Updated: Apr 14, 2021
“But seek first the kingdom of God...” Matthew 6:33 NKV
Jesus clearly established the kingdom of God as the believer’s first priority and pursuit. However, as we look at the life of most Christians today, we would have to admit that this is not their first pursuit. Why is this? What is it that affects our thinking and actions? It is our view on life. Everyone has a view on life whether we realize it or not, we all have certain presuppositions and biases that affect the way we view all of life and reality.
This is what we call a worldview. A worldview is like a set of lenses which color our vision or alter the way we perceive the world around us. Our worldview is formed by our education, our upbringing, the culture we live in, the books we read, the media and movies we absorb, etc. For many people their worldview is simply something they have absorbed by osmosis from their surrounding cultural influences. They have never gone through a thought process about what they believe and wouldn't be able to give a rational defense of their beliefs to others. It’s just there.
As Christians, we are taught to have a “biblical worldview.” There is a strong emphasis on building a biblical worldview in the saints. While a biblical worldview may be good it is not enough. It does not take the Christian back to God’s original design for mankind. It will help establish some biblical values but not the fullness of kingdom. I believe there is a more excellent way and a necessary way if we are going to see the fruition of the prayer Jesus told us to pray.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matt 6:10 NIV
I believe that as Christians we must have a “kingdom-view.” Many apologists, theologians, and Christians would say that a biblical worldview and a kingdom-view are one and the same but I would disagree. I would agree that the tenants of a biblical worldview are found within a kingdom-view, but a kingdom-view will produce kingdom results. It demands allegiance to the King. It carries a dominion mandate to establish His kingdom on earth. It fully restores the Genesis 1:26-28 destiny of Father’s children. It restores the sanctified entrepreneuring and sanctified genius of His creation which is the result of His Spirit working in and through us. It brings His image back to life in us. It calls us to be creators (small ‘c’) in the image of our Creator. It rewires His house with greater power. We replace the 110 voltage with 220 volts (i.e. Galatians 2:20).
I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Gal 2:20 AMP
We cannot boast for we know it is Christ in us the hope of glory.[i] Our boasting is only in the cross of Christ.[ii] It is this kingdom-view that will produce an overcoming cadre of saints who are willing to blaze a trail for others to follow. These are those who have matured in hearing the Master’s voice. These kingdom saints model their Master and do only what they see their King doing.[iii] Are you one of these saints?
What is a Biblical Worldview?
While there are somewhat differing thoughts as to the tenants of a biblical worldview, there is also a great deal of unity among Evangelical Christians. The Barna Group is the leading conservative Protestant marketing research group providing information about the state of religion in the U.S. – and in particular the status of Christianity and of its churches and denominations.
They defined a "biblical worldview" as being based upon a foundation of eight beliefs, that:
1. Absolute moral truths exist.
2. The Bible defines these absolute moral truths.
3. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life during his ministry on earth.
4. God created the universe and continues to rule it today. He is omnipotent and omniscient.
5. Salvation is a gift from God. It cannot be earned through good works or behavior.
6. Satan is real living entity.
7. Christians have an obligation to share the Gospel with the unsaved.
8. The Bible is accurate in all of its teachings
Another definition of a biblical worldview contains the following tenants: (1) We believe that God exists (Heb. 11:6) and that He is the standard by which we measure everything else. (2) God created everything that exists (Gen.1:1) and everything is held together by Him (Col. 1:17). (3) We believe the Bible is God's divinely inspired Word, revealed to mankind (2 Tim. 3:16). (4) We believe that the fullness of God came to earth and lived in the human body of Jesus Christ of Nazareth 2,000 years ago (Col. 1:19). (5) We believe that mankind chose to rebel against God in the Garden of Eden and because of that act of rebellion, sin and death entered the world (Rom. 5:12-14). (6) We believe that believing in (John 3:15-19, 5:24), and obeying (Luke 8:21, John 3:20, John 14:21, 23-24), Jesus Christ is the only way to have eternal life or to be reunited with God (Acts 4:10-12).
While we do not disagree with the above truths, we do believe they stop short of a kingdom-view as stated earlier.
What is a Kingdom-View?
Several years ago the Lord spoke to me and told me to read the first two chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1-2) and the last to chapters of the Bible (Revelation 21-22) seven times for seven days. What an eye-opening revelation that was. Much of Christianity teaches us that the central theme of the Bible is the redemption of mankind. When you think about it, that places us as the central theme of the Bible. How self-centered can we be? After obeying the Lord and reading the first two and last two chapters of the Bible my eyes were clearly opened to see that the central theme of the Bible is God’s kingdom. It is His eternal purpose. All the chapters in between are somewhat parenthetical. Everything inside the parenthesis support what’s outside the parenthesis. The redemption of mankind is extremely important. God’s original design could not be fulfilled without it. But His kingdom is clearly the central focus.
What do the first two chapters and the last two chapters of the Bible have in common? While there are many things we could elaborate on, suffice it for now to say, His Kingdom on a sinless earth. After the fall (actually even before the fall) of mankind, God set a plan in motion to see His original intent fulfilled. The kingdom would be restored through Jesus Christ and this would necessitate the redemption mankind.
The kingdom-view re-establishes the Father’s original purpose to have a visible kingdom on earth that would be ruled by those created in His image.
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Gen 1:26-28 NIV
The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to man. Ps 115:16 NIV
A kingdom-view restores God’s purpose, vision, mission, and priority for redeemed mankind to fulfill their destiny. This is the “sentness” of the saints. This is the reason for our being equipped for the work of the ministry. This is our ministry. This is the revelation that must be restored to the saints. It is this revelation that has the power to shape overcomers. This revelation restores the King to His rightful place and the redeemed to their kingly priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. This is the heart and goal of the apostolic ministry and calling, presenting every man perfect (fully mature and grown) in Christ Jesus our King.[iv]
The vision (what we see) is the kingdom of God. The mission (what we are to do) is bring it “on earth as it is in heaven.” The priority (what is number one) is to “seek first the kingdom and his righteousness.”
The kingdom-view lifts up the King in all the earth. His glory is seen in us as we are being transformed from glory to glory. [v]
I began by asking why God’s kingdom is not the number one priority of most Christians. Even those who have embraced a biblical worldview are not putting the kingdom first. Most don’t even understand the kingdom concept. They do not have a kingdom-view. Our personal thoughts, behaviors and actions are shaped by our view. What set of lenses are we looking through. My son and another young man told me that they see every verse in the Bible different since they have embraced a kingdom-view. It is this view alone that has the power to move the saints from religion to kingdom reality. What is your view?