Jesus was not sent into the world to start a new religion; he came to proclaim that the new world belonging to God, His Father, has come. This message of the kingdom is not well understood by believers or unbelievers. Why not?!
Many believers think the message is only about the King while many unbelievers pursue elements of the kingdom but want to reject the King. Many on both extremes are violently passionate, others remain somewhere in-between feeling unsure, overwhelmed, and often left aimless in this life. What a shame! This is not necessary!
This series is about King & Kingdom. This is about Jesus Christ as King and the astounding message he proclaimed concerning the kingdom of God that has come and is coming into the earth--and one day will completely renew the heavens and the earth (2 Peter 3:13, Rev 21:5).
I've shared this video twice in our services about heaven and earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k (Services in this sermon series will include more videos like this from the Bible Project.)
Knowing Jesus personally matters; however, partnering with Him to accomplish the will of God matters too.
If we stress that it's all about a personal relationship with Jesus, thinking God only really cares about people/souls, we are in danger of anthropocentrism and neglecting the whole message of the Scriptures. Many churches today have gone head over heels in this direction, almost like new lovers who are completely "in love." Spiritually speaking and in the light of church history, it is called pietism (in brief, an overemphasis on personal experience). This is a significant blindspot in today's protestant, evangelical churches and often difficult to identify in light of our society's commitment to radical individualism and the self.
What? It's not all about "accepting Jesus into my heart?" Well, the Scriptures certainly highlight the primary importance of humanity; however, humans are not all that matter to God.
What does the God of the Bible care about and have we partnered with Him in His business? What is God's will? What is His mission? This is what theologians call the "Missio Dei."
Last year the LCA Elders read Futureville by Skye Jethani and we began to see together what God's kingdom in the earth might look like, especially here in Lake Country. We pressed into the question, "What does heaven look like on earth?"
The answer to this question has significant influence on how we each see our lives, especially our work, and how we see our mission as Lake Country Alliance Church. It is a very good idea to order a copy of Futureville for those who desire to understand God's heart for His world and LCA's mission of "Freedom. Fullness. Family. You?" (You may understand the name of our children's ministry a lot more after this too.)
Copies can be purchased at local book shops or online at an affordable price (kindle edition is $8.99): https://www.amazon.ca/Futureville-Discover-Purpose-Reimagining-Tomorrow/dp/1595554610/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1555523623&sr=8-1
A major take away from this sermon series will be an understanding of what we Elders now call "OBA."
Order, Beauty, Abundance
When the kingdom of heaven comes into the earth, it leads to greater order, beauty, and abundance throughout all the spheres of our lives.
I'm pretty sure this is the first time in my life I've structured a sermon series based from a book/monograph. It feels different. While Futureville functions like a guide, allow me to say, "Sola Scriptura!" In other words, it is God's Word we care about most and hopefully Skye's book can help us to better understand God's heart and the message of the Scriptures.
Here's a tentative schedule, subject to change, that coincides with the chapters in Futureville:
May 5 - Vision (Ch.1)
May 12 - Culmination (Ch.2)
May 19 - Guest Speaker, John Bergen (see bergensmission.com)
May 26 - Evolution (Ch.3) (Note: This is about a perspective on how the kingdom, not the earth, comes into being.)
June 2 - Evacuation (Ch.4) or Resurrection Part 1 (Ch.5)
June 9 - Evacuation (Ch.4) or Resurrection Part 1 (Ch.5)
June 16 - Resurrection Part 2 (Ch.5)
June 23 - Vocation (Ch.6)
June 30 - Order (Ch.7)
July 7 - Beauty (Ch.8)
July 14 - Abundance (Ch.9)
July 21 - Hope (Ch.10)
For now, can you identify where the series logo comes from?
Peace to you through Christ Jesus,