The kingdom of God is a grand and all inclusive place— a state of spirituality where all participants love unconditionally and are unconditionally loved. People share freely without keeping tabs and receive freely without guilt or the feeling of indebtedness, but rather with gratitude to God for His provision, and with gratitude to their brothers and sisters whose hearts God touched to give.
At Jesus-One Kingdom Ministries, we believe in our God-given abilities to change lives for the better through faith in God. Jesus Christ says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Anyone who comes to Jesus, seeking relief from their weariness and burden, comes to the kingdom of God. And since we are the keepers of the kingdom of God on earth, it is our express responsibility to take care of their ‘weariness and burden’ not only by praying for them but also by helping them out. Jesus Christ said: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12).
There is no poverty in the kingdom of God. And since Jesus Christ replaced Himself—in His kingdom on the earth—with all of us, He has also charged all of us with making sure that the kingdom principles stay alight. That is mankind’s most honorable duty and we are equal to it. All it takes is a change of attitude.
John, the forerunner of Jesus Christ said it all: “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” (Luke 3:11). There is nothing confusing about this command. Yet it is the one command we find the hardest to obey. And we all choose not to think about the repercussions of not obeying this command since everyone disobeys it.
Nothing any of us does in this world affects God in any way. God is in us, around us and all over us, yet nothing we do touches him positively or negatively. He made us and everything in the world and the universe. He was sure to keep our filths from getting to Him in any way at all, not because He does not value us, but because He knew who we are and all the craziness we would bring into the equation.
He could have prevented our craziness from affecting our brothers and sisters, but He chose not to; because keeping us together is the only way to get us to be responsible. God created us in His own image and gave us the ability to operate responsibly like Him. He gave us commandments to ensure that we have the information necessary for us to live responsibly. Upfront, He made clear to us the consequences for adversely affecting the lives of our brothers and sisters.
None of the laws God gave to man was designed to add anything to God—God is perfection already and does not need anything to improve Him. The entire laws and commands God gave to mankind are designed for our own safety, security and advancement. God created us perfect. He created our world perfect, but we mess things up. Poverty, sickness, strife, arguments, death, etc. are all products of human selfishness and wickedness.
Jesus Christ came two thousand years ago to give His grace to us and sacrifice Himself so we may be saved. He did not erase poverty or any of the other ills of society because with the grace we received, we are now better equipped to neutralize these atrocities if we obey God’s commands. That these beastly situations actually got worse instead of better is due to our own failings. We hear God’s commands but refuse to keep them. Therefore we are like people who build their houses in the sand and the wind and storm blew them down.
The blood of Jesus Christ is the power of God and is given to us to show the world what God is all about. The Bible says: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20).
We have the power but if we do not obey God, we cannot activate that power. That supernatural healings and miracles are few and far between is a clear indication that we do not ‘carefully’ obey all God has commanded us. We pick and choose what to obey and what not to.
And if we cannot activate the power Jesus Christ has made available to us, then we are all talk and no power. And that brings us to the same level of ineffectiveness as the rest of the world. For that Apostle Paul wrote: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:17).
Living the gospel translates into preaching the gospel effectively; and not the other way around. We should not only present the word of God to the world, we must obey Christ’s commands to allow Christ to manifest Himself through our speech and our actions. In other words, we should be salt and light to the world. Otherwise we would become the blind leading the blind.
There is no poverty in the kingdom of God—and so there must not be any poverty among those who have given their lives to Christ and are walking with Him daily. Otherwise, Jesus Christ would not have taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10).
Telling our brothers and sisters that they are in difficulty because they must have been doing things not quite the right way is not a good response to the poor among the people of God.
Before Christ brought the kingdom of God to the earth, God was sure to address poverty among His people. Here is a passage from the Bible:
“If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11).
And this was before Jesus Christ brought the kingdom of God to the earth. For the church of Jesus Christ, it is different: the church is the kingdom of God on the earth and there should not be poverty in the church, as demonstrated by the first Christians in the Book of Acts. The first Christians obeyed God completely and the church economy worked perfectly for them. If today’s Christians obey God in the same manner, the church economy will also work perfectly for today’s Christians.
John, the forerunner of Christ said it all: “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” (Luke 3:11). There is nothing confusing about this command. Yet it is the one command we find the hardest to obey. And we all choose not to think about the repercussions of not obeying this command since everyone disobeys it.
Now, we all understand why Jesus Christ said “You will always have the poor among you…” (John 12:18).
Not because of what God said to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 15:11—there will always be poor people in the land—but because we will continue to be in disobedience to God’s command; the one that commands us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.“ (Galatians 6:2).
Therefore, it is not that we do not know what is required of us. It is that we do not think it is a good idea to share with others what is rightly ours. Nobody is interested in giving out things. We worked hard for these things and many times suffer tremendously to acquire them. We are all reluctant to give out much because we do not trust that God will replenish it for us.
The world has taught us how to accumulate things for our security. And no amount of material and money ever seems to be enough. No matter what you managed to scrape up for yourself, somebody has a lot more than you do. And he is doing magical things with it and is attracting praises, accolades and respect from society. So we set the same goals for ourselves.
But because we are followers of Jesus Christ and know that we have to obey Christ’s commands, from time to time, we check ourselves to see if we are conforming as Christ commands us to comply. Then we look around, and everybody we know that also belongs to Christ, is accumulating and retaining as much as they can. We suppress our conscience and move on with life: we cannot be doing anything wrong since everybody is doing it the same way we are doing it.
That we have all become like the world around us does not make it right with Jesus Christ. His words never changes and His commands forever remain. Christians in every society collectively have more than enough resources to erase poverty from the kingdom of God within the society. It is not that Christians do not give to the society at large! They do. Christians simply do not take the ‘kingdom of God’ as seriously as they should. The kingdom of God on earth is a real place—the one place all faithful followers of Jesus Christ belong.
The world over, there is only one kingdom of God. This kingdom is a real place, but all spiritual. For anyone to truly get a good grasp of it, the person has to spiritually look for it. This kingdom of God exists everywhere there is humanity. It is inter-wound with the rest of society, yet it is discrete and disparate from society at large. The kingdom of God does not consist of bricks and mortar as in church building and religious facilities. The kingdom of God is not comprised of churches or religious hierarchies.
The kingdom of God is a grand and all inclusive state of spirituality where all participants love unconditionally and are unconditionally loved. People share freely without keeping tabs and receive freely without guilt or the feeling of indebtedness, but rather with gratitude to God, and with gratitude to their brothers and sisters whose hearts God touched to give. The Bible says:
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.” (Galatians 6:1-6).
7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:7-10).