Guest essay by Jay Grimstead
I share here with you Seven Points about the Kingdom of God which we are convinced are foundational for a Biblical worldview and a proper perspective on our Great Commission task. These 7 points are distilled from the Coalition on Revival’s (COR) Articles of Affirmation and Denial on the Kingdom of God (25 Articles on the Kingdom of God). These and other historic documents are downloadable from both our COR website and our International Church Council Project website (ICCP).
These Seven Points are presented in the Bible, and are consistent with the teachings of such church history heroes from St. Paul, Athanasius, Augustine, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Cromwell, Bradford, Whitefield, Wesley, Carey, Livingstone, Hodge, Spurgeon, Kuyper, Warfield, and Machen, all the way down to Francis Schaeffer and R.J. Rushdoony. At the end of each of the Seven Points below is the number of the specific article that deals with each point-in COR’s 25 Articles on the Kingdom of God.
1. Christ’s Kingdom is Actually Here on Earth Now and has been functioning on earth with Christ as the legal and actual King of Heaven and Earth in this age ever since Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father 2000 years ago. So we do not need to wait for the Second Coming for His Kingdom to be inaugurated! (Article #4).
2. The Kingdom of God Is not only Spiritual but Is also Functioning In History at this Moment—politically, legally, physically, artistically, scientifically and culturally—wherever His obedient servants join together as a team to bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth through their families, schools, businesses, churches, organizations, law firms, legislatures, etc. in any country in any society. We deny that Christ’s kingship is limited to transforming only the private lives of individuals to His will (Article #6).
3. The Lord’s Prayer Is Primarily Asking God to Get His Kingdom to Come to Earth And His Will to Be Done on Earth as it is Done In Heaven, Now, Starting with the First Century.
No serious scholar will attempt to convince anyone that what Jesus really had in mind (when He gave this model prayer in Matthew 6) was that though His disciples should pray that kind of prayer daily, they should really pray it with the understanding that God’s Kingdom coming to earth and His will being done on earth was not to happen and not to expect this prayer to be answered until 2000+ years later, after His second coming (Article #14).
4. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) was Essentially a Command to Make Bible-Obeying Disciples of All Nations, and then Get their Nations to Live In Full Obedience to Everything God Said in the Bible in all Areas 0f Life, and to Officially Bow to Christ as King Over their Lives, Governments And Societies—just as the Roman Empire at that Time Bowed to Caesar. What the Great Commission was not was a commission to simply go and get some spiritual souls saved so those souls could go to heaven at some point in the future to exist in a heavenly place other than on this earth, and otherwise to be kept safe and growing in Christ in churches until they die (Articles #10, 11 & 13).
5. Christ, not Satan, is the Ruler of this Earth Now, ever since His Ascension. We deny that Satan is the rule of this world in any sense that undermines the recognition of the legal and rightful rule of Christ over the earth during this present age. We further deny that Christ will ever be given any more power by the Father over the earth than He was given at his first coming when he ascended to the throne at the Father’s right hand. The apostles, as we, were given the task to get the inhabitants of all nations to recognize the historic and legal fact that God had made Christ the new emperor of the planet! They proceeded knowing that Scripture and all logic, morality, sanity and good sense required all men on earth to repent of their sins and fall before Christ as Co-Creator, Sustainer, Judge, Savior and King over all people on earth, and that not to do so was to live in evil rebellion against the God of the universe and in a psychotic state of unreality.
The world does not have to get worse and worse. Christ commanded us to make the world better and better, century by century, and any nation (except France) where serious Christians united to change their nation and bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth were successful to a measurable degree to which history clearly attests. Where Christianity flourished, so did freedom, the arts, science, business, prosperity (Articles #8, 9, 10).
6. The Bible is the Plumb-Line For All Nations as to How they are to Govern themselves as Countries, which laws to impose as civil law, how they are to run their courts, families, economics, what morals to require of their societies and what worldview (philosophy) should undergird their culture, whether those nations are now considered Christian, Moslem, Hindu or atheistic! This is so because the God who created them and the rest of the universe spoke inerrantly and clearly in the Book called the Bible, and requires this of all men. That same God came to earth as Jesus incarnated as the Second Person of the Trinity, was “the last Adam,” and the Lamb of God and Savior, so sinners may now be right with God for time and eternity. He also came as the genetic heir of King David’s throne to be King of earth now (Article #18).
7. The Kingdom of God is to Gain Willing Subjects Increasingly on Earth over the Centuries so Great Portions of the Planet are Christianized when Jesus Does Return. That this is the actual trend of history century by century can be proven by Christian sociological statistics from the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena. From the end of the first century (A.D. 100), records show that only one out of every 360 people on earth was Christians. By A.D. 1000, the ratio was 1 to every 220 pagans. By 1950, it was 1 to every 21 non-Christians. By 2010, the ratio was 1 to 7. At the present rate of the past 40 years of growth, that ratio could be 1 to 1 by 2060! In China, the underground church grows by 13 million per year over and above birth and death rates, and the Communistic government is now employing Christians over non-Christians in their offices because they are so faithful and hard-working.
Just for the record, the Church over the ages has never adopted a universally accepted position regarding eschatology. Thus, no group of Christians should make any eschatological view a test for orthodoxy, whether that be from the perspective of Premillennialism, Postmillennialism, or Amillennialism since Scripture leaves all three of those positions open for people to accept (Articles #15, 16 & 25).
The Kingdom of God appears to be one of the most misunderstood Biblical topics among Evangelicals. At 80 years old, I now believe I have a fairly accurate grasp on the Kingdom of God. But for the first 30 years of my life as a Christian minister, and after holding masters and doctorate degrees in theology from an evangelical seminary, like many evangelical Christians and pastors I have known, I hardly had a clue as to the true, Biblical meaning of the Kingdom of God on earth, and what the Great Commission commanded us Christians to be doing.
I did not know nor had I been taught at that time that Christ expected His disciples to go forth from Jerusalem and to attempt eventually to get all nations on earth to obey His Biblical commands and principles, not only in little pockets of churches and families as sub-cultures, but like yeast, to permeate and eventually make Christ King over all areas of society. This includes Christ being regarded as King and His Biblical laws obeyed throughout the halls of local and national governments, in the courts, in all the corporations, schools, science, media and the arts, so all areas of life and thought, plus leaders in every field are enthusiastically bowing before Jesus as their God and King over all life. Advancing the Kingdom of God on earth involves turning the kingdoms of this world into the Kingdom of God, so King Jesus is honored and obeyed in all areas of life.
We urge all who read this newsletter to measure their view of the Kingdom of God by COR’s 25 Articles on the Kingdom of God to see where each one’s view stands in relation to that document which we believe is thoroughly Biblical.
The original of this article came in a circular letter from by Dr Jay, on December 2015.
Dr. Jay Grimstead, author of the NPI title Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible: Proclaiming the Truth on 24 Controversial Issues, is founder and president of the Coalition on Revival and of the International Church Council Project.
Longtime theology activist, Dr. Jay seeks strategically to do two things: 1) Restore sound doctrine to the churches called by Christ’s name, and 2) Strategically apply that sound doctrine to every area of life toward the restoration of godly free institutions of every kind, especially in the civil order.
Dr. Jay Grimstead
Coalition on Revival
P.O. Box 1139, Murphys, CA 95247
© 2016 Used by permission