by James Ryles
“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ ”
The message has not changed. John the Baptizer said it first, as the forerunner for the Lord Jesus. Then Jesus Himself debuted His own ministry with the same declaration. And now He authorizes His followers to carry the exact same message everywhere we go. More specifically — AS we go.
This is an important distinction. For if we approach this calling to proclaim the Kingdom with our minds focused upon delivering the message to wherever it is we are going once we get there, then we will miss all the opportunities that await us all along the way. And, frankly speaking, that is where most of the Kingdom occurs — along the way. It would be a mistake if we became so focused on what God is going to do later that we missed out on what God is doing right now.
So, as you go, preach; don’t wait until you get there, for by then the sermon will be nothing more than, well, a sermon. And haven’t we heard enough of those already! Somewhere along the slow unfolding years of time, we have somehow actually come to the place where we evidently believe that a tidy church service on Sunday morning supposedly fulfills this mandate from our Master. And we miss out on the Kingdom of God each and every day all around us!
The Kingdom of God is not in word only, but in power. Jesus told them to not only proclaim the kingdom as they went, but to also demonstrate it by what they did. In other words, He wants for us to become the means whereby His power is expressed — changing things from what they are, to what God wills them to be.
“As the Father has sent Me,” Jesus said, “even so send I you.” (John 20:21). Paul the Apostle said, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2Cor 5:20). Few verses more precisely summarize not only our mission — but our message.
You are a royal ambassador for the Kingdom of God. As you go everywhere fulfill this mission and proclaim this message — “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In the course of everyday activity, simply tell others the good news that the ruling power of God is present to help them in whatever they face.