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Nature of the Kingdom

By Frank Chesser

religion, articles, christianity

Jesus depicted the kingdom as suffering "violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matt. 11:12). Jesus resisted the efforts of some to "take him by force, to make him a king" (John 6:15). Having misunderstood its spiritual nature, they were determined to compress the kingdom into their own materialistic mold, as a glorified extension of David's era.

Similarly, premillennialism demands the resurrection of David's physical kingdom and literal throne with Jesus wielding the scepter thereof for a millennium. Premillennialism is a diabolical system. It beats with a mechanical heart and is thus, the antithesis of the spiritual nature of the gospel. It is consumed with a physical people, war, kingdom, throne, and reign, while God's concern is with sin and redemption. It reduces the cross to an accident and the church to an afterthought. It is a model of human wisdom, and a monument to the physical senses.

Practices within the church are robbing the kingdom of its spiritual nature and focus. In many instances, social functions have usurped evangelism as top priority. There is a time to meet, eat, and play, but the essence of the kingdom is not "meat and drink" (Rom. 14:17). Some are intent on converting the church into a theater for entertainment purposes. Family Life Centers are human devices designed to appease the flesh. They have as much relation to the gospel, sin, salvation, worship, and instruction in righteousness as lightning bugs do to computers.

Others seem determined to transform the church into a banking institution. They are more concerned with the interest on their CDs than the salvation of sinners. Missionaries go begging while they hoard God's money in untouchable bank accounts. Some view the church as a fraternity for young people. They have supplanted the home with the church and burdened it with the responsibility of providing preventive pleasures for youthful mischief.

The church is a spiritual institution with a threefold duty to save the lost, edify the saved, and aid the needy. When sidetracked by interests that pertain to the flesh, it loses its power, purpose, and appeal. Let the church be the church.

Published May 1997