I am God’s Wheat

Ignatius of AntiochThe issue of martyrdom is central to a vibrant Christianity. Tertullian famously said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” The reality is that the church is called to martyrdom. The Greek word “martus” that is used in the New Testament can be translated in the English to “martyr” or “witness” depending on the context. For example, in Acts 1:8, Jesus called His followers to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. The word for witnesses there is martus. We are called to be His martyrs. Whether or not we are forcibly killed for the gospel is actually a minor issue. Following Jesus requires an inward martyrdom from the word and it’s system. It requires a death to the ways of thinking and understanding that we were born with. In short, we must first be martyrs in our heart if we are to be true witnesses on the earth.

This concept is particularly difficult for western Christians. For one thing, the world is so appealing and comfortable that we find it difficult to root ourselves in an eternal reality. It is just too comfortable in this time and in this age. Secondly, western culture and the church have become intertwined in such a way that we sometimes assume our western culture is the equivalent of a Christian culture. While Christianity and Christian ideals have been a significant influence on western culture, we cannot consider western culture to be equivalent with a kingdom that Jesus clearly said was not of this world.

A Kingdom of Weakness

One thing is for certain. Jesus is coming and He is bringing His kingdom with Him. There is no doubt in my mind that this is at the top of God’s current agenda. While considering this, what causes me to tremble at times is to consider how radically different His kingdom is from our perception of what a kingdom should be. I think we often fail to realize that, in the limited demonstration we have of the kingdom, the kingdom is always disruptive. There is simply no way around that. It is a confrontational kingdom that confronts every other system and kingdom that has been, is, or ever will be. Yes, Jesus is coming with His kingdom, but His kingdom will not be an improvement an an existing structure, rather it will be a radical overthrow of everything that we have known up to this point.

What makes me tremble at times is to consider how confident we are in our understanding of the kingdom. Sometimes I think we almost have a chip on our shoulder as Christians expecting that Jesus is going to come at the last minute and vindicate our religious system collectively known as Christianity. In the midst of this I believe we fail to see that His kingdom is going to be completely disruptive, not only to the kingdom of the antichrist, but to the kingdoms that we live and participate in on a daily basis.

Apostolic Foundations – Art Katz

Apostolic Foundations should be required reading for all believers. That may seem like a strong statement, but I mean it. It is not that it is the only book that believers should read, but it is one of the best and one that really has the power to shape the

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