anyone can or wants to see it, is this: most Christians are not in
the Kingdom. They may have knocked at the door, but never
entered in. Or they may have entered, said a quick prayer, raised
a hand, but quickly walked out of the Kingdom again, unable or
unwilling to leave the ways of the world and submit themselves to
the King. It really breaks our heart to say this, but we really mean
it: if Jesus does not evidently rule our lives, he is not our King.
For us, as your distant lovers and foreigners who come in and go
out of the US, one thing hits us in the face like a sledgehammer
each time we pass emigration. It is the screaming testimony of
the lives of most Christians that we have met in the US, who live
an ignorant, shameless, or even violent disobedience, in regards
to almost all royal commands of Jesus the King. They are
ignorantly or even deliberately trespassing, with their heads kept
high, especially in the key areas of sex, money, power and church.
Yes, we know a few precious exceptions, but it seems to be more
like a modern day group of 7000 who have not bowed their knees
to Baal. Christian people, in the four areas mentioned above,
simply do whatever they want, if they want, when they want, with
whom they want, where they want, thinking this is OK because
everybody does it.
In today´s America, it is just like in those days when Israel had
no king, and everyone did as he pleased. This is why most (not
all) church-going, praying, singing, tithing, book-writing, book-
buying, conference-addicted, small-group and Bible-study attending
Christians with or without a fish sticker on their car are, in fact,
illegal aliens, having crept a few meters over the border of the
Kingdom without yet being found out that they actually don´t
belong here (Matthew 22). They actually are in a spiritual no-man´s
land, people not at home in the Kingdom, and not at home in the
world; they have become people with no legal authority, power nor
significance in the Kingdom – and the world ignores them anyway.
Many of you secretly see and admit this powerlessness, which
screams in our faces: divine power cut! Even after (because?) all
those years of bible studies, songs, retreats, programs, prayers,
laying on of hands, prophesying this and decreeing that, driving
out that spirit and driving in another, many don´t even have the
power to overcome the most basic carnal addictions (lust, porn,
work, greed, fear, fun, gossiping, eating, dating, shopping, touring),
and compulsions (buying, selling, facebooking- voicing your opinion
without being asked, writing endlessly, twittering, preaching, giving
and reading “prophetic” words, chasing after what is new), just like
the folks in Apostle Paul´s Athens (Acts 17:21).
Such a life has not even arrived at Square One of the Kingdom –
the denial of self (Luke 14:33), and therefore does not have the
power to change the life of our own teenagers, let alone our
neighbors, let alone our city, county or country. From the per-
spective of Jesus and his Kingdom, this describes the life of
rebels; nice rebels, maybe, but rebels all the more. Religious
versions of any other US-citizen, pursuing as their top priority
anything but the Kingdom: money, toys, happiness, life, fun,
success, selfish significance of even the religious significance
like some of those who export a dysfunctional cultural religion
that has completely failed to disciple its own home base, and
calling it missions.
The core symptom of an illegal alien from a Kingdom perspective
is this: It is all about me. The center of this world is me, my opinion,
my church, my ministry, my book, my, my, my. But you are not
in the Kingdom if you can´t say: Your Kingdom come – my kingdom
go! If you have not kicked your ego out of the driver seat of your
life, then you run your life, not God. So don´t fool yourself and your
family. And if you are pledged – signed over – to this group, that
entity, the other purpose, then you have sold yourself away to
something else than God and his Kingdom. And your heart is
divided and torn. And that is idolatry. You serve two Gods; God
and Mammon; God and country; God and the NFL. That, however,
is no longer a life that Jesus describes like this: Make the Kingdom
and life according to its constitution your first priority (Matthew 6:33
in its proper translation). And that is why “everything else” that
Jesus talks about in this foundational Kingdom decree is not given
to many at all.
But it is not only self-centeredness that keeps us from understanding
or entering the Kingdom, it is also the phenomenal delusion that
we think far bigger and in unreasonable bias and favor of ourselves
than what we really are. Statistics tell us that most Americans, if
asked if they are “born again”, would say yes, even if they don´t
even know what that means. Similarly, if Christians hear the word
Kingdom, many automatically respond: Kingdom? Oh yes, absolutely,
sure thing, aren´t we all Kingdom people, somehow automatically
when we prayed “the sinners prayer” or when we got baptized?
Many truly believe that therefore all they do is Kingdom; Kingdom
business, Kingdom worship, Kingdom church, Kingdom conferences.
This is a huge deception. It is therefore a very healthy start for all
of us to take time out and ask ourselves first, and God very seriously,
am I actually a legal citizen in the Kingdom? Jesus saved me by
his grace. But, do I keep his commandments?
Our experience in the US has been that, with a very few exceptions,
the vast majority of Christians all say “Lord, Lord” – but simply and
doggedly do not do what Jesus says, being disobedient to the
core, unconstitutional and Kingdom-law-breaking (Matthew 7:21-23).
The King is utterly displeased with this, and he will not bless such
a disposition. This “lack of blessing”, of Kingdom authority is
evident in the problem-driven lives many Christians are leading.
They have become a product of their environment – and their
environment is no longer a product of them…