I preached on Sunday an important theological message called The “Already, Not Yet” Kingdom of God. The points of my sermon are as follows:
The kingdom of God is the reign of God
Matthew 24:13-14, Acts 8:12, 19:8, 28:23
The kingdom is “not yet” fully here
Matthew 25:31-34, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
The kingdom is “already” here when the future reign of God breaks into the present
Matthew 12:28, 10:5-8, 16:18-19, Romans 14:17
This is not a concept I made up, as many evangelicals today hold to this perspective. George Ladd of Fuller Seminary introduced this concept in a 1964 book now called The Presence of the Future. John Wimber popularized this when leading the Vineyard movement, and the Vineyard churches still hold to this statement as a theological beacon. I discovered this concept in Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology text, which is one of the more influential theology books among evangelicals in the last twenty-five years.
Let me give a short, practical application of “already, not yet” concept. God still moves experientially through salvation, deliverance, healing, a manifestation of His presence, and reviving the church (among other things!). When those types of experiences happen, the future reign of God breaks into the present. These experiences are not anything we can control, but as we are faithful to God He “breaks in” by His sovereign will.
Therefore, we will pray and believe for the miraculous. However, we will not try to control God (as if we could) through demands, special phrases or projecting our expectations upon His will. Instead, we need to submit our expectations to His will.
To hear the sermon, take a listen here: