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Posts Tagged ‘replica’

Many years ago, I felt like the Lord told me that He has not called us (i.e. the children of God) to be, “builders” of the KingdomAnd as I pondered that word, He began to show me that there is a big difference between building a house and moving one.  When we build a house, we choose a site, make our plans, and build to suit our expectations/desires.  But when the house already exists, we must go to where it is, and study its design, if it is to arrive intact at its new location.  It takes a totally different skill set, and it is a completely different activity.

The Kingdom of God already exists and God Himself was the Architect and Builder (Heb. 11:10).  God is not interested in some earthly replica of His Kingdom (Acts 7:48-49), He means for His Kingdom to come to earth as it already exists in the heavenly realm.  Scripture tells us that He is the “builder of everything” (Heb. 3:4), and that unless He builds the house, we labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). 

When Jesus spoke of destroying the temple and rebuilding it in 3 days, He qualified that the former was built by human hands, while the latter would not be (Mark 14:58).  He promised that “He would build His church”, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matt 16:18).  Nothing that we’ve ever built has risen to that level.

I’ve heard many people use the first century church (described in the book of Acts) as the model or blueprint for what the Body of Christ ought to look like today.  And while there are certainly principles that we can derive from those early believers, they were never meant to become the prototype for the church. 

Reading through the New Testament, it is obvious that they had many of the same issues that we have today (e.g. arguments about doctrines, rituals, & traditions; factions; sexual immorality within the church…), and more importantly, they never became the glorious bride that Jesus returns for.

This isn’t to say that we (i.e. the Body of Christ) don’t have any role in the coming of the Kingdom.  Quite to the contrary, our part is essential.  Many have grabbed ahold of Paul’s allusions to a “wise master builder” (1 Cor. 3:10) as evidence that we are similarly called to be Kingdom “builders”.  But a closer examination of that passage seems to indicate otherwise. 

What he actually says is that he laid a foundation, as a wise master builder would (1 Cor. 3:10).  Part of moving an existing structure, is forming a foundation at its new location (preparing the ground), and that speaks to our role today.  He warns that no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:12). 

It is not incidental that within this same passage Paul points out that we can plant and water seeds, but only God can make them grow (1Cor. 3:7).  He is explaining the limited, yet vital role we’ve been given.  And so it is with the Kingdom of God.

Throughout the rest of that chapter, he reminds us that we are God’s field, God’s building (1Cor. 3:9) and God’s temple (1Cor. 3:16).  He’s not talking about structures, or organizations, or ministries, or doctrines, or methodologies, or networks, he is speaking of Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col.1:27). 

This foundation must be laid internally before it can be manifest externally.  Indeed, Jesus told His disciples that He would build “His church” upon the foundation (i.e. rock) of followers who’ve had the revelation of who He really is, and who hear the voice of the Father (Matthew 16:18).

Too much of the dialogue and activity surrounding the advancement of the Kingdom of God seems to take our focus off the King.  The idea that we are building something gets people excited.  It stirs our imaginations, and gets us strategizing.  But the Kingdom will not come until a proper foundation has been established, and that is ultimately a matter of the heart. 

To that end, I would submit that a more intimate connection to Him, and a greater to devotion to hearing/obeying His voice are the keys to seeing His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  Without those critical elements, we are likely to build yet another religious monument, that either crumbles from decay, or which the Lord Himself knocks over.

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