders are not our Messiah. Rather, we find hope in God.
Now, that doesn’t mean that we do not care about what happens in the here and now. We absolutely do, and we live lives to prove it. It just means that the way we care doesn’t contribute to the chaos of the present moment. Our hope is anchored beyond the crashing waves of this world.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
Matthew 5:7-12 (ESV)
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.