What Kind of Place is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth ?

Gatekeeper

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Notice that in this parable, nobody makes an exponential increase of the talents given to them. Also, nobody pools their talents together with other people in order to create a massive amount of talents, with which to build a kingdom. This parable is very much a personal message to individual Christians.

Sure it is, but each of our candles (When lit) contributes to the whole.
My mother in law, who was not born into a Christian family and who didn't become a Christian until she was almost 50, let me in on something very profound. She said that it didn't matter how great the "Christian west" was, its greatness could never have influenced her to become a Christian. Instead, what drew her to Christ was the actions and the character of a few individual Christians, who were doing nothing more than living out their lives in a kind and gentle way.
Yes, it is because of each individual, and the light they reflect, that others take notice and come to glorify the Father.

The candles on a lampstand are lit one at a time, are they not?
And much like the ripples caused by a stone dropped into a body of water, so are the candles lit one by one. :)

James
 

Bhaktajan II

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Where High-nitrogen cow manure (or, Ma Newer, as George Costanza said) is the basis of cash, incontrast with gold-standard,

Similarly, the hourly pay for average work should be base upon "foot-pound-loads" of physical output.

Similarly, Goverment Accounting Books must be posted 24/7 for inspection ---if the Money Markets Proceedings MUST BE POSTED [for proceedural/practical reasons]; so must all public tax usages be displayed at all levels: Local, Regional, and, Country-wide.
 

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Listen carefully: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works..."

Is Jesus talking about "the church" as a whole, or each individual Christian? I believe he was talking to each individual Christian.
"Let thy light shine..." is how the King James English would read, if Jesus had used the singular pronoun rather than the plural.
 

Marsh

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"Let thy light shine..." is how the King James English would read, if Jesus had used the singular pronoun rather than the plural.

The linguistics don't matter an ounce when you take the context into account. How many of Jesus' parables feature individual people doing individual acts? And how many feature groups of people all working together to perform a group act?
 

Marsh

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Sure it is, but each of our candles (When lit) contributes to the whole....

Not necessarily. You're assuming that the intention is to combine in this way-- to "be one" in the sense of one big group. However, there is a difference between "being one" physically and "being one" spiritually.

No doubt, your assumption is based on what you have learned in church. And why wouldn't that be the message? Would you expect a church not to teach this parable to mean that we must unite together into one big group to make one big light? That is their bias, because unity on that scale is on a denominational church's agenda.

Is unity on this scale really the intention?

Take a step back for a moment, GK, rather than to simply buck against the idea. It's not as if I haven't tried to see things your way; I used to believe whole-heartedly the things that you believe.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man finds, and when he has found it, he puts it back where he found it and goes off and sells all that he has in order to possess it. What is your treasure, GK? Have you found it yet? The thing that will make you foresake all other things, and give up all you have for it?

I have found it. Twice. They are my children.

My heart aches at the thought of my children. They are beyond importance to me; they are everything to me. They are the "first love" that Jesus speaks of in the Revelation letter to Ephesus. Before my son was born, I never felt a love like I feel now for anyone else-- God included. It's the love that God feels for me, I'm sure, and it's incredible.

And it is this love that now drives me through life. Every decision I make is based around them. They dominate my thoughts. They're what make me truly happy, and truly grateful to have been given life by God.

Though I feel empathy for those who are suffering in the world (as I too have suffered and my wife has suffered), joining some movement to fix the world pales in importance compared to my concern for my children. It is not a selfish concern; rather, it's a selfless concern-- a true love for somebody who has done nothing to earn it. My goal is simple: to be the best husband and father I can possibly be, and this is the light that shines from my home-- a light that others might see, and which might influence them.

I feel that it's no coincidence that in the year after my wife and I got married in a whirlwind romance, three couples within our circle of friends who had been together for years decided to get married. It's also not a coincidence that in the year after we had our first child, both my sister and my cousin decided to have children. They saw how wonderful it was for Kim and I to have that kind of blessing in our life, and they wanted the same.

But are people truly moved in the same way for these "grander ambitions" that we've been talking about? Are people truly motivated to get together and build the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth? Or is it an unrealistic hope? Why else would the Bible prophesy that Jesus would need to return in order to establish the Kingdom? If there was any real chance that people would do it themselves, why wouldn't that be prophesied?

"The kingdom of Heaven is within you," says the Lord.

"When two or three are gathered in my name, I am there," says the Lord.

"Not by might, nor by strength, but by my spirit," says the Lord.

The Kingdom of Heaven is not something that can be built. It's time to stop kidding ourselves.
 

Gatekeeper

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Not necessarily. You're assuming that the intention is to combine in this way-- to "be one" in the sense of one big group. However, there is a difference between "being one" physically and "being one" spiritually.

