We’ve been talking about the Kingdom. The Bible tells us that Christians will rule the world. That sounds pretty grandiose! And understandably scary to non-Christians. So the crucial question becomes: How are we to rule the world?
Our future destiny is to have a throne (Rev 2:26,27). In our imagination we envisage that as a spiritual managerial desk job. Perhaps the throne will be like a heavenly Managing Director’s plush office from which we will issue orders. But our future throne cannot be like that. We have been told that in one sense we have already been given it (Eph 2:6). We have already been seated with Christ in heavenly places. Yet our present life is not one of idle instruction-giving. There is work to be done.
The appointment as “ruler of the world” was first given to Adam. And with that in place, he was set to work. He quickly learned that the garden is ruled with a shovel not a sceptre. That was not just as a result of the fall. It was always meant to be that way, and work will not cease when the effects of the fall are finally eradicated. We work to rule.
Work always has been a sacred vocation. As Luther said, “A housemaid who does her work is no farther away from God than a priest in his pulpit.” When Adam walked with God in the garden in the cool of the day, it was not his retreat from his “secular” life into an idyllic “spiritual” realm; God came to visit him at his workplace. Work and worship were inextricably intertwined, and at work was where he fulfilled the mandate to subdue the earth.
So in this, the tenth chapter of The Treasure in the Field, we will think about The Kingdom and Work. Here’s what we will see:
- Work to rule: work is God’s means for subduing the earth
- The workplace: employees and employers
- Ministry of Works: abolishing the secular / sacred divide