The Kingdom According to Jesus

The Kingdom According to Jesus by Gregory A. Johnson
Church today is not always what Christ intended it to be. Many attend church but ignore the larger inequalities that tear apart society both inside and outside the walls of the church building. In The Kingdom According to Jesus, Gregory A. Johnson revisits the Kingdom of God revealed through Jesus’ actions and words. It is a Kingdom built on justice that is driven by faith. Citizens of the Kingdom are recipients of God's grace, practicing love and peace while tackling inequalities of race, gender, health, and economics with a holy passion full of Christ-given life.

Johnson is unabashed in his zeal to take on the problems that plague the modern church. To make a dent in the inequalities that trouble our society, he demonstrates that we need to look at ministry beyond church walls. To arrive at this goal, he introduces some thought-provoking terminology that may be new to readers such as “point-of-need ministry.” Just as Jesus ministered to people where his love was needed, point-of-need ministry spreads the Gospel by connecting with society’s vulnerable where they are most in need. It is a practice that returns the church to its first-century roots in connecting with the vital needs of the teeming society around it.

While its calls to action may seem radical, The Kingdom According to Jesus is thoroughly grounded in scripture. Each chapter is built around Christ’s teachings and helps the reader develop a solid understanding of the Kingdom. For instance, in Johnson’s chapter addressing inequities in access to health care, the pastor carefully notes that Christ’s ministry was built on tackling the problems of our imperfect, terrestrial world. “Jesus came into our world, defeated evil, and established His Kingdom on earth. That Kingdom is not inactive; it is active. It’s not weak; it is strong,” Johnson writes. “It resides in Christ’s followers and is revealed to the world through their actions as they continue the point-of-need ministry of Jesus. It will be consummated on earth when He returns as promised.”

In the book, each of the Kingdom attributes, such as love, grace, race equality, and economic equality, merits a chapter of its own. By the time the reader is finished, he will have a clear understanding of what it means to be a citizen in God’s Kingdom and how to model that citizenship through actively engaging in point-of-need ministry. Unlike what some church leaders may say, the Kingdom is not just the church and it is not just built through growing church attendance. Rather, God has already revealed His Kingdom through Jesus Christ, who walked the earth and revealed a divine message through holy actions and teachings. In the reader’s hands lies an action plan for carrying out Jesus’ words of Kingdom building.

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