READ: Proverbs 31, Luke 19, Revelation 11
KINGDOM POW THEOLOGY
Some followers of Jesus, a little too full of themselves, think that Jesus needs our help. Self-important Christians think that the role of the Body of Christ is to prevail in the earth and systems of men to present Jesus a redeemed earth as His inheritance, a present for Him being good enough to come back. Even if the intentions are noble, this theology of humanity is flawed. The biblical theology of man is fairly pessimistic: man messes things up, rebels, and ultimately spoils everything he touches. Man, including redeemed man, is fallen. Put enough fallen men and women together on a planet or in a church and it is not long until they destroy each other. No Church or Christian institution has been able to evade decay and degeneration over time. If humanity cannot rule itself, it is ludicrous to think that it can govern the earth. Revelation 11 declares that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ (v. 15) for one reason only: “Because YOU have taken your great power and reigned” (v. 17, emphasis added). Lightning, noises, thundering, earthquakes, and great hail are unleashed from heaven as Jesus returns, establishes His kingdom, brings His enemies before Him, and slays them (Luke 19:27). Gentle Jesus returns to this earth to establish His kingdom with His robe dipped in blood. This is what I call “Kingdom Pow” theology. Humanity does not establish the King of Kings–God comes to crown Himself.
If our role is not to overcome the injustices of earth and to present a cleaned up planet to our returning King, what is our role? First, it is not to abandon the earth to chaos and evil. Jesus told us to “do business till I come” (v. 13). Jesus followers should be the most energetic in the civic sphere–the best doctors, lawyers, artists, athletes, scientists, mothers, fathers, politicians, civil servants, et al. We live and act as signs of the coming kingdom, but we do so with the clear-eyed realism that we swim against the tide of humanity and that the world is only going to get worse. This makes our kingdom living all the more necessary, all the more noticeable, all the more poignant. Yes, the world is self-destructing, but the King is coming. When He comes, His kingdom will look a little bit like this sign of it, only a million times purer. Second, our lives and tongues must be prophetic. In the last days there will be a final outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the priesthood of all believers; God intends the prophethood of all believers. The Spirit will indeed be poured out on all flesh. Our role is to announce the coming King and Kingdom, not to usher it in. We don’t have to announce that we are announcing. When the Holy Spirit is indeed unleashed in final fullness, we won’t have to preface utterances with “Thus saith the Lord” (which doesn’t magically validate the nonsense that often follows). But our words to each other and our words to the world will be as fire out of our mouths (Rev.11:5) whether we know it or not. God comes to crown Himself. We just speak towards that day.