Summary: Expansion is an essential activity of God’s Kingdom. God designed this to occur through his personal representatives colonizing the earth with the culture of Heaven. Better understanding this concept will enable you to better understand how healthy churches function.
In the ancient Roman Empire, the people had a saying whenever they would choose to do something that would benefit the empire at the expense of themselves. They would say “for the glory of Rome.” Because the Roman Empire was a collectivist, strong-group society; they mostly prioritized the good of the advancement and sustaining of their country above all else.
The reason they would say “for the glory of Rome” was because of one simple principle – a nation’s glory is measured by the amount of wealth it has. The wealthier the nation, the more glorious it is.
Nations look to get wealthier
That was true in the days of the Roman Empire, and it’s true today. For example, most would say the United States is currently the most glorious nation on earth. Why? With only a little over 4% of the world’s population, it has over 25% of the world’s wealth. That’s pretty glorious :).
Because of this principle, nations are always looking to get wealthier. One way in which they do this (and was always top of mind for the Roman Empire) is through expanding their territory. In general, the more territory a nation controls, the more resources it has and the wealthier it is.
Nations can expand their territory through the process of colonization.
Influencing new territory
Colonization isn’t just expansion of territory though. It’s deeper than that. It’s expanding not only control of territory, but also influence within it. It’s expanding the home government’s rulership by impacting the new territory with its will and desires. The intent of colonization is that the colony essentially becomes an extension of the home government in every way.
Here’s how Myles Monroe put it in his book Rediscovering the Kingdom…
Colonization is the process of transforming an extended territory to be just like the center of government from which it extended; that is, to manifest the nature and will of the ruler in the lifestyle, activities, actions and culture of the territory.
The culture of the territory is the way of life for the citizens manifested in their language, dress, eating habits, values, morals, and sense of self-worth and self-concept.
Like a tea bag that steeps into a cup of water, a colony is a true infusion of everything about the controlling nation.
Remote rule through representatives
But a colony is unique in that its land doesn’t reside inside the borders of that nation. To truly be a colony, the controlled land is ruled without a center of government being physically present in it. It is ruled remotely by the controlling nation.
The controlling nation executes this rule through representatives they delegate authority to. These delegates receive instruction and govern with the principles of their homeland. This relationship is essential to the success of colonization.
Understanding God’s Kingdom
This concept of colonization provides another look at God’s eternal purpose for creating through the lens of His Kingdom. He created to show His glory. He was already a King that had dominion over the Kingdom of Heaven. But, expansion to another realm would be an ultimate display of His glory. No physical nation could ever do that.
The earth was created to be a colony of the Kingdom of Heaven ruled remotely by representatives that would bring to it the Kingdom’s will, desires and culture.
Understanding colonization in God’s Kingdom has several practical repercussions. I’ll end this post with 3…
Every choice a Christian makes in their life should be “for the glory of the Kingdom.“
A citizen of the Kingdom is always thinking about how to strengthen and expand the Kingdom. Whatever choices they come across in life, they go with that which is more likely to accomplish this purpose. Many times, these choices come at great personal expense. But, they willingly choose to sacrifice for the good of the Kingdom.
When we form and execute church life how God designed it, we re-colonize the earth with the Kingdom of Heaven.
The King’s ultimate intention wasn’t to create a bunch of Christians that live disentangled, individual lives and get together once or twice a week to sing to Him and learn about Him. His intention was to create new colonies all over the earth of people who lived the Kingdom’s way of life together. Can you see the difference?
Given this fact, how important is it that we don’t just become part of any church, but form communities that are willing to execute church life according to God’s design? It’s vital. If we don’t do this, we fail to accomplish God’s purpose of colonization.
When churches are based on Christian beliefs but executed with worldly principles, they don’t colonize the earth with the Kingdom’s government, culture, etc. They simply become Christian organizations colonized by the world’s system.
Colonization is the main way to glorify the King.
When the Kingdom is displayed on earth through a healthy Kingdom-community church, the King is glorified because He has gained that territory for himself through His representatives. Not only that, but it leads to more gained territory as time goes on because other Kingdom citizens and those that will become citizens in the future will be drawn to it.
As we talked about before, God’s original mandate for us was to “fill the earth and subdue it” with His Kingdom. When we do this, we glorify the King.
The rest of the posts in the Understanding God’s Government series are here.