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Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 29

The Kingdom of God (continued)

The Practical Issue - Ascendancy Over the Kingdom of Darkness (continued)

Now you can reject all that we are saying and still be saved. In order to be saved, all that you need is to "believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). With that you can go to heaven, you can be delivered from condemnation and from hell, without having any of this that we are talking about. Well, if that is all you want, you can have it! But I ask you this, are you as concerned to be useful to God as you are to be saved? That is another question. The matter of your value to God is decided here - what account are you to Him in the realm of the spiritual forces in this universe which are opposed to Him? How much account does the devil take of you? How much are you a menace to his kingdom? Not, how many services and meetings are you taking, how many addresses are you giving, how much running about are you doing; not all those etceteras in Christian activity; but how much impact do you register upon that dark, evil kingdom? It is just there that your value to God is decided. Well, if the devil gives you a very bad time and has made you know you are a marked man, a marked woman, take comfort; it shows you are of some value to God. But we do not always remember that. We have terribly bad times under the hand of the devil and get under them, we think how terrible and wicked he is, we get occupied with that, and forget - perhaps it is a kind of humility - that we must mean something after all. That is where things count with God in this dispensation. It is not how many structures you can put up nor how big an organization you can create on this earth, it is not anything in the temporal realm at all. It is, in all, through all, by all, how much is counting against the kingdom which is opposed to the kingdom of God? That is the challenge which we must seriously face.

The Kingdom Present In Principle Now

The kingdom of God is something very much more vital than we have realized. Oh, what a pity that men have so systematized this thing as to rob it of its real spiritual value! Some tell us, for instance, that the Kingdom is for a coming age, that this is not the Kingdom age. That is NOT true. The kingdom of God is a present issue, the supreme issue of this whole creation; and it is concerning that that all the forces of darkness, under whatever name they may be working on this earth, are converging under one evil, spiritual government and overlord - to make it impossible for the kingdom of God to be established and extended in this creation. Well, Christian people know it. The big question in missionary magazines now is whether we can go on with our work in many places, whether we must withdraw, whether there is any prospect for extending in the future. Doors are closing. But what about God's kingdom? Is He Lord? Is He going to be pushed out of His universe? Well, the picture that the Word of God gives at the end is not that, but just the opposite. That is the battle we are in. It is a spiritual one, after all. The Lord bring home to our hearts the seriousness of the challenge, and help us to see that now it is a personal matter; the kingdom of God is a personal matter.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 30 - (The Power and Challenge of the Kingdom of God)

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