Skip to main content
Empowered ChurchKingdom of God Revolution

Christian Nationalism or Kingdom of God Revolution?

By May 22, 2024No Comments

Once I was asked by a newspaper reporter if I was a “Christian nationalist?” I responded without answering her question, “I’m a Kingdom of God revolutionary!” She looked bewildered and asked back, “What is that?” I smiled and off we went.

Jesus came not as a founder of a new religion but as a fire starter of a revolution.  Jesus was not a religious leader but a revolutionary freedom fighter. The first words of the first sermon of His public ministry defined it: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17b). Jesus’s mission was to inaugurate a movement that would change the world.

Jesus had a Laser Focus

Jesus was laser focused on the Kingdom of God. He spoke about the Kingdom of God more than any other topic. He told us to “seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) and to pray “Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). In His greatest and longest sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of the ethics of the Kingdom (Matthew 5-7).

Even at the end, the disciples were so transfixed and even confused by this kingdom message that they asked Jesus if now, “at this time, He would restore the kingdom to Israel” (see Acts 1:6). In other words, the disciples still held to Jewish nationalism in their view of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus deflected their question by announcing that “power” was coming. The disciples wanted political and military power that would bring freedom from Roman oppression.  Jesus counters that power is coming from the Holy Spirit that will bring freedom from Satan: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” (Acts 1:8a). Whereas they were looking for power that would bring in a nationalist victory, Jesus said that this power would make them “witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the remotest parts of the world” (Act 1:8b). A new kind of revolution that would not just impact Israel but the entire world!

For the most part, I understand the term, Christian Nationalism, being thrown around these days, most of it from the secular media. It’s being used in a pejorative way to conjure up images of Hitler in Germany. But for whatever the purpose may be, many books are being written and pastors are identifying with the term. Others are turned off by it. It’s as confusing now as it was in Jesus’s time.

I’m not turned on or off by the term. It’s not my focus because it wasn’t Jesus’s focus. I’m advocating for a more biblical term, a “Kingdom of God revolution.” That’s my vision.  And it begins with a word that’s never been popular in polite parlor rooms, “repent”! To repent is to change our mind and heart. To repent is to shift from seeking first the systems and values of this world, even the American dream, to seeking first the Kingdom of God. It’s shifting from the American dream to the Jesus dream. The dream of Jesus for America (and every nation) is a Kingdom of God revolution.

 

Pastor Steve