The Kingdom Of God


Pastor Longinus Ekeh, March 1, 2016, 07:00MT.

The concept of dual citizenship has been adopted by many countries. Canada is one of them. Immigrants who are ‘adopted’ into Canada for instance, usually face a cultural shock syndrome. This is a clash of the laws and customs of their birth countries with those of their adopted country. This however illustrates the experience of a typical Christian.

Born twice

A Christian experiences two births in his life time. At first, she was born by her mother. She grows up in the laws and customs of the birth country. She speaks the language, understands the ethics, and blends with the system, of her birth country. All of a sudden she surrenders her life to the Lord Jesus Christ, and that submission earns her the citizenship of another country, not just a country, but another world. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3).

This second birth brings her into another world that is contradictory to her birth country almost in all things. The laws and customs are wide apart; the lifestyles, governance and priorities are, to say the least, in sharp contrast. This presents culture shock syndrome and internal war, which many Christians never properly adjust to for many years in their lives’ time.

Kingdom versus Republic

It would have been easier for the Christian if her country of birth and country of rebirth were similar, but being almost entirely different presents difficult problems to the living saint. Most countries of the world operate as a republic. According to the Online English Dictionary, republic is defined as follows;

The Kingdom of God

1. A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

2. Any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth.

3. A state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.

Most countries in the world are republic by constitution and in practice. Wikipedia.org has this to say about republic,

“A republic is a form of government in which power resides in the people, and the government is ruled by elected leaders run according to law, rather than inherited or appointed (such as through inheritance or divine mandate). In modern times, the definition of a republic is also commonly limited to a government which excludes a monarch. Currently, 135 of the world's 206 sovereign states use the word ‘republic’ as part of their official names.”

It is most likely therefore, that you have been nurtured in the culture, laws and procedures of a republic. This is a system where the will of the people rules supreme, and majority wins the vote. To succeed as a leader means to please the majority. The leader is therefore, accountable to the people and is subject to their scrutiny. In the Western world, the society has developed and thrives on the principles of mutual respect and self-responsibility. Success in life is achieved through self-efforts and every individual takes charge of her own destiny. When thrown into a different and opposite culture, crisis erupts for the individual.

The Kingdom Life

The kingdom life is quite different. The Online Dictionary defines a kingdom as, “a state or government having a king or queen as its head.” That king or queen is called a Monarch. The system of government in a kingdom is monarchy. Monarchy is defined as follows;

A state or nation in which the supreme power is actually or nominally lodged in a monarch. Supreme power or sovereignty held by a single person.

In an absolute monarchy system, the central authority figure is the King or the Queen. He cannot be voted in or voted out; his kingship is hereditary, his laws are absolute, his decrees are unquestionable, obeisance goes to him, all within the sphere of his kingdom live for him and must obey him. His citizens swear allegiance to him. It is total power and control. The civility of his rulership is a function of the civility and conscience of the ruler. All subordinate authorities or office holders are his appointees. Every citizen pledges allegiance to the Monarch (King or Queen) and lives to reflect her values and principles.

God chose to describe His rule as a Kingdom, not a Republic. In this Kingdom the central authority figure is the Holy Spirit, the governing rule is the Scripture, the subordinate authorities or office holders (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers) are appointed by God, other subordinate leaders are appointed by those appointed by God; and each appointee owes accountability to those who appointed them. The life of this Kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. The success of this Kingdom is measured by the extent to which it yields itself to the will of the Holy Spirit. Reverence for God and complete obedience is a condition for continued citizenship of this Kingdom.

Contrary to the life of a republic, open challenge of authority in this Kingdom is considered a rebellion and a treasonable offense. Every citizen pledges allegiance to the Monarch (the Holy Spirit) and lives in this world to reflect the life of Christ.

Living the life of a Kingdom in a Republic brings the Christian into personal, internal struggle that is sometimes very difficult to deal with. For instance, we have got ingrained in us the value of letting our voices count (through elections and public opinions) on who leads us, so how do we relate to the fact that our leaders in the Church are appointed, not elected? Paul said to Titus,

“For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you…” (Titus 1:5).

In 1Tim.3, Apostle Paul listed a set of handed down instructions to the Church and defined the roles, responsibilities, qualifications and objectives of office holders in the Church. There was no conference to decide on the validity of those instructions; instead, everybody in the Church adopted them as the governing rule. This is a Kingdom, folks!

KINGDOM AND REPUBLIC COMPARED

Kingdom

Republic

1.

The ruler is a Monarch, a King or Queen

The ruler is a President or Prime Minister

2.

Rulership is hereditary

Rulers are elected representatives of the people

3.

Sovereignty (power) resides in the King

Sovereignty (power) resides in the state (people)

4.

The King rules as he wills

The President rules according to constitution

5.

Constitution is dictated by the King

Constitution comes by the will of the people

6.

The King is accountable to no one

The President is accountable to the people

7.

The will of the King prevails

The will of the people prevails

8.

Dissension is a rebellion

Dissensions are welcome and encouraged

.

9.

Authority is derived from the Monarch

Authority is derived from the constitution

10.

Justice depends on the Monarch

Justice system is enshrined in the constitution

11.

Political appointees responsible to the King

Elected representatives responsible to the people

12.

Good King makes a good kingdom

Good people make a good State.

13.

Kingdom is like a shepherd and his sheep

It is like a Chairman and his committee members.

14.

Citizens swear allegiance to the King

Citizens swear allegiance to the State.


Note:

· God’s rulership is a Kingdom, not a Republic.
· Church governance is a Kingdom system, not a Republic system.
· Our response to God is like that of a subject to His King, not as a citizen to the state.
· Our response to Church leadership is like that of a flock to their shepherd, not like committee members to their Chairman.
· The Holy Spirit is the Governor General of the Church and decisions should reflect His will.

The Kingdom of God is within us

A Kingdom is where the King both reigns and rules. Today the reign and rule of the King of Heaven is in the hearts of the believers. Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit is the rite of entry into the Kingdom. Having come to the Kingdom the believer must live in obedience to the King. Jesus taught the disciples to pray, “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt.6:10). Living by, and manifesting the will of the King of Heaven, is a proof that the believer is a loyal citizen of that Kingdom.

The high calling of every believer is to create heavenly atmosphere wherever we function. It is to bring to bear the rules of heaven into our everyday endeavors. It is to illuminate our world so that those who do not know Jesus Christ might come to the light of the gospel. It is to accomplish things through the power of, and dependence on, the Holy Spirit.

Wherever the Kingdom of God reigns and rules the will of God will be done in that place. When the believer habitually conducts his affairs in opposition to the will of God he is technically stripped of his citizenship of Heaven, that is why Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matt.7:21). It is not sufficient to claim that you have given your life to Jesus Christ; manifesting God’s will on earth is the only proof of our citizenship of Heaven.

Let us ask ourselves these questions:

Am I in the Kingdom of God?

Am I reflecting the life of the Kingdom?

Am I expanding the influence of the King of Heaven?

Am I living in the will of the King of Heaven?

If your answer to any of these questions is, No, you can make it right with God now. Bow your head and talk to God now. Living the life of the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth is our ultimate responsibility as believers in Christ Jesus.

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