There was a time when people could look to specific ethnic groups as being the standard bearer for the fire in the church. That is quickly changing. Because of the shifting that is going on throughout the church, it could actually be possible to lose future generations, who are looking for what has not been displayed before them. There are numerous statistical sources that have data that supports the realities of youth and young adults being disenfranchised by church. There has been and continues to be a link that the majority of the body of Christhas overlooked, and some are just now beginning to actually tap into.
The Church has focused on a gospel of Salvation for so long that it has missed a key ingredient that Christ came to present the world. Christ came to present the world the gospel (good news) of The Kingdom of Heaven. Where a gospel of salvation comes short, is that it focuses only on making sure that we avoid the second death from which we all are told we are destined for if we deny the Christ who died for us.
Even worse than this is that a gospel of salvation keeps a Christian’s focus off of the bigger picture. What do I mean by the bigger picture? Consider this. Many within the body of Christ, once they have attained new life in Christ, their hearts are turned towards a focus of “maintaining their salvation, winning others to Christ, and looking forward to the great escape (i.e. The Rapture.)”
The truth of the matter is that Christ never proclaimed a gospel of salvation. Salvation was a byproduct of the completed work he did upon the cross. However, Christ spent three and a half years proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, which the majority of his focus had nothing to do with salvation. The gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven had everything to do with the restoration of “ALL THINGS.”
In John’s gospel account, Jesus said that he came that we might have life abundant. This included the restoration of everything that we lack in this life, not just what we look forward to in the next. In Luke’s account, Christ started his ministry stating that he was present to declare good news to the poor. He went further to explain all that the poor included; the broken hearted, the captive, the blind and the oppressed.
What has been missing for too many, for way too long a time is evidence that this is still what Jesus expected from his disciples of today. Jesus went about his three year ministry showing his followers what this looked like and letting them know that once he was gone back to his Father, we would be empowered to do the same.
More than that, Christ never intended that the manifestations of the gospel of the Kingdom would be confined solely to the four walls of the church. Had that been the case, Jesus would have simply stayed in the temple those three years and waited for people to come to him. He instead went where the people were, even as John the baptizer before him cried out in the wilderness.
The anointing that comes from the indwelling of the Comforter that Jesus promised would come after he left, did not come simply for the sake of giving us goose pimples and the ability to jump up and down. It was to empower us to fulfill the very call of healing the broken hearted, setting free the captive, the restoration of sight to the blind as well as the liberation of the oppressed.
These are the things that people are longing for. This is the yearning of all, both inside and outside the church; to know that there is life now, that it can be whole, complete, with nothing missing or broken. The spirit that we should be filled with should not only transform the people who enter the four walls of the church, it should transform the society wherein those who have been changed abide. It should be evident in our workplaces, our town halls and squares, the marketplaces, the hospitals, the schools, the media and entertainment areas, anywhere the soles of anointed feet walk should be the signs of His Kingdom. It should be on earth, as it is in Heaven. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom.
QUESTION: What will you do to secure and display the missing link?
- What Gospel-Centered Churches Do and Why (christianitymatters.com)
- Power to Change Your World (apreachaskid.wordpress.com)
- Marketplace Ministry (apreachaskid.wordpress.com)
- A Marketplace Minister (maddmedic.wordpress.com)
- The Chains That Bind (spiritmattersvirtual.wordpress.com)