Tag Archives: kingdom of heaven

The Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ

1 Aug

Power, Signs, and Gifts: Part 2
The Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ

“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” Mark 13:26

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the world, in its Edenic perfection, was good (Gen 1:31). At this time, mankind walked and talked with God face-to-face, there was no pain, suffering, sickness, death or any other such hardships that we experience today. And in this perfect state, mankind was given dominion over the earth and everything in it (Gen 1:26). This was God’s ideal for the world and mankind. But soon afterward, man left God’s ideal and followed the serpent instead (Gen 2:16-17; 3:1-6), effectively giving dominion of the earth over to the devil (Luk 4:6). Along with sin came pain, suffering, death, violence, discontentment and physical hardships. This is the opposite of God’s ideal. So it begs the question, did God mess up? NO!

God is omniscient, which means that He knows absolutely everything (1 Jo 3:20; Job 37:16; Ps 147:5). God knew what would happen to His perfect creation and yet still decided to make it. But God was not willing that His creation should be entirely lost, so He put into motion a plan to redeem the world and its people. In Genesis 3:15, God indicated that there would be a son born on the earth who will crush the head of the devil. This perfect Son of Man is Jesus, who came to the world two thousand years ago and gave His life to redeem the souls of mankind. But while the souls of believers have been redeemed, the physical world has yet to be redeemed. Following Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, two angels told His disciples that “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Act 1:11) That is the day that the whole world longs for (Rom 8:22). But what will characterize His return?

When Jesus returns, He will come with awesome power and glory (Mar 13:26) and cast out the devil (Rev 19:11-20:4) and all unrighteous people from the world (Mat 25:31-46). Then He will set up the perfect kingdom of God upon the earth (Rev 20:4-6). Right now, the kingdom of God is only a spiritual reality within the hearts of believers, but when the kingdom of God merges with the physical world, the characteristics that currently prevail only in the hearts of believers will for the first time since the fall prevail over the entire face of the earth! With Jesus as King of the world, righteousness, peace, and joy will reign! We know from the book of Isaiah that the major elements of the curse will be folded back and “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb” (Is 11:6) and “the nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole” (Is 11:8). Also, all the spiritual cloudiness of today will be done away with and “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Is 11:9). At this time, thorns and thistles will all go away (Is 32:13-15) and the dry, barren parts of the earth will “blossom as the rose” (Is 35:1-7). Lastly, all physical deformity and sickness will be done away with as Jesus the great healer reigns as King (Is 33:24; 35:5-6)!

Some people might ask, “How do we know that Jesus has the power to accomplish all these great things?” Well, we know that He has the power to accomplish these things because He displayed that power while He was on the earth the first time. He did many great wonders and miracles showing his power and authority over physical infirmity, nature, demonic forces, and even death itself. He was at that time giving the world a taste of what is to come.

So now back to our question, “Did God mess up?” He most certainly did not. He had a plan which He began unfolding immediately after the fall and is still unfolding today. When Jesus Christ comes again, He will bring fulfillment to the earth and mankind. He is the “perfect” fulfillment of everything that God had planned. It is in hope and expectation of this future day that we pray, “Thy kingdom come.” May we live every day in light of this incredible truth.

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The Kingdom of God

27 Jul

Power, Signs, and Gifts: Part 1
The Kingdom of God

“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Matthew 12:28

In the twelfth chapter of the gospel of Matthew, Jesus attributes His power to the “kingdom of God.” But what exactly does that mean? Well, the Apostle Paul uses four terms to describe this kingdom. In Romans 14:17, he describes it as “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” In 1 Corinthians 4:20, he adds that “the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” So that leaves us four terms with which to describe this kingdom. Now what can we learn from these?

First, the kingdom of God is a kingdom of “righteousness,” but this is deeper than mere outward righteousness, it is righteousness “in the Holy Spirit.” This inward righteousness can only be found in those people who have put their trust in Jesus Christ and have had His righteousness applied to their hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom 3:22, Phl 3:9). This would necessarily exclude unbelievers. So we learn from this that the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom which includes born-again (Jhn 3:3) believers in Jesus Christ.

Next, the kingdom of God is “peace and joy.” Once again, this is “in the Holy Spirit” which means that it is spiritual. Before leaving this world, Jesus promised his followers both peace (Jhn 14:27) and joy (Jhn 15:11). This is a present reality in believers. In an ever-changing world full of constant pain and strife, Christians receive their joy and peace from Jesus Himself. Being a member of this kingdom certainly does have benefits!

Lastly, the kingdom of God is “power.” Jesus, as the perfect earthly ambassador of this kingdom, displayed power over physical infirmity (Mat 8:1-17), power over nature (Mat 8:23-27, power over demonic forces (Mat 8:28-34), and even power over death (Mat 9:18-26).

Because the kingdom of God is spiritual, the unbelieving world can not see it. But Jesus as an ambassador to that kingdom, showed the righteousness, peace, joy, and power of that kingdom to the world through His life. And when He left the earth, he left that responsibility to His followers. But what really is the point of this responsibility?

In the future, when Jesus returns to set up His millennial kingdom (Rev 19:11-20:6), the perfect kingdom of God will actually come down with Him. At that time the spiritual kingdom of God will merge with the physical kingdom of the heavens (all created matter from the third heaven [2 Cr 12:2] down to the earth) and for the first time will become a constant visible reality upon the earth! This is what Jesus demonstrated at His transfiguration (Mar 9:1-6).

As ambassadors of the kingdom of God, Christians are to manifest through their lives the righteousness, peace, joy and power of the kingdom in order to give the world a taste of what is to come. As Jesus lived, so are we to live. It truly is an awesome responsibility.