The conclusion from this statement is that Jesus builds the church our responsibility is to proclaim the Kingdom. “Our primary call is not to build church but to take the Kingdom of God where the Kingdom of darkness is still entrenched for Jesus to build His church”
In the gospels, we get the first introduction to the kingdom in Matthew 3:2 which is John the Baptist's preparing the way for Jesus. After the wilderness experience Jesus began to preach about the kingdom (Matthew 4:17)
We need to understand that we can attend church but kingdom requires your participation. (Matthew 24:24)
“What is the Kingdom?’’ 1. It is in this world and the world to come 2. It has come through Jesus redeeming all things back to the father 3. It is where the eternal god rules over all things (Psalm 103:19)
“What is the Kingdom distinctive?” There is a king in rightful rule over His kingdom There are decrees by which the will of God is carried out There are subjects in the kingdom There are those who have roles and responsibilities to carry out the rules of the kingdom There are distinctives which identify kingdom people, their culture and their values
Jesus is the King over every king that was is and will ever be. There is one law which rules this kingdom. This kingdom requires perfect holiness through worship and obedience to god. Note the difference here in the NT it is that these laws are written on our hearts. (Romans 2:15)
SO, WHAT ARE THE HALLMARKS OF THIS KINGDOM? WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
A people who understand the Grace of God Family life with family order A people who listen and act to the cry of the poor Social awareness, such as injustice, single parents, moral ethics etc Act with honesty and integrity Understand finance and generosity Encourages entrepreneurial business Has a heart for the nations of the world It is marked by prayer and worship Mentors others, discipleship, apprenticeship The encouragement of the involvement of all, encouraging people to move and live out their destiny.
We need to note here in all of this that we are called first to be faithful not successful. Success as we understand it is God’s prerogative. If we are faithful we will be successful but as God understands success.
The Message Bible at the end of the verse says, “This is the time to act.”
BRING GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR
They are the economically disinherited. Some are rich in things but poor in soul (the western world). Some are rich in soul but poor in things (the third world) There are two classes of people who think about money. Those who have much and those who have too little. We must address the issues of poverty both in soul and finance.
RELEASE THE CAPTIVES
These are the socially and politically disinherited. These are those who are exploited because of race, class, social standing, and lack of education. “Wealth is like manure in a pile it stinks distributed it fertilizes!”
RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND
The healing message is an integral part of the coming Kingdom. At times, He cures it and at other times He uses it. General Booth said, “I served when I could see I will serve now that I am blind”.
THE OPPRESSED GO FREE
One translation puts it “to strengthen with forgiveness them that are bruised” He who the son sets free is free: John 8:36
PROCLAIM THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR
God’s spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”