Christianity never was and never will be a religion. It always was and always will be a culture – the culture of the Kingdom of Heaven. Please read on and I’ll explain.
Matthew 4:17 says, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (AMP)
This was at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. The first word Jesus preached was the word repent. Repent doesn’t mean remorse. It means to transform your thought processes, to change your mind, to think differently. We can’t think the way the world thinks and wonder why things don’t change in our lives. We have to think the way God thinks.
Notice, He never said, “Think differently; you’re a sinner going to hell.” He said, “Think differently, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” The word kingdom comes from two words: king and domain. Heaven is a domain with a king. In America, we vote every four years for who we want to be president. But that doesn’t happen in the Kingdom of God. We don’t vote for Jesus; He’s the King whether we vote for Him or not.
Sometimes, we make the mistake of reading the Bible, an eastern book, with a western mind. When we do, we can miss an obvious fact – the Bible is a book about kingdoms.
When we were born again, we became a part of the Body of Christ. We were removed from the kingdom of darkness, and transferred into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son, the Kingdom of Heaven. Colossians 1:13 says, “For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son”. (AMP)
Even though we’ve changed kingdoms, many Christians are still operating in the ways of their old kingdom. They are still thinking the old way even though they’ve joined another kingdom. They are still doing things the old way and waiting for different results. You and I are no longer a part of the kingdom of darkness! We need to adjust our thinking and our ways to the new kingdom.
One translation of Matthew 4:17 says, “Think differently for the rule or the government of God is beginning now.” Christianity was never meant to be a religion – it was meant to be the extension and expansion of a kingdom. God wants to use us as His vessels to manifest the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Too many Christians are trying to get to heaven when we haven’t fulfilled our mandate on the earth. We’re not here biding time – we’re here to change our world by expanding our kingdom and its culture!
For further study see: Philippians 3:20-21, Matthew 6:31-33, Matthew 16:19. From Dr. Siddiki’s teaching series Kingdom Culture.