“Well I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And hes allowed me to go to the top of the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we as people will get to the promised land. And so I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last Sermon; April 3rd, 1968
Life in the Kingdom comes in stages, first there are preliminary moves and commitments, but in the end there is true liberation. Without relentless pursuit there is no tangible Kingdom.
After some really great times with our small group I have come to a new understanding of the Kingdom and the otherness of it. I will do my best to express it but please don’t be too critical of my organization of it but please look to the over arching explanation.
I feel like at first when I began to follow Christ I had a peripheral understanding of what it meant to be saved and what it meant to be in the Church. I believed I was saved and made an honest confession to God through Christ. This was a wonderfully new and great time in my life. Slowly I grew into discipleship where I surrendered more of my heart and mind; I began to pay tithes and to get involved in ministry. I stayed in this mode for a long while. And when I say mode I don’t to trivialize the word or meaning of Discipleship I mean this to be a title of the stage I was in. I had been there for a while when the Lord began to prompt more drastic changes in my life. He began calling me to give over my money, time, and life to Him.
I know that we read and ingest the many verses in the Gospels about sacrifice, but somehow the Kingdom Life is made up of and can only function in light of complete and udder submission to these texts. What I’m not saying is that when these texts are completely obey you find yourself in the Kingdom. I am saying that in the otherness of the Kingdom these teachings are the themes of the lifestyles. When Christ speaks of the Kingdom he always uses an example to try and explain the unexplainable. Its not the Kingodm is the result of Discipleship. Belief in Jesus is to salvation like Discipleship it to Kingdom life. They include each other yet they are like the inexplicable result.
Some believers never get passed the savvation part of there Christianity. They go to church and love there pastor, maybe even read there Bibles on occasion. These folks live there careers out using the best Christian values. They have God as a part of there lives. Some folks live their whole lives in this mode of faith and never know anything besides it. I am not looking down on them I was there.
Then there are Disciples who dedicate there lives to following Christ, they read and pray and do all that they know to do. This stage is for the serious followers of Christ. They live out of deep hunger for God that is in return given back to them. These folks live out there lives trying to fulfill all that Christ puts in there path. I believe that this mode of dedication is most common and has a very long existence in the Christian life. These folks are acknowledged and are widely effective in there ability to reveal Christ to the world.
Then there are folks who function in the mode of the Kingdom. This is the only place a Christian on earth can completely feel at home. There has been considerable sacrifice made to do what God has spoken them to do. They have given up all to follow and in return they have a freedom in God that is indescribable. They move to other countries, start movements, change the world. It’s amazing the difference that the Kingdom is from all other stages of following Christ.
Martin Luther King was a man who lived in the Kingdom. Long before he was assassinated on April 4th 1968 he had given up his life. He harped mockingly at death with a cavalier attitude. He knew that what the world valued was an abomination to God. He knew he was living to please God and did not care that his life would be taken for it.
Can you see it? This is kingdom life… this is life lived fully committed to God. No strings attached, head over heals. Picking up the cross and obeying.. to the uttermost.