What did Jesus have in mind when he spoke of the kingdom of God?
Jesus taught us to pray for God’s kingdom to come. But do we understand what we are praying for and what the kingdom of God really looks like? Using the analogy of God as the director of the greatest show on earth, Richard Porter shows how the kingdom of God is the overarching story line throughout the Bible. Each scene, from the people of Israel to Jesus and the early church, reveals kingdom truths that should impact the church today.
‘The gospel Jesus proclaimed was the gospel of the kingdom. It was the only gospel Jesus preached.’
Richard is passionate about the kingdom of God ‘because Jesus is so passionate about it. I can't get away from this. It is number one on his prayer list and he told his disciples to put it at the top of theirs (Your kingdom come).I can't afford to shelve what God is passionate about. I can't claim to love and follow Jesus if I just give lip service to the things he loves, watches over, and desires above everything else.’
By framing the sweeping biblical story within the context of a movie it helps readers relate to each ‘scene’ and opens up the richness of Scripture that can only be appreciated when you see the full picture. The book is rich in theology but not written in academic language. As Porter says, ‘the book is full of biographical illustrations couched in humour, but it is not light in inspiration, revelation, or information.’
But what makes this book different is that Richard applies the kingdom message to today – and asks how we can share Jesus’ mission today, right where we are. This means stepping out of our church silos and working together for the good of the kingdom. Richard encourages us to ‘start thinking, "What can we achieve in the Holy Spirit together? What greater things can we accomplish with our shared wisdom and resources?” Ask Jesus to show you the first steps. They will be challenging and humbling, but if you say “yes” and step out of the boat you will be joyfully surprised how far he will take you and experience God's favour upon you.’
‘At times radical, at times funny, but always compelling, The Kingdom of God – The Director’s Cut challenges the church to demonstrate the Kingdom of God before a watching world.’ Stephen Katz, North American Director of Jews for Jesus
As the biblical story unfolds, Richard Porter helps us understand why Jesus proclaimed the message of the kingdom, and why it is indeed good news for our towns, our cities, our homes and families. He hopes ‘readers will be ignited to seek Jesus and his kingdom first; to put the kingdom at the top of our to-do list with the same passion Jesus put it at the top of his prayer list.’
Richard Porter has taught Old Testament and Biblical Background subjects at Nazarene Theological College and Belfast Bible College. He and his wife now run the Moat Inn House of Prayer in Northern Ireland