Understanding these five ideas will help us build a solid, Biblical view of work, vocation, and calling. Next we will look at what I think is the most misunderstood yet important of these ideas, the Kingdom of God.
Once we understand that the answer to the question “What were we created to do?” is the Cultural Mandate, the next logical question is “Where and when do we carry it out?”
Christians generally understand that Jesus came to earth to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins, but few recognize that he also came to establish the Kingdom of God. Understanding our place in God’s Kingdom is critical to understanding our vocational calling. Paul Stevens in his book Doing God’s Business comments, “The New Testament treats work in the context of a larger framework: the call of God to live totally for him and his kingdom.”
After John the Baptist was put in prison, Jesus began his ministry in Galilee by proclaiming the good news and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15 NASB). In this opening statement of Jesus’ earthly ministry we find some of the most important words in the New Testament: gospel, repent, believe, and kingdom. Although these are familiar terms, most Christians would struggle to explain how the first three relate to the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God lies at the heart of the teaching, life and action of Jesus. This Kingdom is at the center of all of his ministry. Unfortunately the church has lost this over-arching message amidst the timely Sunday sermons. We all pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Yet most Christians think the Kingdom of God is something which will happen one day in the future. Or that the Kingdom is in our hearts reduced to a personal experience.
E. Stanley Jones correctly writes, “If Jesus made the kingdom of God the centre of his message and the centre of his endeavour, the greatest need of man, as I see it, is to rediscover the kingdom of God.”
Question: If some asked you what is the Bible about in one short sentence, how would you respond? Leave a comment here.