Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Kingdom of God in the New Era

 This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on August 21st 2022  by Navaz D. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.



The world has seen many watershed events in history right from the time of creation. To trace a few: creation, the Fall, the flood, the tower of Babel,( the bronze and iron age) The Egyptian empire, the Red sea crossing, The covenants given to Moses and the birth of the nation Israel, The Kings, the rise of the Babylonian empire, the fall of Jerusalem and the period of captivity and exile, the return from exile, the rise of the Greek and Roman Empires, and the Old Testament Era ending in 400 years of silence.


Then a New Era burst upon the scene not with fanfare but in humble obscurity in a cowshed, witnessed by animals and lowly shepherds. The King of the universe stepped down from the heights of heaven into darkness and sinful humanity. A New Era was indeed birthed that night and heaven would not keep silent but rushed towards earth to sing “Glory in the highest and peace on earth”.

This was important. The world was reeling under oppressive rules from Kingdoms and religious systems. God’s salvation plan was coming to a culmination and is now in play. The Messiah is born. He was going to usher in a kingdom unlike any other – where the humble will be exalted, the servant of all will be the greatest of all, the one who denies his life will gain it, and the just shall live by faith and not rituals.

Jesus started his ministry by saying the Kingdom of God has come. He taught His disciples to pray “Your kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven”. So, it was all about ushering in a New Era unlike any other people had encountered. He explains what His kingdom looks like and how its subjects ought to behave in the Sermon on the Mount. It was counter to anything they had heard before. Where the Jews wanted a physical revolution, Jesus said offer your other cheek, walk the extra mile, give your cloak to anyone who asks, you be the first to forgive and so much more. Jesus was creating a counter culture at the core of which was heart transformation. He created a body of disciples who were apostolic that would bring about cultural transformation – from inside -out.

 An apostle is a person who shapes and facilitates cultural transformation. An apostolic people are those who live with that knowledge and mandate to affect and influence change. Not everyone is apostolic in the way they function – but everyone can learn. Are you?

Apostolic people will be the salt in the community bringing flavour and light that would dispel darkness. Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God 127 times and spoke about the church only twice. The Kingdom is larger than the church, however, without the church, there is no kingdom advance.

What has happened over the centuries is the church has forgotten the reason for her existence – she has forgotten her apostolic mandate. It has become that fancy lighthouse club for the exclusive. Instead of going into stormy waters and rescuing people from capsized ships and from drowning, it has become a club for the exclusive where we care for each other, eat together, plan events for the young, the teens, the mothers, the old, men's breakfast club etc.

God forbid that Word of Grace would become a happy-clappy club. We are here for the lost, the broken, the disillusioned, the people trapped in addictions, and alternate lifestyles. We need to ready ourselves for these are they are going to come in large numbers. Will we be salt that will heal, will we be light that will dispel spiritual darkness and confusion?

Ephesians 2 tells us that we have been chosen for a great purpose -to do good works.

When we bring the Kingdom of God to earth – we can experience in measure heaven on earth here and now. God’s desire has always been that His people would shine and be His glory and image bearers. Today that is you and I.

My text for today if you like is Isaiah 61 & Matt 28:18-20

Is 61 Is a Kingdom apostolic mandate – to preach the good news, bind up the broken hearted, set the captive free and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendour.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.


Is 61 Is a Kingdom apostolic mandate – to preach the good news, bind up the broken hearted, set the captive free and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

In Isaiah 60 we are told to arise and shine. V18 God’s glory would come upon us (this happens when we receive salvation) and we will be a light to the Gentiles. The nations will come to your light, the kings to the brightness of your dawn.

V4. Talks about the ones that were once broken come alongside you to rebuild ancient ruins – so they in turn become world changers. This is who we are and have been saved for. It is not about your blessing, but about being a blessing. It is not about your comfort but bringing comfort to the discomforted. It is not about your brokenness, but about being the healing to the nations. It is not about looking at the darkness and getting discouraged – it is about rising and being that city set on a hill and being the hope of the nations.

