Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

Why Is it So Important to Know the Kingdom?

  • Allen Jackson Pastor of World Outreach Church
  • Updated Dec 30, 2021
Why Is it So Important to Know the Kingdom?

We’re living in the midst of a concerted, frenetic attempt to redefine how we see our world. Language is being manipulated and altered in an effort to change how we think and how we interact with those around us.

I began my academic career in the basic sciences, and nomenclature (how we name things) and taxonomy (how we classify things) were two foundational principles we learned early in the coursework. In science, it’s important to have a common language, because science is built upon observation. We observe, we form a hypothesis, we put it to the test, and the wonderful thing about science is that it’s reproducible and consistent.

How we name and classify things is significant, because they define how we see and understand our world. When attempts are made to begin to reclassify and rename things, it impacts our understanding, whether we’re conscious of it or not. There are many examples at play in the world today.

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A Redefining of Terms

Consider the relatively successful endeavor to redefine our idea of family. A family is no longer accepted as a man and a woman, a husband and a wife. Even though that biblical precept has served humanity for millennia, there is an intense effort being unleashed to redefine and tear down that foundation, upon which our society was built.

There is also a significant effort to divide us by how we look. Not very long ago, we said things like, “Beauty is only skin deep,” and “Character has more significance than appearance,” and, “Judge someone by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” Those are unifying ideas that bring us together by something we can influence, instead of dividing us by something that we cannot.

It’s currently popular to reject the idea that we are born male or female. I don’t think we really understand that, at face value, this notion is a blatant assertion of self. It’s essentially saying, “I determine everything. Nobody can tell me anything, even something as fundamental as my sex.” Our culture denies differences between men and women, in general. The scripture says that we are different, but complementary.

Sameness is not enough. We diminish both men and women when we demand sameness. Men and women are neither greater nor lesser—we are different, by design.

A phrase we’ve heard a great deal the last couple of years is, “follow the science.” So, let’s follow the science. Scientific classifications go from general to specific. They never go from specific to general. In science, classification begins with the kingdom; Is it an animal, is it a plant, is it a fungus? To classify something appropriately, you have to know the kingdom, or nothing else makes sense.

man in suit walking through lit doorway of Jesus cross

We Must Begin at the Kingdom Level

In a similar way, we need to understand the Kingdom with which we’re aligned, or nothing else will make sense. You can’t have your heart in the kingdoms of this present world and imagine you can fully serve the Kingdom of God. It’s impossible, and it will be confusing. Understanding the Kingdom of God and a biblical perspective is essential to maintaining our faith. Otherwise, we are easily caused to stumble when people with degrees, or a great deal of authority, or with much celebrity, or loud voices, or large crowds, try to push us away from God’s Truth.

How we categorize people has a tremendous impact upon how we respond to them. Here are some adjectives from the current public discourse: Democrat or Republican; a worker or a capitalist; Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, Christian, Protestant, or Catholic; Male or Female.

Based on these categories, we begin to assemble how we interact and how we view a person. Someone may say, “I’m a Male-Catholic-Democrat,” and you know something about that individual. Maybe they meet somebody who is a Female-Protestant-Republican, and if all you have is those descriptors, you may think, this is going to be an interesting conversation!

The way we categorize people or things determines how we react towards them. One way we are distanced from our faith is when the culture tries to redefine how we relate to the world. That’s why changing our nomenclature and our taxonomy matters so much.

To walk with God, we need to learn how God categorizes people and things. The basic spiritual category in scripture is faith or unbelief. Everything begins at that point.

Most people don’t think in those terms. When we describe someone as a nice person, or a clever person, or a sincere person, we’re not speaking in terms of faith. Someone can be a nice person but have no faith. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to them, but you understand something about their worldview, and the invitations that will be extended from them, and the values they’ll hold. Don’t give your heart and the authority of your life to someone who is a nice person but without faith. It’s very dangerous, from a Kingdom perspective.

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How God Categorizes People

In John 3:18, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.”

Here we see two distinct categories: Those who believe in Jesus, and those who reject Him as the Son of God. Again, you can be a nice person, a kind person, a generous person, and even a supernatural person, and reject Jesus. In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus told us there would be people proclaiming they did miracles in His name, and He’ll say, “Depart from me. I never knew you.”

God doesn’t categorize us by race, color, denomination, income level, IQ, or EQ. Isn’t that good to know? Believing in Jesus is what sets us free from condemnation -- not our skin color, or our net worth. The ground at the foot of the cross is level. We are all welcome. Who you say Jesus is, is the primary definer of your life. It’s what determines your position in the Kingdom. It’s what causes us to become part of the family of God. Anyone who believes in Jesus is included in God’s Kingdom.

As we explore these Kingdom definitions, we can see why being aware of your faith and the faith of others, and giving public expression of our faith, becomes far more significant. The people around you need to know the Kingdom with which you are aligned. In Matthew 10:33, Jesus said, “If you deny me before men, I’ll deny you before the Father.” When someone says your faith should be private, understand they’re trying to change your view of the world. They’re trying to change God’s system.

Why Categories Matter

Why Categories Matter

Categories create barriers or bonds. If we allow God to help us see and understand the world through His perspective, we’ll know how to stand together, encourage one another, support one another, and work together. If we allow something other than the Kingdom of God to determine our worldview, it will bring division, hatred, and separation. It’s why the Church is so important, and why a biblical worldview matters so much.

If we’re honest, we haven’t looked at the world from God’s perspective. We’ve been too worldly. We’ve looked at ourselves, our opportunities, our dreams, our children, and one another, from the same vantage point as those who stand apart from the Kingdom of God.

We can begin to see in a new way by very quietly and persistently repenting of our carnal view of the world. Ask the Holy Spirit to show us where our lives conform to the world around us instead of aligning with God and His will.

I don’t want God to look like me. I don’t want Him to look like you. I want us to look like Him and act like Him. We’ve been called to be salt and light. The world needs a God perspective, and we need the courage to acknowledge our Lord across the breadth of our lives.

As we look at the ways our world separates people, and the division it creates, we don’t want to be angry, but we can no longer afford to be passive. We want to identify ourselves, first and foremost, with Jesus and His eternal Kingdom, and act accordingly. How we understand our world, and the language we use, will directly influence the future of our nation and the continuation of our faith.

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Allen Jackson is senior pastor of World Outreach Church, a congregation of 15,000, and founder of Allen Jackson Ministries, which broadcasts his biblical messages across the world on TV, radio, and the internet. He is the author of Intentional Faith, and his latest book, "Big Trouble Ahead," which was released from Thomas Nelson Publishers in August 2022.