Nowhere in Scripture are we ever told to “build the Kingdom of God” here on earth. There are preachers and teachers that will say that, but nowhere do we find this idea supported in the Word of God. God’s Kingdom is the exercise of God’s authority. It is God reigning. And because His reign is firmly established and will never come to an end, it cannot be contested or improved upon. It can, however, be extended. There are three primary ways we can work with the Lord to extend His reign. Can you guess what they are?
In Matthew 6:10 Jesus teaches us to pray,
“Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, one earth as it is in heaven.”
We are to raise our voices and ask for the Great King to exercise His righteous rule in the midst of the affairs of men. This will be manifested in the utter defeat of His enemies, and the performance of His will in the lives of His subjects. Wherever the will of God is carried out, that is where we see the King reigning. Therefore His Kingdom can be extended through prayer.
There is a certain sense in which all prayer is a cry for the Kingdom. Each time we present a petition to the Lord, we are asking Him to reign favorably on our behalf. This is why we must always seek to pray according to His will. We are assured of a favourable response whenever we ask according to His will because we are aligning our heart with His (1st John 5:14 – 15). Whenever the King responds favourably to our requests, our testimony is that the Reign of God has come near.
When Jesus stepped onto the stage of history, He came preaching a message.
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
What was happening as He made this proclamation? The consciousness of the listeners was being awakened to what God was doing. The long anticipated Reign of God was upon them, and they needed to wake up and get in on it! So He went everywhere issuing the call. Every time someone responded positively to His message, the Reign of God was extended.
Preaching has always been powerfully used by God to extend His Kingdom. After preaching a countless numbers of sermons for more than thirty years, I still stand amazed at how the Lord can use a message to completely turn someone’s life around. I have witnessed it time and time again. How great is our God?
A study of the Scriptures shows us that prophecy has always held an important place in ongoing extension of God’s Kingdom. Prophecy is simply hearing and declaring what the Lord is saying right at this moment. It can be directed to a nation, a group, or an individual, and often reveals how God is working out His Kingdom agenda. From what Peter shared on the day of Pentecost, prophecy would continue to hold a prominent place in last days ministry.
But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16 – 18
A quick look through the Book of Acts shows how prophecy was used in the early church.
In Acts 11:27 – 30, a prophecy was given to the effect that a severe famine was coming. The Gentile church responded by sending relief to Judea.
We see how a prophetic utterance released Paul and Barnabas into their ministry to the Gentiles in Acts 13:1 – 3.
Acts 21:10 – 11 records the story of how a prophet confirmed to Paul that trouble awaited him in Jerusalem.
In each of these instances we see the Lord using the gift of prophecy move His agenda forward. We still need prophecy to help with the extension of God’s Kingdom today.
The Need of the Hour
In this hour all three tools are needed to extend the Kingdom to our generation. We need prayer meetings where God’s people align their will with the will of the King for the extension of His reign. We need preaching that will awaken the hearts of people and open the door to the Kingdom for them. We need prophesying that declares the word of the Lord with accuracy to help continually extend God’s rule. All three are available to us if we will simply avail ourselves to them. They are part of our equipment for ministry while we are living in the Reign.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.