 Matt 28 is also a Kingdom apostolic mandate to be world changers and cultural transformers. We are also told that one generation will commend our deeds to the next.

One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
They tell of the power of your awesome works ( Ps 145:4-6)

It means we are a multi-generational movement – embracing the young and old. We need to have a generational mindset of leaving a legacy. Because our forefathers invested in cultural change by building schools, hospitals, and works amongst the less fortunate they brought about cultural transformation.

This is for everyone. We are part of a family of churches called Regions Beyond. A couple of years back we received a prophetic word about all of us stepping into a New Era- New Era means there is no blueprint to follow. We will have to learn to walk by the Spirit. Therefore, in this era our intimacy with God, where we hear His voice is critical. There is no grid to follow or copy-paste. There has been a lot of copy paste in the past. It is not wrong to learn from each other – everything we do must be submitted to the Holy Spirit and needs to be in line with principles laid down in scripture. There is no ‘one size fits all’.

Matt 28:18-20we are commanded to make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey Jesus' commands. This is an apostolic mandate because the obedience of the disciples will bring about cultural transformation. This means each one of us has a responsibility: to be discipled and disciple new believers. When revival comes all of us should have been used to being activated. There are no observers and consumers in the kingdom of God.

In line with what I have shared, I am going to share what Steve Oliver shared about 4 threats and 3 opportunities in the New Era. There are some things we have that apply to us as a church and some things that you as individuals can take hold of as well.

Before I share them – I want to alert us to get ready for a gear change, an increase in pace and momentum. Word of Grace got a word at the conference to get ready for big growth. We will only be able to contain it if we have good strong nets: that is everyone activated to hold the catch in. Are you ready?


We all want the next new thing/ new word, and it appeals to a consumer mentality. We must be obedient to what God has already said and called us to. He spoke to us about being in a New Era and building bigger boats to reach new horizons.

As Steve started to travel again, he began to feel that we as churches have some lessons to learn from the pandemic and he divided them into

4 Threats that we need to be careful about and 3 opportunities not to be missed.



1. Not taking the prophetic seriously and acting upon what God has said. We must weigh the words and settle them in our hearts.

2. Not adjusting to the lessons, we have learnt from the Pandemic years which are:

i) It’s a time to be intentional about the discipleship of all believers and not just looking for converts.

ii) The Pandemic has undone the platform-focused ministry.

iii) We must activate every member of the church and see gifts emerging.

iv) We must see more Kingdom expression outside the church building.

v) Gospel must go to the unreached.


3. Another threat is too much focus on the present and not the future. Steve was concerned about how many churches do not have a succession plan and do not understand the transition.

4. Limited penetration of a lack of flow of the broader vision into each church. What happens at conferences like this one, must percolate down to the rest of the leadership and church so they catch the heart of what God is saying to us as a family.




1. Acts 4:33 There is great grace in the new Era for acts of faith. We need to run at a new pace and take risks. Those who adopt this position will see great grace.

2. Intentionality and focus will be rewarded. There is an open heaven over this. It is time to build well and when we do, God will come through for us.

3. God will entrust key people to us if we are faithful.  They will be partners for gospel advance.


Therefore what? What does this mean for you? What does this mean for the church? The leadership team sat with these words, and we spent a few hours deconstructing them and seeing how we need to move forward, and what changes we need to make to embrace this prophetic word and move in the direction God wants for us.



  • ·       How can I embrace a kingdom mindset in everything I do?
  • ·       Is my light being seen in my place of work: Am I helping maintain the moral standard and a good work ethic around me by being an example first?
  • ·       What can I do in my neighbourhood/ building to be salt and light?
  • ·    How can I make my gifts and service available to the church in a way that will help us get ready for growth? Talk about this with your Gym leaders and we will look at how to develop and deploy you.
  • ·       Am I being discipled by anyone? Am I willing to be? ( get in touch with us and we will partner you with someone).


  Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto  




No comments:

Post a Comment