Most Christians see the coming of Christ from a very ego-centric angle. Brian Fikkert surveyed 265 Christian Freshmen at Covenant College. To the question: “Why did Jesus come to earth?” The vast majority (91%) replied that Jesus came to die on the cross to save the lost. Only 1% wrote that he came to proclaim the Kingdom of God.
This is sad because it reflects a narcissistic culture which emphasizes personal gain. It is a good deal for them that God sacrifices his son to save them. They do not have to do anything except repent and believe. It is simple. Jesus himself said this about his earthly ministry: “I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:43).
The centrality of God’s Kingdom is not a side issue. It is the issue. Jesus died on the cross to crush the head of satan and win a cosmic victory over corruption.
The results of this survey prove that churches do not preach the full gospel message. Churches are sending to the rest of the world missionaries who have a low view of the Kingdom of God. This is why they do not see other kingdoms as enemies of God. Islam is for instance is no longer viewed by many as an evil system that has been designed deliberately by Satan to deceive people into thinking that there is no intrinsic difference between Christianity and Islam. Fouad Accad, the grandfather of the Common Ground concept, says this in his book Bridges to Islam: “As I have studied the Qur’an for thirty years, I’ve found it overwhelmingly pro-Christ, pro-Christian, and pro-Bible.”
Kingdom thinking must begin with the biblical assumption that all worldly systems, religious, political an otherwise are contradictory to the rule of God. Samuel Zwemer known as the apostle to Arabia has this to say: “Islam is the most Christian-like and yet the most anti-Christian of all religions.” As a scholar who has written extensively about Islam he has not allowed the superficial similarities to blind him from the core contradictions.
Why do Muslim leaders openly declare war against Christianity while some Christian missionaries flirt with Islam and make it better than it even claims to be? This is mind boggling.
The book of Revelation declares to us the result of the clash of kingdoms: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15
John tells us in no uncertain terms that “the reason the son of God appeared was to destroy the Devil’s work (1 John 3:8). Islam as a system will ultimately be defeated and destroyed and so will all those who are supporting it.
Kingdom thinking exalts Jesus above all deities and the kingdom of God above all kingdoms. In ministry to Muslims we are calling Muslims out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the light of Christ. Yes salvation is a first step toward achieving the purpose of Christ’s visitation on earth. But ultimately every believer must renounce his or her citizenship and affiliation with any enemy nation to truly be patriotic toward the church of Jesus Christ. This is kingdom thinking.
Wow, amen! Thank you and praise God for highlighting a truth that is so often neglected, and yet so clearly found throughout scripture and so clearly seen in our lives. No wonder there is such a thing as spiritual warfare (feel like I just had a “duh” moment there), when there is another kingdom bent on enticing and enslaving people! And no wonder backsliding and half-heartedness are so easy when we don’t even realize this!
This is a great article! You’re hitting a central point of the gospel. We are citizens of the Kingdom that Christ came to earth to establish. We need to find our being, allegiance, and definition in that Kingdom not any earthly one that has been established by man, and thus at its root, sinful. One cannot serve two Kingdoms. Yes, Christ said give to Caesar what is His. In saying do your obligations that you must (Do so in honor of Him), but everything else is His. I need to crucify my culture, identity in this world, citizenship, etc… to the extent that the Kingdom of Christ overrules it. While I may be an American, I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God that Christ proclaimed, and if I am known for anything, I want it to be known for that. It is only then that I am known as being part of His Kingdom, can I in turn display, preach, and evangelize this world and advance the Kingdom by His power. Simply, I cannot share what I am not a part of and experiencing.