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Friday, February 7, 2014

The Contaminated Kingdom of God


Have you thought much about the contaminated Kingdom of God? The what!? Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it. 

I'm not talking about the perfect expression of His Kingdom yet to come, but the present condition of God's Kingdom, infected by a malicious enemy (Satan), who came in the night and sowed bad seed into the Lord’s good field (Matthew 13:37-43).

Yes, the field is the Lord's. All of it. It's His stuff, and we're living in His space. It all belongs to Him (Ps. 24:1). Jesus is Lord of all. And the domain over which He is King includes every square inch of both temporal and eternal reality─even if those who live within that space don't acknowledge its ownership.  

The fact that we presently live in a contaminated field may be the crux of the reason why so many Christians tend to withdraw from this world, and why some see the work of a pastor or a missionary as the only eternally worthwhile occupation.

We don’t like to think of God's stuff as infected, sick, and broken. Furthermore, we tend to think that because the field is infested with weeds, it isn’t worth a dime to God or anyone else.

This may be the reason why some Christians seem to focus more on the after-life than the current life. Not only do temporal things decay, but when we see so much human activity contaminated by pride and greed, the natural tendency is to distance ourselves from those occupations that are characterized by manifestations of infection.

Politics is a case in point. “It’s dirty.” Indeed it is! And when we see big business infected by mammonism, we tend to think devout Christians should disassociate themselves from occupations dealing with large sums of money.

Really?

While there are certain occupations that can never be pleasing to God (such as human trafficking), there are many occupations waiting to be redeemed [restored, renewed] by the grace of God, through His people acting as His agents in the world, yet not of the world.

As followers of Christ, shouldn't we be heading into the problem areas, rather than away from them?

There will come a day when "The Son of Man will send out His angles, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness (Matt. 13:40)," but until then, let's occupy the entire field.

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2 comments:

  1. Very well stated, Christian. The comment of a Christian woman just a couple of days ago underscores the "retreat" mindset. It came in the second session of my seven-week course, "Working in Step with God." I had the participants work as small groups to discuss a case study. The case involved "Grace" who, before she went to work as a warranty submission specialist for an auto dealer, made it clear she would not submit falsified claims to manufacturers. The employer hired her and subsequently honored the agreement, but Grace knew that the dealer sometimes turned in exaggerated invoices. The woman in my course insisted that Grace should not have gone to work for any company that would do such a thing. My question to her was: "Where in the world will we find any perfectly pure company or government agency for which we could work?" Even if we could find such a workplace, why place a lamp in a room already full of light? It's the dark places that need lamps.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this, Larry. And blessings on you in your important role of removing mental roadblocks!

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