The ultimate in carnality is when someone’s beliefs don’t really work for them, but their need to be right drives them to force their view onto others. The religious leaders of Jesus¹ day did not have peace, joy or righteousness in their heart. Yet, they insisted they were right. But in their insecurity, they would often orchestrate the death of those who opposed them. Early Christians burned people at the stake for disagreeing with their theology. How likely is it that they were motivated by Kingdom values? It seems the more intense the dogmatic reaction the greater the evidence toward a life that is not working.
I have often wondered how many sermons are being preached by people who have very little of the joy of the Lord. How many leaders are having nervous breakdowns, yet leading others down the same path they are walking. How many sermons simply regurgitate information that has never been made to work? Or, how many sermons are geared for control instead of helping people connect with God in their heart?
Jesus said to the leaders of His day, you won¹t enter in, but you won’t let others enter in. The way into the Kingdom is blocked by religious people who won’t go in but won’t let others go in. “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars! You took the key of knowledge, but instead of unlocking doors, you locked them. You won’t go in yourself, and won’t let anyone else in either”
(Luke 11:52, TMB).
We live in a day when there seems to be a call to return to the Kingdom of God. As leaders we must assess what that means in light of the way we treat people, how we build organizations, and what motivates our actions. We must question our every motive and answer one question. “Do I do what I do for the Kingdom of God or for my own personal goals?”
The way of the Kingdom may not produce everything the world calls success. It certainly didn’t for Jesus. But to stand before God and hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” will surely outweigh any sacrifice we made in this life.
I am so thankful for those who have built large churches and ministries while holding on to Kingdom values, and I hope to learn from them all. At all cost I hope to follow the way of Jesus for the sake of the people for which He died, and the great mission we have of ministering this message of the Kingdom of God! Read Entire Article