The Kingdom of Christ

Sep 22, 2022    Don Willeman    Kingdom Perspective, 2021
Transcript:

Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

In ancient Rome, Christians suffered persecution precisely because they did not find their hope and ultimate allegiance in the kingdoms of this world. They refused to say that the political realm of Rome was supreme, and that Caesar was the Lord. To them, they had only one supreme political realm, the Kingdom of God, and only one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this they were seen by many as a danger to the civil order and therefore a threat to the state. However, nothing could have been further from the truth.

Actually, it was precisely because these early Christians were anchored in an eternal political reality—their citizenship in heaven—that allowed them to engage in the kingdom of this world in such a non-divisive and redemptive manner.

If you believe that this world is all there is, and that the political issues of the moment are make-or-break issues, then you will be desperate in your political engagement. And desperate people do desperately dumb things! You will be reactionary to your opponents, vindictive when attacked, cynical in the face of corruption, and hopeless in the face of setbacks. But if your hope goes beyond the kingdoms of this world, then you will be like the early Christians, who, though maligned as troublemakers, lit the path for a new way of engaging. Listen to this 2nd century tribute:

“Christians are no different from the rest in their nationality, language or customs…. They fulfill all their duties as citizens, but they suffer as foreigners…. They obey all laws, but they live at a level higher than that required by the law. They love all, but all persecute them…. In a word, what the soul is in the body, that is what Christians are in the world.” (Epistle to Diognetus, c. A.D. 150)

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“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

~ Acts 2:42-47 (NASB)

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