A friend sent me this, and I thought I would blog it here:
The ‘now and not yet’ of the Kingdom of God Is a misleading catchphrase which a lot of Christians have accepted without challenging its implications.
First, it implies that if we are patient and faithful, one day the Kingdom of God will manifest. This phraseology links the Kingdom to time – implying that only when we die shall we see the whole Kingdom of God – (which is true). Those who through faith and patience…But we are tricked into settling for the status quo.
But did Jesus really say this phrase? No, He actually said ‘Do not say the Kingdom of God is over here or over there, because the Kingdom of God is within you’ Luke 17:21. This statement is not a ban on travelling to a distant place because you hear God is doing remarkable things there. God is always pleased when we pursue Him or hunger for more of His presence, and if that means going to a specific place in your pursuit, that is commendable – ask Heidi Baker…
Jesus was explaining, as He did to the woman at the well John 4:21-23, ‘neither in Jerusalem nor in this mountain… God is looking for worshippers who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth’. So the Kingdom of God was not to be found within the religious structure of Judaism – even though they took upon themselves the power to put you out of the temple / excommunicate you. You cannot enter into the Kingdom of God as you can enter the Kingdom of Great Britain, but the Kingdom of God is within you. A Kingdom is defined in the dictionary as ‘a territory or a people ruled over by a King’. Therefore it is not a tension between the ‘now and not yet’. It means ‘who is the king ruling over your life?’ Well, you are, of course. If you hear the testimony of such folk as Heidi Baker, Rachel Hickson and Roy Godwin, something happened in their lives that made them get off the throne of their own lives and really surrender 100 % to King Jesus. Things changed from then on. Maybe we all need a one-off experience like that, and thereafter a daily choice to surrender to God.
‘Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me: in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sins you have taken no pleasure. Then I said ‘Behold I have come to do your will O God’ He takes away the first to establish the second Hebrews’ 10:5-7. In the covenant we have with God, the rules are written on human hearts and minds, Hebrews 10:16. The Kingdom of God – is God ruling over me? Or does my Christian experience consist of attending meetings organised by other people. ‘Now and not yet’ is just a formula for passivity – even putting responsibility on to other people. Let King Jesus rule over your own heart and mind regardless of anybody else – we might be able to turn the world upside down if all of us were ruled by King Jesus…
Maybe if the wind blows in the right direction? We have been misled. Check what is within you – how much does Jesus rule? Hebrews 3:15 Today, today, today if you hear His voice do not harden your heart. Pilate asked Jesus ‘are you a King?’ He said ‘my kingdom is not of this world, if it were my servants would be fighting to stop me being handed over. As it is my kingdom is not of this realm’. Jesus rules in heaven – “May your kingdom rule over me now, while I am on earth, as it will when I am in heaven”.