The readers of Interruptions are highly intellectual and scholastic, so you know that the word “kingdom” is mentioned 162 times in the Gospels.
Jesus came as king. A king does two things – saves His people and rules His people. The difference between King Herod and King Jesus is that Herod ruled on earth at the time of Jesus, and Jesus began a kingdom on earth that was not of this earth but eventually will be of this earth.
Again, I depend on the readers of Interruptions’ high IQ and theological sophistication to make sense of this.
The idea of a Kingdom “already but not yet” was laid as a foundation for most of those who believe in the power of the Spirit today by George Ladd. Ladd was a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, and he said that the Kingdom had two meanings: 1. Jesus has “already” come and established his Kingdom and, 2. Jesus has “not yet” established his Kingdom in full glory.
George Ladd influenced John Wimber who influenced the Vineyard Church Movement. The theology of “already but not yet” has impacted Charismatic leader, Bill Johnson, and Church of England scholar, N.T. Wright.
Pentecostal to High Church to you!
Readers of Interruptions know that “already but not yet” impacts all theology today and the practical living of all Christians today. Let me give a few examples:
- Because of “now and not yet” we should see miracles today because of our prayers. What will happen regularly in the future should be happening right now. It is the same King.
- Ladd influenced what I call “high hope”. We should live in hope that God has good things for us today as well as tomorrow. The idea that hope is only for after death has diminished. I have noted in my travels that those persecuted have this “high hope.” They believe that God will do something n0w.
- Conservative theology influences how we serve the world around us now. The church – fundamental, conservative, and charismatic – has made a pivot to focus on issues like justice and the environment. Kingdom theology means good stewardship of the earth and seeking justice now.
- Worship has changed for the better. Great worship today focuses on God and our service to Him. The difficulty of old-time hymns – yes, they have great praise and intricate theology – but they don’t encourage current power and victory.
Years past, I was at a conference with John Wimber (sometime soon, please read his book entitled Power Evangelism). Standing next to me was my brother-in-law, Mark Elliott, who was having incredible pain in his knee.
John Wimber said, “There is someone in the audience today. Let me see, I’m seeing letters O…S…G…O…O…D … Hmmmphhh … S…C…H…L…A…T…T…E…R.” Then he said, “I’m not sure what this means; is someone named Osgood Schlatter?”
My brother-in-law had been recently diagnosed with Osgood Schlatter disease, a painful swelling of ligaments in the knee.
I looked at Mark and said, “You had better get up there and have John Wimber pray for you.” As the writer of Interruptions, I sometimes have my moments, along with the readers of Interruptions!
Mark went forward; John Wimber prayed. Mark’s healing didn’t happen then, but it did happen totally about a year later.
I’ve seen Kingdom healing now and then. Often, when I pray for someone who has back pain, they call me a week later with a good report. I do not know why the healing waits.
Jesus is both Savior and Lord and so I entrust everything to Him.
As both the writer and the readers of Interruptions, we should ask specifically for more and greater miracles. I believe the Kingdom will exponentially increase as we approach the soon return of Jesus.
I wonder what would happen if all who read Interruptions prayed now, “God allow me to pray for the sick and see them instantly healed”?