Rend Collective is a Christian band who sings a song called “Build Your Kingdom Here.” The chorus says this:
Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
We pray (change the atmosphere)
What do you think of when you hear the word “apostle”? Most people who have studied the Bible identify “The Apostles” as the 12 disciples of Jesus, Paul, and a hand-full of other New Testament people. In Ephesians 4, Paul explains, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;“
Christ gave apostles a special office as part of His provision for the Church in order to build up the Church and prepare us for works of service. The New Testament testifies how He used to them to orchestrate the dissemination of the gospel in new places, establish new church congregations, and train new leaders (among other things). I always assumed that Jesus’s apostles were a new thing, but as it turned out, they were a new breed.
Apostle was a term that was familiar to the followers of Jesus. “Apostle” is a Greek word that means something like “sent one.” Conquering nations sent apostles into their acquired lands to be an influence that ultimately transformed the defeated peoples into a culture that matched that of the conquering nation.
Christ’s followers understood that the office of apostle carried authority to influence, teach and train others in order to transmit the culture of the Kingdom of God here on earth. Apostles were world changers. They were accused of turning the world upside down!
In Gaining Ground, we talked about the need to be radically different from the world, and that we need to start pulling our culture away from hell’s gates and back to grace. That means influencing our world for change. So in new words, even if you do not hold the office of apostle, you are to be apostolic: a world changer who influences your culture for Christ.
There is something emboldening about a title and something enabling about a job description. God’s Kingdom is tangibly present. Perhaps you’ve been privileged to see the veil pulled back. His army is here.
His Kingdom is carried in the hearts of men and women whose lives bear the banner of Christ.
Sealed with the Holy Spirit, they are
supernaturally enabled to bring a taste of heaven to earth.
We are all called to be culture changers. This is apostolic.
That is how the Kingdom is built: One precious person at a time.
Lord, fill our hearts with the desires of your heart. Give us a love for the people around us. Help us see their needs. Thank you that you have given us a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. Make us bold to live out our faith and your will, and grow your kingdom here one person at a time. Amen.
Photographs are courtesy of pixabay.