Our Kingdom Duty

For a class I am taking this semester I had to read Vaughan Roberts’ God’s Big Picture.
In this book he lays out a way of looking at the Bible as a meta-narrative; that is, a single, cohesive story. He does this by looking at the progression of God’s kingdom (which he defines as God’s people, in God’s place, under God’s rule and blessing).
Since the idea of the Story of Scripture was not a foreign one, I found the book to contain little in the way of new concepts. However, as the Spirit is apt to do, he knocked on my heart when considering the current kingdom, the one in which we live. Roberts explains that the current kingdom (which falls between Christ and the End) is the kingdom of the Church or the Proclaimed Kingdom. Starting with the book of Acts and the formation of the Church this new kingdom is ushered in.
However, there is an interesting implication in the name of this kingdom. Proclamation implies a telling, and, more importantly, a “tell-er.” For Roberts to make this selection shows that his opinion of the overarching theme of this Kingdom (of which the Church is a part) is the proclamation of the good news, of Christ.
On an intellectual level such an idea is easy to accept. But the spiritual significance of this concept is truly earth-shattering.
While I have never done an extensive study of the Kingdom of God, according to Roberts’ definition (people, place, God’s rule/blessing) I would consider myself a part of it. Indeed, I have always considered myself one of God’s people. Yet vital to citizenship in any kingdom is an adherence to its law – the law being the expression of the order or, one could say, purpose of that kingdom. In other words, how can I consider myself a citizen of the “proclaimed” kingdom if I myself am not adhering to its great purpose – proclamation? Indeed, I am missing my place in salvific history if I miss this vital point – that Christians now are a part of a kingdom of proclamation.
So often I am focused on my own spiritual formation; on building my own relationship with Christ. However, while this has its place, to miss out on the essence of the current kingdom is to have a faith that is fundamentally lacking a core aspect. In a society that has moved to the very extremes of individualism, it is important to reaffirm our membership in the greater body of believers. However, how can we claim citizenship in a kingdom whose law we do not abide by?
Some of Christ’s last words to his disciples are found in the Great Commission (to proclaim): “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Christ Himself defines this as an age in which we are to go and proclaim him. Furthermore, He promises His presence with us in order to fulfill this function.
How then are we to respond?
Does God reject us if we do not proclaim Him in all we do, as we should?
I would claim He does not.
However, I believe by not doing this we may be missing out not just on fulfillment of our most important role in the current kingdom but also in the blessing of being whole members of the Kingdom of God.
May we boldy proclaim His Name, fulfilling our Kingdom duty.
May God bless you and empower you!
-MT

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