Thursday, November 16, 2006



What are the themes being pushed in your church, local fellowship or your favorite media preacher?
• Evangelism and reaching the world?
• Prayer in schools?
• Moral depravity of our society?
• The 2nd Coming of Christ?
• Worship?
• Prayer?
• Bible Study?

In the book of The Acts of Jesus there are two constant themes that under-gird all that is going on as the new fellowship around Jesus is launched into action. I find this emphasis by Jesus and His disciples to be most important for us today. To ignore these two themes may be short-circuiting spiritual life in the US church today. The two primary themes are the kingdom of God and the person of Jesus. Check out these three passages in Acts:

FIRST—In the opening chapter of The Acts of Jesus we are told about what Jesus taught the disciples in the 40 day intensive He had with them before He ascended into heaven. In Acts 1:3 we read: After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive (That’s the person of Jesus). He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God (and here is the kingdom).

SECOND—Philip spoke to the Samaritans about these same two themes: But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God (That’s the kingdom) and the name of Jesus Christ (and the person of Jesus), they were baptized, both men and women.

THIRD—Then finally in the last chapter of Acts we see Paul hosting the many visitors who came to be with him. He was very careful to teach these same two messages. Listen to this: They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God (Kingdom), and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus (Person of Jesus).
Then, a few verses later Paul is described in this way: He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

Have you noticed how many themes, challenges, urgings and pleadings we receive from our churches and studies in a given week? If we tried to apply even most of it, we wouldn’t be able to do so. There’s just too much! This is why I like the simplicity of the two themes Jesus and His disciples held together.

Maybe if we put our emphases upon simply the person of Jesus and the kingdom of God, just maybe we might experience the same things as the early church. Maybe focusing in this way is what we are desperately longing for. Maybe this is all we really need—Jesus and His kingdom. Maybe this is why Jesus made such a big deal about it when He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else you’re concerned about will be provided.” JESUS AND HIS KINGDOM.