Advancing to the Kingdom of God
When you talk about the Kingdom of God, the orientation of the perspective is general. The Kingdom of God pertains to heavenly beings, the body of believers, and the citizens of the New Heaven. The work of the church is all about advancing God’s Kingdom. Everything that God is doing is about making His Kingdom known. It cannot be compartmentalized.
Jesus talked about a universal church. Jesus includes all of the saved, both the living and the dead. From this orientation, we need to understand that there is only one church. The universal church is called the body of Christ. There is only one body; thus, there is only one church. Most of the time, we get so caught up with being a member of our local church that we cannot find the unity in the body of Christ. We hear of church divisions here and there because of a specific-oriented mindset.
Local churches are also competing against each other. Congregations want to be mega-churches. They are more interested in whose having more members, rather than if they are truly advancing the Kingdom of God. You hear congregants saying to people in other churches, “Our church is better than yours. Our pastor is funnier; you should transfer to our church.” This is a classic example of viewing the church from a specific orientation. The danger is to plant seeds of division in the body of Christ. However, if we see the bigger picture, we see that there is only one church, which is simultaneously the “Kingdom of God”. Local churches must serve the purposes of the Kingdom of God, which is the chunking up principle.
Local churches have unique missions that ultimately serve to advance God’s Kingdom and to glorify His name. Some can be called towards the cause of abused women; some are called to train up prophets; some are called to train up apostles, and so on. However, ultimately, it will boil down to advancing the Kingdom of God. Each person has a specific call, but we are all working for one general purpose, which is to honor God and to advance His Kingdom.