Kingdom Mandate

The Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father in heaven,  
Reveal who you are.  
Set the world right;  
Do what’s best—  
    as above, so below.  
Keep us alive with three square meals.  
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.  
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.  
You’re in charge!  
You can do anything you want!  
You’re ablaze in beauty!  
    Yes. Yes. Yes.  

Matthew 6:9-13, The Message 

When we read the Nicene Creed do you pause or read soberly the words:  

“he ascended into heaven 
and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
He will come again in glory 
to judge the living and the dead,” 

One day He will return! 

And did you, in your heart, say, MARANTHA, Lord come quickly. 

You likely know that that phrase comes from 1 Corinthians 16:22 where Paul writes:  

19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla[a] greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 

21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. 

22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed!  Come, Lord[b] 

– here is the phrase – Maranatha… Come Lord,  – Turned into a prayer Lord Come Quickly. 

So will you say this with me – Maranatha, Lord Come Quickly. 

So hear our prayer:  

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.   

How does that land with you? 

If you could assign one or two actions with this prayer, what would that be?  

Doing His will is the crux of being Kingdom people.  We recognize that a day is coming when those who are not HIs, who do not do His will, will come under His judgment.

We read the creed: 

“he ascended into heaven 
and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
He will come again in glory 
to judge the living and the dead,” 

Let me quote from my CFOT theology teacher, Major Ray Harris:  

“Care needs to be exercised when thinking about judgment. God’s judgment is not one of vindictive revenge. The character of final judgment will be consistent with the character of God’s ways expressed in life, death and resurrection of Christ. Yet judgment expresses hope. It means that the world will not end with a shrug of indifference. The injustices of Auschwitz or cyber-bullying or the effects of Ponzi schemes will not end up in a black hole. We will all face judgment where “the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it” (1 Corinthians 3:13) – Convictions Matter p.158,159 

Our prayer that we would do His will on earth, as it is in heaven, is done with the recognition that what we do matters.  

We’ve been called to this,  

we’ve been given a mandate and now our prayer and work  

must reflect the truth that we are Kingdom people  

working in the midst of a coming Kingdom. 

Our youngest son, Philip, is quite a deep thinker. He reads widely and has, like his mother, a very high IQ. Now I say this is not to brag, though it might be easy to. I tell you this that he has had a habit of challenging my thinking, my actions… in a way he’s been God’s gift to question my confident assurance. 

A number of years ago he started listening to Rob Bell. Bell founded Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, and pastored it until 2012. Under his leadership, Mars Hill was one of the fastest-growing churches in America. So he had a profound impact on Philip who had the propensity to question everything anyway. 

When Rob Bell produced his book Love Wins – Phil asked if we could read it and talk about it. I had picked up Francis Chan’s book, Erasing Hell, which was Chan’s response to Bell. 

If you haven’t read either of this, let me summarize. 

Bell lists a huge number of questions – not many statements, but it cleverly raises the question, will a loving God really send those He says He loves to an eternal punishment?  – what the creed says. Chan accuses Bell of trying to erase the concept of hell and begins to rebut Bell’s implied thesis. 

What I have wondered ever since, as I’ve watched us – The Church and The Army at work is this; do we still really believe in heaven and hell?

Do we still believe that people need a Saviour? Do we really sense any urgency in that work? 

I’m a bit of an old guy now… I am hoping not a dinosaur yet, but it would be easy for me to wonder if “I’m just out of touch”. You see, I grew up in an era of Billy Graham missions, of on-street evangelism, the use of outdoor meetings, of the use of 4 spiritual laws, of evangelism explosion, of the call to the drum-head. As a young person, I experienced the Salvation meeting, marches of witness, and the like. 

I had the idea that if the Kingdom of God was anything, it was a place where everyone was welcomed and actively supported the idea of inviting people into that Kingdom – but we had to choose.  

Now I am also aware that things have changed.  

The culture we are in has a different relationship with The Church and with The Army today.  

The open-air has perhaps moved onto social media,  

though I am still of the opinion that personal engagement of  

people is important in our Kingdom work? 

But to put it bluntly, do we still view people as lost – or to reverse that thinking – do we still believe that Jesus’ invitation for us to be Kingdom Come, people, means that we see a world in need of Jesus? 

A personal confession: When we were the corps officers at Glenmore Temple, one year in preparing for the annual ministry review with the area commander, I pulled our statistics on “souls saved” and we had not recorded one person new to the faith. We had had people at the mercy seat, we were running about 7 different Bible studies, we had monthly leadership meetings, had plenty of youth work, lots and lots of music groups…but not one recorded person new to faith. I felt defeated and I remember going to our leadership team with this burden – this sense of failing the Kingdom. What was the point of balanced books and lovely meetings if we were just “keepers of the aquarium”. 

John 18 reminds me that the historical Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world to save sinners of which I am chief…and that if John took this much time and energy to record all the details so that we could read, know and understand, then it is imperative that this story of sacrifice, resurrection and redemption is told to the world around us – that we continue to tell people that they God loves them and desires for them to live life abundantly. 

You’ll be aware that for the Canada and Bermuda territory and for our strategic plan, pillar one, spiritual health is a priority.  

We need to keep ourselves on the right side of the law,  

respond to the requirements of funders,  

live above reproach in our use of financial resources,  

….but at the end of the day,  

if TSA isn’t about Salvation, well then, we’re not really about the Kingdom, are we? 

It’s interesting in 1974 Billy Graham called for a gathering of evangelists from around the world in Lausanne Switzerland to talk about and plan towards an emphasis upon winning the world for Jesus. He with dozens of international leaders worked towards an agreement on this and created the Lausanne Covenant. You can go online and read all about this historic gathering. But towards the end of the conference, a group of evangelical leaders from south Asia approached John Stott who was the architect of this document, and told him and Billy Graham that they could not sign the covenant. They pointed out that the Gospel must be more than the telling of the Gospel, in fact, their actions brought about article 5 of the covenant – let me read it to you – 


We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and Man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.

(Acts 17:26,31; Genesis 18:25; Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 45:7; Genesis 1:26,27; James 3:9; Leviticus 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; James 2:14-26; John 3:3,5; Matthew 5:20; 6:33; 2 Corinthians 3:18; James 2:20)


This is a description I think of TSA – it reminds us that all our work is not just about telling of the Gospel, what NT Wright describes as “selling tickets to heaven”…but that the Gospel telling must also include aiding and lifting people from the mire which keeps them from hearing the Gospel. 

Paul Borden puts it this way – “we do good deeds, to win good will in order to deliver the good news.”

I just wonder sometimes if we’ve got the first two parts of that down pretty good – but are we following through with the good news?  

Jim Cybala: “We often forget that serving Christ is a team sport. If we want to win against the powers of darkness in this world, we have to be united and working together.” 

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