Actually, I was simply stating the obvious. "Two" lights are greater (brighter) than one"

No doubt, your assumption is based on what you have learned in church. And why wouldn't that be the message? Would you expect a church not to teach this parable to mean that we must unite together into one big group to make one big light? That is their bias, because unity on that scale is on a denominational church's agenda.
No doubt you assume too much. It is common knowledge that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Is unity on this scale really the intention?
Unity in the spirit is the intention

Take a step back for a moment, GK, rather than to simply buck against the idea. It's not as if I haven't tried to see things your way; I used to believe whole-heartedly the things that you believe.
Yet, you resist the obvious

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man finds, and when he has found it, he puts it back where he found it and goes off and sells all that he has in order to possess it. What is your treasure, GK? Have you found it yet? The thing that will make you foresake all other things, and give up all you have for it?
That would entail losing oneself in favor of living through the Spirit.

I have found it. Twice. They are my children.
I have a child as well, so I understand.

My heart aches at the thought of my children. They are beyond importance to me; they are everything to me. They are the "first love" that Jesus speaks of in the Revelation letter to Ephesus. Before my son was born, I never felt a love like I feel now for anyone else-- God included. It's the love that God feels for me, I'm sure, and it's incredible.
I'm of the mind that our first love is for the Spirit of love itself, as w/o love we have and are nothing.

And it is this love that now drives me through life. Every decision I make is based around them. They dominate my thoughts. They're what make me truly happy, and truly grateful to have been given life by God.
Again, I understand ....

Though I feel empathy for those who are suffering in the world (as I too have suffered and my wife has suffered), joining some movement to fix the world pales in importance compared to my concern for my children. It is not a selfish concern; rather, it's a selfless concern-- a true love for somebody who has done nothing to earn it. My goal is simple: to be the best husband and father I can possibly be, and this is the light that shines from my home-- a light that others might see, and which might influence them.
The only 'movement' I subscribe to is that of living through the spirit (Love) of God whereby the light I myself reflect, contributes to the whole.

I feel that it's no coincidence that in the year after my wife and I got married in a whirlwind romance, three couples within our circle of friends who had been together for years decided to get married. It's also not a coincidence that in the year after we had our first child, both my sister and my cousin decided to have children. They saw how wonderful it was for Kim and I to have that kind of blessing in our life, and they wanted the same.
Children are a blessing, and just as the love a child has for a parent, the same love is experienced by the parent for the child. Now, if we could have such a passion and unconditional love for all living creatures, then we will be living as intended (Imo)

But are people truly moved in the same way for these "grander ambitions" that we've been talking about? Are people truly motivated to get together and build the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth?
It is a process .... One light at a time.

Or is it an unrealistic hope? Why else would the Bible prophesy that Jesus would need to return in order to establish the Kingdom? If there was any real chance that people would do it themselves, why wouldn't that be prophesied?
Jesus exists in the body of those who follow Him. It is only a matter of time that He (His spirit) indwells in all men.

"The kingdom of Heaven is within you," says the Lord.
Indeed ....

"When two or three are gathered in my name, I am there," says the Lord.
Yup ....

"Not by might, nor by strength, but by my spirit," says the Lord.
Exactly!!

The Kingdom of Heaven is not something that can be built. It's time to stop kidding ourselves.
The kingdom [is] being established one light, and one person at a time .....

GK
 

Marsh

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No doubt you assume too much. It is common knowledge that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is "common knowledge"? What a human thing to say, G. Tell me, which book of scripture is that written in?

Hypothetically, if one has been conditioned by their time in church to think that the Kingdom of God will be established by people through the church, than that one would definitely assume that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
 

Gatekeeper

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It is "common knowledge"? What a human thing to say, G. Tell me, which book of scripture is that written in?

Hypothetically, if one has been conditioned by their time in church to think that the Kingdom of God will be established by people through the church, than that one would definitely assume that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The church I attend fully believe that it will be in Christ's return that the kingdom will be established. I simply realize that two lit candles burn brighter than one (Common knowledge). I base my views on this reality, and remain hopeful that the kingdom will be ushered in by those who live as if they are already there.

Do you think when Christ returns, that those who follow him will not have a part in ushering in the kingdom on earth?
 

17th Angel

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The church I attend fully believe that it will be in Christ's return that the kingdom will be established. I simply realize that two lit candles burn brighter than one (Common knowledge). I base my views on this reality, and remain hopeful that the kingdom will be ushered in by those who live as if they are already there.

Do you think when Christ returns, that those who follow him will not have a part in ushering in the kingdom on earth?

Psalm 33:20-22.

Our very soul has been in expectation of Jehovah. Our helper and our shield he is. For in him our heart rejoices; For in his holy name we have put our trust. Let your loving-kindness, O Jehovah, prove to be upon us, Even as we have kept waiting for you.
 

Marsh

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The church I attend fully believe that it will be in Christ's return that the kingdom will be established. I simply realize that two lit candles burn brighter than one (Common knowledge). I base my views on this reality, and remain hopeful that the kingdom will be ushered in by those who live as if they are already there.

Do you think when Christ returns, that those who follow him will not have a part in ushering in the kingdom on earth?

Now here's a distinction, because we haven't been talking about "ushering in" the Kingdom; we've been talking about "building" the Kingdom.

Do you believe that people will build the Kingdom of heaven, or usher in the Kingdom of heaven?
 
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