Jesus, through his life, death, and resurrection has planted the flag of the rule and reign of God firmly on the earth. Victory is assured. One day what is true on heaven will be true on earth because of the work of Jesus. However, we live in a time between the cross, God's decisive victory through Jesus, and the Kingdom's final consummation where all things will have been set right through Jesus at his second coming. In the Vineyard we call this the "already" and the "not yet".
There are times when we literally see heaven touching earth and we get a picture of what life will be like when the rule and reign of God is fully realized. This video from the Vineyard Church in Cincinnati I think illustrates what I'm trying to say:
When we experience the "already" of the Kingdom we get a taste of what its like to live under the rule and reign of Jesus. When Jesus reigns in all his fullness those who are forgotten are remembered, the sick are healed, those who are oppressed by darkness discover the light. The poor are cared for, generosity flows freely, goodness, beauty, and life fill the earth or at least the place where we are experiencing the taste of Christ's Kingdom. It's those times when we know God's victory is coming, where faith becomes reality. I love the already!
Yet the "already" is not what we always experience. There are times when it seems like our prayers fall flat. When we pray for the sick and they remain sick. When racism, materialism, consumerism are revealed to be present even in the church. It's the "not yet" The church lives within the tension of the "already" and the "not-yet" of the Kingdom of God. This is the tension we live in. The Kingdom of Darkness is fighting like a cornered animal for another day of existence and it plays for keeps.
The work of the church is to serve the Kingdom of Darkness notice that its days are numbered by undoing its works through the power of the Holy Spirit like Jesus. Where we see sickness we minister healing, where we see racism we model reconciliation and inclusion, where we see injustice we bring justice.
This is what Vineyard Bryan/College Station will be about. Giving our community tastes of the "already" in the midst of the "not-yet" so that people will look forward to the day when Jesus rule is all and all!
Listen to how our National Director, Phil Strout, puts it