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"If you want to know what the Kingdom of God looks like, turn our present world upside down and there you have it!!"  So said a preacher recently. He went on to explain his statement by citing examples where this world in which we live has taken the values and priorities of the world as God intended them to be and reversed them; i.e. turned the world upside down. Black is white, up is down, wrong is right.

It ought not to surprise us, then, when this present upside down world makes decisions and adopts practices that are the very opposite of those that accurately reflect the Kingdom of God.

For example, one of the current social issues in our country at the time of writing this article is same-sex marriage. It is already getting plenty of press and the volume will inevitably increase as the remainder of this year unfolds. Many conservative people in our communities (not just Christians) are wringing their hands with a sense of great anxiety as though we have been blindsided by this issue; that it has caught us off guard.

Among many Christians it appears that they cannot understand how such a proposal as same-sex marriage could gain any traction. "What is the world coming to", they ask, "when our politicians are asked to seriously discuss and even support such a proposal". Well, the world is not coming to anything new. It's already there! It has been there since Adam and Eve had that run-in with God about the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

My thesis is this: we are often surprised and anxious about our runaway world because, by and large, we do not think in terms of "kingdoms". We struggle with the issues of changing morality because the world we live in has turned everything upside down. It would make a huge difference if we could just grasp the fact that is stated with such simplicity yet clarity in1 John 5:19 (NLT)

"We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one".

If Satan is absolutely committed to the destruction of everything and anything that reflects the image of God and if he exercises such power, control and influence in the world, then why are we surprised when the God-ordained "family structure" becomes the target of such a malevolent attack?

Why are we surprised when the sanctity of life is treated with such contempt and disdain by the practice of abortion & euthanasia?

Why are we surprised when materialism and consumerism become such high priorities in our world even though the divine imperative is this:

"Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern." (Matt 6:32-33 NLT)

That statement of Jesus is a "Kingdom Statement", i.e. it is a statement made from within a kingdom paradigm or kingdom world view. And that imperative is the reverse of what is propagated in the "other kingdom"; the kingdom controlled by the evil one by which the whole world is captured.

How does thinking "Kingdom" impact my attitude to the world in which we live? What should be my attitude to those who (unwittingly or otherwise) are captives in the dark kingdom?

I'd like the opportunity to respond to these questions in my next entry which will be part 2 of this 3 part article.

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