Don’t Give Up! – (Guest Post)

Never Give Up!–Guest Post By Ben Gilmore

I am truly optimistic about our society.  Everything around us is SHOUTING for us to focus on the corruption, graft, lies … (evil!) around us.  Though not living in denial of reality, I am choosing to focus upon those things that are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely.

American citizens are in a war for the soul of their nation and her founding principles.  In war, battles are often won by those who refuse to give up!  I believe God is not asking, “How many times were you knocked down?”   I believe He is asking, “Did you get up the last time?

Remember – Various media attempt to picture you in a society that is unlike much of the rest of the nation.  We should respond by highlighting America’s exceptionalism and her virtues.  Use the positive as a foundation for sudden and relentless reform!!!

I agree – It appears unlikely that our ship-of-state stays afloat, much less gets repaired and restored WITHOUT an outpouring of the Holy Spirit across America.

BUT

Let us not be caught with our eyes focused upon the situation exclusive of God’s hand in human events.

  • Are there indeed Americans humbly admitting to God that we deserve justice over mercy – Yes, I believe there are.
  • Are there American individuals and groups in prayer for our nation? — Yes, I believe there are.
  • Are there Americans honestly seeking the Lord’s specific direction for their actions? – Yes, I believe there are.
  • Are there Americans turning from their individual besetting sins in an effort to see God’s hand at work?  — Yes, I believe there are.

Does 2nd Chronicles 7:14 (above) apply today?  —

  • Yes, I believe our corporate prayers will be heard.
  • Yes, I believe our individual and corporate sins will be forgiven.
  • Yes, I believe the gracious Lord will indeed heal our land!!!

Why do I believe so unlikely (appearing) future?  I respond, “How big is your God?”

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Moses, in the wilderness, interceded for his people, “Lord, If you wipe is out in the wilderness, It will make you look like an intolerant god, to the watching Egyptians (the world).”  And God repented.  Proving that He prefers mercy over justice when there is proper prayer.  The Bible book of Judges offers many similar examples.

America is the first civil government in all of human history to have been purposely founded upon sound Biblical principles.  If the failure of her citizens to honor those principles is, allowed to cause our national failure – The world will assume that Biblical principles of Christian Self-Government are not sufficient to sustain civil government.  All that the Hand of God has invested in America, as an illustration to the world, will be lost!!!

Forbid it Almighty God.  I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” [Patrick Henry – 1776]

Ben Gilmore
[Contact Ben]

Ronald Reagan Easter Video

If the Youtube Video is not working watch here:
http://freedomthirst.com/ronald-reagan-easter-proclamation-video/

What is the Kingdom of God?

The Kingdom of God is NOT:

  • A physical nation on earth
  • A coalition of nations
  • A church
  • Any man made organization
  • Any territory labeled “Christendom”
  • Western Civilization

How do I know it is not these things? Jesus said in Luke 17:20-21 “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there! For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” The Pharisees wanted to know when and how they would see God’s Kingdom come in the earth. They probably had Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the book of Daniel in mind. They were waiting for the Kingdom that would “crush all those kingdoms.” I suspect that they were hoping for Israel to rise up, throw off Rome, and rule the world. (See Daniel 2:44 – as well as before and after)

In the 2nd chapter of Daniel verses 31-45 (Daniel 2:31-45) Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. He describes a statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and “brittle” feet partly of iron and clay. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that he is the head of gold (I’ll bet old Nebby liked that). History makes sense if you look at it like this – the Head of Gold is Babylon, the chest and arms of silver is Persia (or the Medes and Persians), the belly and thighs of bronze are Greece, and the legs of iron are Rome. The brittle feet of iron and clay are best understood as the remnants of the Roman Empire as it broke up and became Europe. Daniel says that “in the days of those kings” God would establish a kingdom that would crush all the others but it would itself expand to fill the whole earth and endure forever!

Interestingly enough, Jesus came in the time of Rome and established the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men! That kingdom went throughout the whole earth but took particular roots in the remnants of the Roman Empire (Europe!).

I taught this in India and asked the students to review with me what they learned. One student said “that Rome is the Kingdom of God.” No, NO, NOOO! I think we had a misunderstanding. I clarified. 🙂

Rome was not and is not the Kingdom of God. The Roman Catholic Church was not and is not the Kingdom of God. No nation, no human organization, and not even any human-organized church will ever be the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God IS:

  • Inside of human beings who Know God!

