Jesus words about the advance of the Kingdom of God are recorded in Matthew chapter 11 verse 12. “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it”. Those who have studied church history will know that there has rarely been a time when great events in the life of the church have not produced kingdom advances. From Jerusalem the gospel has spread to the ends of the earth. The uttermost parts have been populated with Christ-followers and communities of His people, and now, in these later times, the gospel is being brought back from the ends of the earth, to reach the nations clustered most closely around Jerusalem.
This reality is not a passive work. The gospel is not preached because people stay at home. We can be grateful for satellite broadcast and social media and the access they have given the gospel into homes in the most inhospitable of places. However they are no substitute for the incarnate word of God.
Heaven had every conceivable resource available to communicate the message. But several thousand years of trumpet calls and prophetic utterance had failed to birth the Kingdom of God. So, breaking into a most inhospitable place, and being born into the humblest of circumstances, the God of heaven took upon himself a human form and incarnated His message among men. The word became flesh!
So, throughout ages since, men and women have gone, traveling in His behalf, relocating for the sake of the incarnation of that same word. The word again becomes flesh, because God’s messengers become the means.
Because of the actions of God’s servants communities become transformed, societies change, justice is released, and God is glorified. The writer to the Hebrews speaks of those “who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised” (Heb 11:23) These things do not happen because men and women are passive. They happen because the people of God are forceful, they are persistent in prayer, they find the keys to unlock spiritual strongholds, and they build the enterprises that establish the context for the message.