Newsletter February 2017
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. (Ephesians 1:7-10)
When the Son of God came to earth, He came to restore what had been severed as a result of the Fall. By turning their backs on God, Adam and Eve had destroyed the harmonious relationship that had existed between them and their Creator. Sin had created a barrier between humanity and God. Then Jesus came and gave His life as a penalty for sin. His sacrifice removed that barrier for all who believe in Him, who receive forgiveness through His blood, and surrender their lives to His rule.
When Jesus began His ministry on earth, He announced the coming of God’s kingdom, saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1:15) In His parables, Jesus taught about the nature of God’s kingdom. He compared it, for example, with a tiny seed that grows into something great. (Mark 4:26-32) He demonstrated its power, when He healed the sick and delivered the possessed, saying, “… if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Luke 11:20) When He taught His disciples to pray, He instructed them to say, “… Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” (Luke 11:2) To those who asked Him when this kingdom would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21) Finally, He told His disciples that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations…” (Matt. 24:14)
Everything Jesus did and said concerned the kingdom of God. His mission was to restore God’s rule in the lives of people, and ultimately in the whole earth. And He passed that mission on to all who would answer His call. Jesus has commissioned us to advance God’s kingdom: through proclamation, teaching, prayer and action. He has called us into fellowship with Himself, so that we can bring others into fellowship with Him. (2 Cor. 5:18-21)
Our purpose as God’s people is to fulfil His purpose that He purposed in Himself. (Eph. 1:9-10) One day, all things in heaven and earth will be gathered together in one in Christ. In that day, the perfect harmony that existed before the Fall will be restored. The kingdom of God will be established in the whole earth, and every knee [will] bow … and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:10-11)
Are you part of God’s kingdom? Does your life truly belong to Him? Is your will surrendered to His purpose? Do you advance His kingdom through proclamation and teaching, through prayer, and through your actions? Will Jesus one day say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matt. 25:21) Or will He say, “I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:27) Pastor Konrad