Christians are told we’re on the wrong side of history. We’ve always been told that. God’s Kingdom is above politics, society and economics. As believers, that’s our kingdom. This sermon encourages us to realize that we are seated in heavenly places, and gives some practical advice on how we can make one big change in our view of family to better live out the kingdom in our lives.
It’s an “interesting” time to be a Christian! It might have been easier back in the 1950s, when Christian values were close to American values. Now we’re being told that we’re on the wrong side of history by believing some things and not supporting other things. We’re told we’re hopelessly caught in an old system of beliefs that essentially makes us a hate group. We’re told if we don’t change, we “will soon be consigned to the dung heap of public opinion, there to join past generations of slave traders, misogynists, and members of the KKK.”
But the past isn’t where we need to live. We don’t even need to live in the present! We need to live in the Spirit!
The church of Jesus Christ has always been out of step with society. Roman Emperor Nero tried to pin the Great Fire of 64AD on the Christians. We were looked down upon because we didn’t burn incense to the Roman gods, and called cannibals because we partook of the body and blood of Jesus at communion. Recently, some major players blamed the Orlando killings in the gay nightclub on Christians.
“The Christian religion is seen by some political and social elites as the one great obstacle to the elevation of human wants into human rights.”
Some progressive ideas conform to God’s idea of bringing justice to this world, but with one crucial difference between that view and God’s. Their view is based on the idea that there simply isn’t a God, and if there is, He doesn’t have a plan – for Himself, the universe, the world, our nation, or us as individuals.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”
God has always had a plan, a plan with a beginning, middle and end. It has a direction. It’s going somewhere. Through His Son, God instituted a new Kingdom, which has been growing and spreading its influence for 2,000 years. It’s had its successes and setbacks, but its ultimate victory is guaranteed. That Kingdom is God’s final and highest governmental expression in this world.
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
It’s higher than nations, higher than any ideology. It’s higher than kings, than communism, or socialism – even higher than democracy. This kingdom will keep growing until God has saved all who will be saved, and He has put all His enemies under His feet AND has put everything together under Christ.
Ephesians 1:9-10 “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.”
I Corinthians 15:24-25 “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.”
If you’re a practical atheist, meaning that the reality of God and His Kingdom is not your reality, then the highest kingdom is society. Therefore, what happens economically, socially and politically is of the highest importance.
If the story in the Scriptures is not our highest story, then “we are tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine…” Eph. 4:14.
What vision do we have for the future? If it’s not the return of Jesus, the remaking of our earth, and the living with Him for all eternity with our new bodies, then we’re not seeing reality. If our vision is certain ideas making progress in this earth, and that’s all, we’re falling way short.
So what is our highest identification? What group do we most closely identify with? Our profession? Union? Nationality? Family? Denomination? Political party? Our church?
If we’re a believer, we are part of the greatest, most powerful kingdom ever seen in history. It may not be of this world, but it’s the dominant kingdom in this world. Christians are ultimately on the right side of history. Let’s choose to live there. Let’s rise above the way things are, the direction the world is going. We need to know who we are, and what kingdom we are REALLY a part of! God rules, right now! His truth never changes; no matter what society says at the moment. He is coming, and we’ll be with Him forever!
So, how can we live in that? How can we constantly be aware that we’re seated in heavenly places? Well, if we live in that reality, just keep doing what you’re doing. If we don’t live in that reality, you have to make some….changes.
Well, we have to believe it first, and then put habits into our lives life to support what we believe! But there are specific things a person can do.
The family of God. God loves our nuclear families. He created them, and there is encouragement and instruction in God’s word about how He wants us to function in our families. Raising children in the Lord, husbands and wives called to love and faithfulness, plus I Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
But Jesus also said this: Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple”, and Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
Remember that marriages are to be an earthly reflection of something bigger – the love that Jesus has for His church? In the same way, our natural families – father, mother, son, daughter – are a reflection of something bigger, too–the family of God, the body of Christ. “To love our families more than we love God is to love the picture more than the reality.
We tend to put the order of our priorities like this:
All the scriptures regarding our natural families are in the context of living in our spiritual families.
“Jesus’ relationship priorities help us understand that the church – the family of God – is not here to serve the interests of our family, its preferences, desires, and needs. Rather, our families are here to serve the family of God.”
According to the New Testament, the family of God – not singleness, not marriage, not the nuclear family – is the primary context for spiritual growth.
Matthew 12:46-50 “While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”
Galatians 6:10 “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
We need to ask God to give us His heart on His family. We’ll look at our families differently when we see our natural families as a subset of God’s family.
Let’s make the effort to believe – that we are seated in heavenly places and that being a child of the Kingdom of God is our highest identity! And then let’s act to keep that faith alive and engaged!