POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Personal and Pastoral Thoughts on the Kingdom of Heaven

A believer in Christ cannot study the Kingdom presented in Matthew’s gospel and not be personally affected by its message. What I offer next are just a few personal and pastoral applications to life and ministry. Some Personal Thoughts Perhaps the greatest personal appliacation I have found in studying the KOH is in the character of the kingdom’s subjects. We see in Acts and the epistles of Paul a bold Christian witness, fearlessly proclaiming the truth of the gospel to an antagonistic world. In Matthew we see humility, purity, forgiveness, hunger for righteousness, and mercy as the characteristics of the believer. This humble, beatitude lifestyle must be combined with a bold uncompromising witness for Christ and held in constant tension in order for one to be an effective kingdom servant in the 21st century. In secularized public life of today’s America, believers must learn to be intentionally shrewd in their proclamation of the gospel without cowering away from speaking the truth in love. As we speak this truth, our lives will continue to speak volumes to the world around us. The beatitude lifestyle of a subject of the KOH will do nothing but further the validity of the truth that lives within us. I also found great significance in looking at the character of King Jesus. So often, I thank God that he is so completely other, completely different than us in his holiness. I was personally moved to see how King Jesus is completely sovereign in the affairs of life, yet remains gentle and humble at heart. He truly is the only genuine source of rest from our burdens in a weary world. The resurrected living Christ who is meek yet reigns as King…this is the Jesus that we worship as our Lord and God. Pastoral Thoughts (I know, that sounds so...Pastoral) The two pastoral applications found in Matthew’s presentation of the KOH parallel each other and follow directly from the now/not yet reality of the kingdom in time. First as we deal with the struggles and hardship of this life we always have the future hope of what God will do when he finalizes history at the coming of the KOH in its fullness. The reality that our ultimate home is in a kingdom where we shall be liberated from the sin, death, pain, suffering, sorrow and decay of this world brings great hope to the soul in darks times. Secondly, the fact that the kingdom has come now, although not in its fullness, can uplift the soul dealing with feelings of depression and insignificance. When one realizes that they are children of the king, deeply loved and valuable, the perspective on the everyday struggle of life can change. When it is realized that the King has promises for us now, work for us to accomplish, and his power to get the job done, purposeful and meaningful living follows. Unfortunately many of the kingdom’s subjects remain ignorant of their royal heritage and the glorious mission Jesus has for them (Matthew 28:18-20). Perhaps the we as the subjects of the KOH will find that we will move from fear, to faith, to courageous living as we learn more of the plans and purposes of the King. To that end...