Bad news – I periodically succumb to cynicism from the steady drum beat of bad news in our culture. A national arrogance that denies God’s calling, prayerless public schools that rank 26th in the world, poverty and the murder rate in inner cities, 60 million abortions, gay marriage, legal dope, the national debit, unemployment, Muslim-based terrorism, the hypocrisy of sharia law, the Benghazi cover-up, unaccountable drone use, the decline in objective journalism, obamacare, gun control, federal overreach…
There is a “spirit” and a “message” behind the bad news – the message is simple, “We will not make it.” We’re headed for a national collapse. It’s starting to make sense that, as a nation, we have surrendered a degree of God’s blessing and protection by our choices. The spirit behind the message is, “You will fail, and there is no God who will save you.” It can be very discouraging until we pull the curtain back on the source and the strategy behind it.
In the beginning – The Kingdom of God began in earnest with Jesus. It started like a grain of mustard seed, and the wheat and the tares have grown together since. I want to suggest that the wheat is doing just fine. When the Kingdom first began, the only way God could influence the political class was to put a “plant” into one of their prisons (e.g. John, Peter, Paul). There was little influence in any other mountain. John the Baptist was the herald of good news, but when he put a finger on evil it landed him in prison and eventually cost his life. Although he personally baptized Jesus, the news got so bad during his prison stay that he reached out to Jesus and found that the news wasn’t so bad after all.
When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Matt 11:2-5 NIV
The good news – When the Kingdom was least influential and John was experiencing his darkest hour, there was a steady stream of healings, miracles and salvations. Those same things are occurring today at the touch of every willing follower of Jesus. The “greater works” are that we are now positioned to influence other mountains and touch our culture. It’s very exciting! Our message is “good news.” Terms like the gospel, good news, glad tidings, and preaching are all rooted in the same Greek word, euaggelizo. Eua means good and aggelos means messenger or angel. We carry the spirit of Jesus in our hearts and we are like angels who not only bring the good news, but we bring the means to make it reality. It’s not just a message; it’s a manifestation of the Kingdom. We’re the angels assigned to bring the manifestation of the Kingdom into our culture. We’re not waiting for heaven, imagining a fairy tale Kingdom with streets of gold. Heaven is the real future for believers; hell is the real future for those who choose that route, but the Kingdom is here and now and people are drawn to it.
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Rom 10:15
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isa 52:7 NIV
Good news has a message behind it… “Our God reigns.”
Joining the wrong team – Our Christian culture is very prone to getting on the bad news band wagon for some obvious theological reasons. The hobbits saving middle earth in Lord of the Rings is actually more biblical than the religious belief in an eminent return and rapture that abandons the world to the devil. The Kingdom of God began 2000 years ago and has been building since then. There are more believers, a faster rate of salvations and much less poverty than at any other time in history. What we used to think of as poor people in third world nations now have cell phones and we can communicate with them on Face Book and Skype.
While the stock market has fully recovered from the recession (objectively), there is no shortage of believers who can point to a multitude of reasons why it won’t last, that economic disaster is right around the corner. Much of the prophetic movement is consumed with predictions of the devil’s plans instead of God’s plans. There is a very simple explanation for Christian pessimism: “theological trajectory.” If we believe that evil will eventually triumph and God will judge the earth, we actually need some bad news to justify our faith in progress toward that collapse. If we believe that the wheat and tares grow together, yet the earth is eventually filled with the Glory of God, then we can “see” the good news in what Jesus is doing privately behind the scenes and what Kings are doing publicly in their mountains.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. Ps 108:5 NIV
Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Rev 15:4 NIV
Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. Ps 72:18 NIV
Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth Num 14:21 NIV
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isa 6:3 NIV
And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isa 6:3 NIV
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. Zech 14:9 NIV
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matt 6:9 NIV
Making the news – We are not here just to trumpet the good news. Preaching in no way describes the full task of Kings. Our mandate is not just the message of the Kingdom; we’ve been given the keys to the manifestation of the Kingdom. The miraculous, the wealth, the love, the cultural impact… it’s all available right now. Our job is not to prophesy the news. Our job is to make the news. Some things are headed in the wrong direction. We’re here to put them on the right course. Many other things are headed in the right direction. We’re here to champion the cause of Christ and to show the world how it can be done. The theological optimism of Kings allows us to lead by our example and preach with our deeds. It’s fun, it ministers, it’s very prophetic, it’s rooted in love, and it has practical answers. It’s really good news. I’m always amazed at the miraculous power and prophetic authority that we have in the Kingdom… and how it’s rooted in gentle acceptance and love at the same time. It feels like Jesus.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit? 1 Cor 4:20-21 NIV
Rick Synder is the governor of Michigan. Great example of getting it done! Watch his story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o-Xh9Xr7L0
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