Several years ago, Michael Hyatt (former CEO of Thomas Nelson) responded to a rumor on his blog. In the post, Michael wrote,
“According to the most recent rumor—which I’ve now heard twice—we [Thomas Nelson] are planning a layoff for June 19th … There is absolutely no truth to it … If you hear this rumor, I would be grateful if you would help me short-circuit it. You can tell ’em it’s not true, and you heard it directly from me.”
I recall when this rumor was circulating and was saddened (and surprised) at how many Christians believed it without going straight to Michael to see if it was true or false. Here’s another example that’s much more national.[Continue Reading…]
Kingdom Myth 3. The kingdom of God is the equivalent of heaven.
If you polled every professing Christian on the planet today and asked them to define the kingdom of God, the majority would say “heaven.”
But this is not what Scripture teaches.
For years, I’ve defined the kingdom to be “the manifestation of God’s ruling presence.”
Consequently, the kingdom is already, but not yet. It’s present, but it’s also future.
We live in the time between times, where the kingdom of God is here, but not in its fullness.
Consequently, those who teach that the kingdom has nothing to do with the here and now are misinformed. This brand of “escapist theology” says, “We’re simply waiting for Jesus to return. Our job is to try and get as many souls ready for heaven, that is, ready for the kingdom of God.”[Continue Reading…]
Kingdom Myth 2. The gospel of the kingdom was for the Jews; the gospel of grace is for the Gentiles.
Okay, I’ll just say it without blinking. This myth is one of the most destructive doctrines in history. It began in the 19th century with the Plymouth Brethren, who taught a hyper form of dispensationalism.
The doctrine was popularized by C.I. Scofield who published his famous Scofield Study Bible in 1909. Scofield’s Bible was used at Moody Bible institute and spread throughout evangelical schools all across America.
For this reason, this doctrine is still with us. And it has diluted and watered down the cutting edge of the gospel of Jesus Christ to where it’s been all but lost.
The net result: You can be a “Christian,” but not a disciple. You can “believe,” but not “follow.” Your devotion to Jesus Christ can be anemic at best, and that’s okay, because you’re under grace.[Continue Reading…]
At this point in my series on the kingdom of God, I’d like to begin dispelling some stubborn myths. Today is part 1 of “dispelling kingdom myths.”
Kingdom Myth 1. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, and Paul preached the gospel of grace.
This statement is patently false. Jesus preached both the kingdom of God and the grace of God. And so did Paul.
Just read chapter Acts 14 to 28. There you will see Paul proclaiming the kingdom of God numerous times.
Here are some examples:[Continue Reading…]
Quick note: If you pre-ordered my limited-edition Titan, we sent you a shipping update on Wednesday, making sure your shipping address hasn’t changed since you pre-ordered. (The update was sent to *the email address you used to order the Titan.*) If you don’t see the email, check your spam folders. It’s important.
Going along with my present series on the kingdom of God, I want to alert you to a valuable resource that delves deeper into the kingdom message.
My podcast – Christ is All — contains 125 episodes, and it’s still available to access. The podcast is an eclectic mix of the following:
- Conference messages on God’s Eternal Purpose, the kingdom, and the deeper Christian life.
- Exclusive interviews.
- Monologues on controversial topics (that I haven’t discussed anywhere else).
- Satirical (and zany) episodes.
- First chapters of books.
It’s my feeling that Christianity today is fifty miles wide and one inch deep. It also tends to lack wit, creativity, and humor (in general). That’s the reason why I created the podcast. To provide an uncommon alternative – and hopefully a remedy — to these problems.[Continue Reading…]
Whenever a new controversy erupts in the media, many Christians are quick to offer their opinions on social media. This usually leads to knock-down, drag-outs in a viper pit called “Facebook.” (The recent “NFL-take-a-knee” controversy is just one example. Next month it will be something else.)
Sometimes I’m asked by readers, “Frank, what’s your opinion on [the latest headline controversy]?”
My answer is always the same. Here it is …
Standing at the root of all political and social causes is the misplaced hope that we humans can fix the problems of the world. We are capable of creating an earthly Utopia by sitting at Caesar’s table and creating laws and policies that will solve the world’s problems.
This hope lives in the hearts of both the Progressive Left and the Conservative Right. Though they are seemingly poles apart, both the Left and the Right place their trust in a worldly mechanism to bring about world change. Each just picks a different cause for which to fight.[Continue Reading…]
This article is part of my ongoing series on the kingdom of God (you can read the previous articles at frankviola.org/kingdom. They all work together.)
Right or wrong, I believe the greatest obstacle to the advance of the kingdom in the earth today is the unwillingness of so many of God’s servants to work together.
Thankfully, this isn’t the case with all of them. But I’d say it’s true for most Christian leaders in America.
I’ve explained the profound benefits of co-working elsewhere. Today, I want to discuss two reasons why countless ministers won’t work with others.
The two reasons – which are virtually never talked about today — are:[Continue Reading…]
In the book I’m currently writing on the kingdom of God, I explore the stunning beauty of the King, how to enter the kingdom, enjoy its riches, proclaim, embody, demonstrate, and inherit it.
The kingdom of God is the true empire and it stands against all other empires, allegiances, lords, and kings.
The only kingdom that will stand in the end is the royal domain of Jesus Christ. All other kings will be displaced. All other rulers will be uprooted.
The gospel of libertinism says, “You are welcome in God’s kingdom, and you don’t have to change.”
The gospel of legalism says, “You are not welcome in the kingdom unless you change.”[Continue Reading…]