FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.There is an amazing Jesus revolution going on around the world! It's like Jesus is whispering the same message in those who have ears to hear all over the globe. It's one of the most encouraging movements I've ever seen. And, it's all around the irresistible person-Jesus-and the irreversible Kingdom-the Kingdom of God.
This revolution is being fueled by an increasing, inner longing that burns inside everyone. I think it's all about getting back to Eden. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve enjoyed the presence of God. They were all set-good jobs, lush place to live, great retirement benefits and a personal relationship with God. They were to fulfill three purposes: · REFLECT the image of the Creator-God-man and woman were the image of God! · REPRODUCE godly children and fill up the earth with them! · REIGN together against evil-to cultivate and guard the garden-co-rulers with the Creator!
Well, without laying more blame on the woman or the man, it's sufficient to note that they blew it-each in his/her own way. You see, they had only one prohibition that was set up by God. However you want to characterize that prohibition and the subsequent encounter with the serpent who lured them into breaking that universal law set up by their Creator, THEY BLEW IT. They blew it by not trusting their Creator-God and disobeying what He said.
What's interesting is that by breaking the law of God (disobeying Him) they not only broke the law, but the law broke them. They were kicked out of the Garden. There were three definitive consequences: 1. They lost the Kingdom where they were co-rulers with their Creator. 2. They lost the personal relationship with the Creator-God. 3. They lost the abiding presence of God's Spirit within them.
And ever since that great loss mankind has been desperately trying to recover. It seems that the hole in the soul of every man and woman can be attributed to those three losses-the Kingdom of God, the personal relationship with God and God's abiding presence through His Spirit. NOTE they didn't lose heaven, but gave up the Kingdom, personal relationship with God and His abiding presence on earth.
Since that epic rebellion against the Creator-God, men and women have become enslaved by the very things they were supposed to rule. · PLANTS have been used to produce a variety of drugs and alcohol to be abused with the end result of being addicted and controlled by them. · PASSIONS in mankind have easily become out of control to the point of wallowing in them to the point of living life lustily rather than living life passionately. · POSSESSIONS have easily taken a prominent place in our lives and we live under the deception that people, places and things can make us happy. All of these promise so much more than they can deliver!
Every religion, philosophy and politic is a noble attempt to fill up that hole in the soul: · To seek the Kingdom. · To seek to re-establish a personal relationship with the Creator. · To seek the abiding presence of God.
NOTE that most every religion is setting up a system and many times an obstacle course to make your way through in order to get out of here-to Heaven, Nirvana, Eden, Shangri-la, Paradise or the Promised Land. I see every religious system as a well-meaning attempt with its desires and standards. Christians are trying to be the best Christians, Buddhists the best Buddhists, as are Hindus, Moslems, Jews, and Animists. Since God created all peoples and is holding them together, eternity has been placed in everyone's heart to grope for God. At the core of this groping is this deep ache from the hole in the soul. They are seeking the Kingdom, seeking that personal relationship with the Creator-God and seeking an abiding presence with God as in the beginning in the Garden of Eden.
But setting up ways to get out of here doesn't seem to be the way of God; it's the way of man. Nor is it God's way to set up a system of do's and don'ts to avoid going to hell. It's interesting to note that there was no system set up there in the Garden and no worship, but a relationship with the Creator-God, walking together in the Garden. This is why, after establishing a massive system of sacrifices and feasts, the Lord says through the prophets, "I want compassion rather than your sacrifices." God wants a relationship. I like the distinction made between religion and relationship. Religion is man's best attempt to avoid going to hell. Relationship says, "I've already been to hell and don't want to go back!" Religion is man's idea. A relationship is God's idea.
God has not given us a way to get out of here. That's not the direction! He's doing all that He can to get down here to dwell among us. So, this is what God has been up to ever since man lost the Kingdom, the personal relationship and abiding presence of God. Through the priests, the judges, the kings, and the prophets God wanted to dwell among those who would trust Him and those people would be a blessing to all the nations of the world. During that time the presence of God through His Spirit came upon individuals to empower them for a temporary task and then would depart.
After the prophets, there was a period of 400 silent years. It was at this point that Jesus was sent to earth. His mission was to reveal the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM and by doing this to restore what mankind had lost-the Kingdom, the personal relationship and the abiding presence of God. So, Jesus announced the Kingdom, established the personal relationship and introduced the abiding presence of God for all to experience. He brought the Kingdom of God to earth, because He is the King. Wherever the King is, there is the Kingdom. He was the dwelling place of God on earth, fully indwelt with the Spirit of God. God had finally come down here to dwell among those who would trust Him.
Jesus did one more amazing thing. He re-introduced the Spirit of God as the abiding presence of God to permanently indwell people again as in the Garden. And, with this introduction it is again possible to enjoy a personal relationship with the Creator-God-to walk with Him in the Garden. So, the Kingdom, the abiding presence and the personal relationship with God are no longer longings and things hoped for, but they have become a reality in Jesus.
He came to turn the religious stress into REST. Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." You can have all that was ever lost in the Garden. Jesus can fill up the hole in your soul.
The Jesus revolution is all about getting to know the irresistible Jesus and learning to live in the irreversible Kingdom of God. Jesus, the revolutionary came, launching a powerful Good News movement and its all about restoration and transformation. And as you get caught up in this movement, you will come to understand that the revolution is still on today in the lives of men and women in every corner of the world.