Jeff Brown Contributing Columnist
May 28, 2014
The title of this article is the same title of a seminar where I spoke in Chattanooga in March. Quoting from the announcement of this seminar, “We live in a time when the incidences of corporate corruption, government scandal, divorce, abortion, out-of-wedlock birth, the acceptance of immoral behaviors, and the scope of poverty and homelessness seem ever increasing …. It is embracing the public as well as private application of the faith, so as to bring God’s glory to bear into every sphere of human interest.”
The invisible kingdom is the Kingdom of God which is one of the most quoted phrases in prayers, sermons and in Christian literature. Therefore to make the invisible kingdom visible we need to see evidence of God’s work here or, quoting from the Lord’s Prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven.” Preceding those words is the phrase “thy will be done” which is a call to us. Reflecting on this I regularly see where the invisible kingdom is visible.
To make the invisible kingdom visible means Christian’s are living their faith; “by their fruits you shall know them.” It’s the widow contributing a penny and Jesus telling his disciples she gave more out of poverty than those who gave out of abundance. It is, “whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” It is as Dr Martin Luther King Jr. did in standing up for righteousness, justice, and truth and doing so in love and non-violence.
William Wilberforce in the early 1800s made the invisible kingdom visible as he worked for decades to eliminate slavery in England or as Dietrich Bonhoeffer tried to do in Germany to rally the German churches against Hitler. As was said of Chuck Colson, “he spent decades of his life trying to rouse the Church to take Biblical truth into society.” Probably the best example is Mother Theresa.
On a smaller scale I see it every Wednesday morning at First Presbyterian Church in LaGrange, where we invite anyone to share problems they are having. I see it through several of our local Catholic friends at the Society of St Vincent de Paul which is a world wide organization that does more to help the less fortunate than any other organization that I know about. I trust that the Servant Leadership program at LaGrange College makes the invisible kingdom visible to many.
Quoting from a keynote speaker at the William Wilberforce Conference in 2013 “those doing so are doing it by choice versus being forced by circumstance. They are doing so for others versus themselves.” Further they understand Christians are called to be salt and light in a society that is often a far cry from what God wants. Nonetheless, “He has called us to this time, this place and to this culture.”
Originally I planned to make the foregoing the sole topic of an article until I read Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander, M.D.; saw the movie “Heaven is for Real;” and in a 7 day period attended three funerals of friends.
Dr Alexander, wrote about his visit to Heaven during his near death experience and uses science to support his story. Last month in the New York Times Sunday Book Review Robin Roberts, host of Good Morning America, called the book, “the last truly great book I read.”
”Heaven is for Real” is a true story of Colton Burpo a 4 year old who reportedly visited heaven while being operated on. After his recovery he shared vivid memories of Jesus and what heaven is like that are supported by complex verses in the book of Revelation and told things about deceased people which were amazingly accurate despite Colton never previously meeting them.
Coincidentally Akiana Krawarik at age 4 reported going to heaven. At age 8 she painted an astounding portrait of Jesus based on supposedly seeing Him. Colton, without prompting and after looking at pictures of Jesus for three prior years said, “That one’s right.”
At each of the three funerals there were references of the person going to heaven. As you and I encounter the invisible kingdom being visible; increasingly encounter stories like Dr Eben Alexander, Colton Burpo and Akiana Krawarik; and read Biblical accounts of heaven isn’t it comforting to know that we have a blessed assurance? If so shouldn’t we be “freed from our fears, transformed by His love and use the new eyes we’ve been given to see truth?”