“For something to be a kingdom, there must be a king, kingdom citizens, and a governing structure or way of life. A lot of us have the first two, not realizing the last one come with it. We take Jesus as our savior, we become citizens of his kingdom, but we fail to realize that for that to be true, our lives now have to come under his reign.”
(Jefferson Bethke- “It’s Not What You Think”)
Haven’t you noticed the general lack of responsibility in society today? That’s painting with a broad brushstroke, but hear me out. As any student who ever made it through a civics class would know, our rights are only our rights if they are followed by responsibility. And too many people today try to claim one without fulfilling the other. It doesn’t take long to turn on the news and watch people vehemently spout about their freedoms but typically in an uneducated and irresponsible way.
All this is to say that Christians have a great responsibility as well if we are to live under the kingdom of God. As the quote above mentions, we cannot graciously accept the good that comes with his kingdom if we’re not willing to live under his rule. Again, it doesn’t take long to look around at the church and see that many are bending under the pressure of our culture and not living under the commands of God. They want to have all the benefits with none of the sacrifices of submission.
So what can we do? We need to realize that if God is who he says he is (and by the way, he is), then he is Lord and we need to treat him as such. This isn’t the kind of freedom we have in America where we can bad-mouth our president and other leaders if we don’t like they way they do things. Under the rule of the King, we accept together his grace and our responsibility to live according to that grace. It means our lives reflect his majesty and that we have willingly picked up our cross to follow him. Being a citizen of his kingdom means we come under his reign.