The demoralized and polarized political environment in the United States is getting more bizarre by the moment. Donald Trump spouts off about anything and everything, except his actual plans, and continues to win primaries. I don’t get it. Bernie Sanders advocates socialism, and many people think that is a fantastic idea. Wow.
Maybe it’s because of our bleak presidential prospects that I find myself pondering a more compelling paradigm for life. This wild political year may be an opportunity for Christians to champion following Jesus and living in his Kingdom. Imagine that.
What if we made clear by our lives that there is a Kingdom that is infinitely powerful, absolutely real, perfectly unified, guaranteeing genuine freedom, and eternally enduring? That’s easier said than done, I’m afraid. It’s difficult to experience the Kingdom of God while we’re living in the crazy kingdoms of the world, but it’s possible.
Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God at the beginning of his ministry: “The time has come. The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15) He announced the coming of an alternative to Rome, the dominant power in Jesus’ day, and a better religious rule than that of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law.
Jesus lived solely in the Kingdom of God, and he refused the power of both political and religious kingdoms.
When Jesus taught with authority, healed all kinds of diseases, and delivered people from demons, he demonstrated that his Kingdom is far more powerful than Rome or religion.
What if churches were communities of obvious power, deliverance and healing?
When Jesus challenged his disciples to follow him at the cost of their families, wealth, and comfort he exposed the false security that we place in earthly kingdoms. God’s kingdom is real.
What if Christians truly trusted in God instead of in politicians, jobs and bank accounts?
When Jesus chose a tax collector, hated for his association with Rome, and a Jewish zealot, working for revolt against Rome, both to be his disciples he enveloped the full political spectrum and proved that allegiance to Jesus supersedes political loyalty.
What if Christians really loved and accepted each other without regard for social, political, sexual, racial, or economic divides?
When Jesus lived in obedience to God and in freedom from the Pharisaical rule book, he exposed the tyranny of both legalism and politically correct behavior.
What if Christians followed Jesus instead of the culture or religion?
Christian churches, each to varying degrees, are living in the power, faith, unity and freedom of God’s Kingdom, however I believe we have barely touched the potential to expose the fallacies of trusting in earthly kingdoms. It’s not easy, but that is the discipleship to which He invites us.
No matter who is president, Jesus is King.
Have you experienced or seen examples of the Church truly exhibiting the Kingdom of God? Would you agree that churches have not exposed false faith in political kingdoms?
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…” Hebrews 12:28
If politics causes us believers to divide ourselves from other believers, then maybe we should leave the political system. It’s at least better than plucking out an eye or cutting off a right hand (Matthew 5:29-30).