The Gospel of the Kingdom is a scandal to the values and standard of the world. In the world we hear terms such as: respectability, reasonableness, and realism; while the New Covenant speaks of: abandonment, insecurity, persecution and exile.

There is a Biblical ‘new age’ which is, ‘The Kingdom of God’ which stands in opposition to the powers and principalities that rule this world. In His Kingdom, those who try to save their lives with lose them, the last are first, the first are last and, the greatest of all is the one who serves.

We cannot make the claims of Jesus negotiable with the claims and demands of the world. Yet, we have been seduced in adopting the ‘world’s methods’ and practices. For His names’ sake, we cannot soften the demands of the Gospel and allow a radical message to be compromised.

“Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. Grace is costly because it calls us to follow Jesus. It is costly because it costs a man his life and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The saving of individuals apart from a radical entrance and living in the Kingdom of God, takes the very heart out of the Gospel. As Jews and Gentiles called to be ‘one new man’ in the Messiah, called to be ‘a new reality’ in the midst of this present evil age, called to be ‘light and salt’ and, called to be ‘in the world but not of it’ we have sadly fallen short.

As members of His Kingdom we are called to be a ‘community of believers’ who bear witness by living an entirely ‘new lifestyle’ empowered by the Holy Spirit, seeking for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

The uniqueness of the Kingdom is realized in the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount which is not a prescription for a ‘happy and successful life’ but a Call to persecution:

“And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
2 Timothy 3:12

Christian/Messianic Jewish radicalism is not some kind of strategy but is the result of Gospel transformation which is the result of living the Sermon on the Mount.

The ministry of both Jesus and John the Baptist began with these words:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 3:2; 4:17

That was the entrance into the Kingdom of God then, in the days of Jesus and John the Baptist, and it is the entrance into the Kingdom of God today. We need to take their Words to heart.


Shelly Volk