The Kingdom of God is WITHIN you!

Think of the word “kingdom.” You have “king” followed by “dom.” (Does this remind you of Sesame Street?) Dom is short for “domain” or “dominion.” In other words, a “kingdom” is simply the domain or dominion of a king!

The Kingdom of God is the Domain or Dominion of God, the King of the Universe! Wherever God reigns, that is the Kingdom of God.

Jesus clarifies that the Kingdom of God is WITHIN people!

The power of God changing a person’s heart through the Holy Spirit, increasing faith and knowledge of God, increasing love and worship of God, and transforming the mind of a man through the Spirit and the Word – this is the Kingdom of God!
 
This Kingdom has a compelling effect on the institutions of this world, but it is NOT an institution of this world. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God works like “yeast.”

In Luke 13:20-21 Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like yeast worked through a whole batch of dough!

The dough is not itself the Kingdom, but it is INFECTED with it! The entire dough is highly affected by the yeast!

The Kingdom of God works in this world in the same way. It is itself “not of this world” but it “yeasts” the world through the people of God living out Christianity within it. The Kingdom of God happens from the Internal to the External.

INTERNAL –> EXTERNAL

I have read many things written by people who are afraid that emphasizing the “dominion” aspects of Christ and His Gospel will lead people to try and expand God’s Kingdom by Force of the Sword. (Or I suppose nowadays we would say with guns and bombs.)

Anyone who understands what the Kingdom of God is and how it works would know that advancing the Kingdom by any kind of physical force would be impossible! The sword does not change a heart!

But it is a mistake to think that the Kingdom will not “yeast” every area of life, all of humanity, and every human institution! Do not misunderstand, this does not make these things to BE the Kingdom of God, but they can be “yeasted” by Spirit Filled People and the ways and ideas that come out of their hearts and lives!

So when someone like me comes along and says “let’s apply the Kingdom of God to every area of life – Business, Civil Government, Family, Church, Education, Media, Art, etc.” it should be automatically understood that this will be done by living, breathing, exemplifying, teaching, inspiring, and preaching the Word and the Ways of God in all of these areas. It should NEVER be seen to mean that physical violence can establish God’s Kingdom.

The Romans were wrong to think that their empire was The Kingdom of God. Any other nation or empire in history that thought itself to be the Kingdom of God was wrong. Britain was not and is not the Kingdom of God. America was not and is not the Kingdom of God.

One nation or people can be more “yeasted” with the Kingdom than another. One nation or people or human institution can manifest the Kingdom more than another, but it itself is not the Kingdom!

At least not until Jesus returns physically and it is declared that now “The Kingdoms of this World have become the Kingdom of our God, and He will reign forever and ever!” (Rev 11:15)

This side of eternity the Kingdom expands in the hearts and minds and spirits of men and manifests “yeastily” in every area of life. When Christ returns everything in this world will be finally manifested as having fully become the Kingdom of God! (See Revelation 11:15)

Look at it this way –> You know that you will not become perfect and sinless in this temporal life, but you work and believe God to bring you closer and closer to excellence in Him. We should look at this world in the same way. It is true that it will not be fully perfected until Jesus comes physically in person, but we should be working to see this temporal world manifest the Kingdom of God more and more. We should expect to see the world look more and more like the Kingdom.

Should we see the “things of this world” as filthy and to be avoided? Or should we get out there and START CLEANING?

Should we run from wicked movies and dirty politics and fallen institutions crying out “what a nasty world – come Lord Jesus”? Or should we make God-glorifying movies, teach and live the things that God says in the Bible about civil government, and work to establish the right institutions in the earth and in the right way?

Friends, like the children of Israel looking across the Jordan at a beautiful land filled with giants, we as Christians stand looking outside of our church windows at a world in “dire straits.”

Let’s not be afraid of the giants. Let’s not see ourselves as “grasshoppers in our own eyes.” Let’s not keep wandering in the desert. (Numbers 13:33)

Yes, let’s preach the gospel and see people reconciled to God. Yes let’s plant churches. But let’s not forget that God doesn’t only want “saved” people worshiping inside of church buildings. God wants EVERYTHING.

Let’s get out into this world and Take the Land!

Let the Kingdom Come!