I posted something negative about abortion on Facebook and then watched a mini-landslide of comments come in calling me all kinds of not-nice names. Others jumped in to stand up for life but it just wasn’t a pretty moment at this table of strangers. This issue, among plenty of others, begs the question: will we ever figure it all out?
Will we determine what righteousness in a nation really looks like? Will the innocent, born and unborn, be rescued? Will the victims of oppression ever be delivered? Will the poor ever eat well? Will the burdened ever have their burdens lightened?
The answer to all of these, of course, is yes. And it’s a big loud YES! because of the great, glorious agenda of King Jesus.
For those who choose to place their trust squarely in Jesus, the world will absolutely look much differently someday, and many of the issues we do battle over in the culture today will be solved once and for all to the benefit of the poorest and most broken among us. A psalmist once wrote about the agenda of the King with these words:
Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.
Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but frustrates the plans of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever.
He will be your God, O Jerusalem,
throughout the generations.
Praise the Lord!
– Psalm 146 NLT
God’s deepest concerns about our planet are the poor, the oppressed, the victimized, the prisoners, the foreigners, the hungry, the orphans and the widows. The plans of politicians will perish with them, but the kingdom agenda of redeeming and restoring all that is broken about this world is ultimately being proliferated today in subtle and quiet ways all around us and will someday be accomplished under the Kingship of the One who created all, loves all, and died for all.
Jesus demonstrated, during his lifetime, a bit of his own kingdom agenda. He didn’t take on Rome or challenge Pilate to a run-off. He walked humbly through the land of ancient Israel healing, feeding, teaching, caring, touching, and loving people at their lowest points in life. That’s the kingdom agenda of Jesus. He’s not into rule by oppression, and will someday overthrow all oppressive regimes once and for all. He’s about freedom and liberty within his good and perfect will.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe we’re to work to bring his kingdom in partial fulfillment around us. We are to feed, serve, heal, and protect people. We ought to be concerned about rescuing victims of human trafficking, saving the lives of the unborn, providing for the welfare of those trapped in cycles of poverty, watching out for abused, neglected, and abandoned kids, and extending a hand of kindness to the foreigners among us. But all of our effort will feel vain and empty if we every fail to realize that God himself will keep all of his promises.
I’m excited about the great, glorious Kingdom agenda of Jesus! So much so that I want to see it happening now in little bits around me and someday in fullness, for eternity.
Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, no matter what questions you may have about the historical nature of Scripture or Christianity, you can follow this King. He is good. He saves. And this King invites you into his very living room for a chat.