Kingdom of God VII – ..Citizenship (2)..

Written by Danny Kam

In the last post, we got one perspective that suggested the kingdom of God is primarily about looking forward to a heavenly kingdom. I agree with Jacob that we must keep our hearts set on the future, but also realize that we are presently on earth. I want to commend him on his article because he set forth a balanced way to look at our life in the kingdom of God.

I must depart from his view, however, when he suggests that we should primarily be looking towards “heaven.” He cites the famous faith chapter in Hebrews as his evidence that we should be looking forward more than putting our hope in the present world. But the chapter that he cites, in my view, does not really support his thesis that we should primarily be looking forward towards heaven instead of focusing our attention on the here and now. Notice what the texts says. It is by faith that Abel offered a sacrifice pleasing to God (contrasting the sacrifice of Cain that was not pleasing to him). By faith, Noah built an ark because of his fear of God. By faith, Abraham believed he would have a son. All of these things are inextricably linked to the present world. Note especially that they were “living by faith,” and that Moses “refused” to be known as an Egyptian.

All of these people make choices–in the present age–to stand for God instead of something else. Abel could have chosen the way of Cain, and Moses the way of the Egyptians, but they chose instead to be faithful to God. The chapter is the author’s way of preparing the reader, through the inspirational story of Israel, that the reader must act in a similar fashion in light of their current context.

Christian’s, in this age, were often asked to give their lives for their faith.  Christianity, in my opinion, cannot be seperated from our lives here and now.

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