Kingdom of God Part 4
What a birthday party! Jesus’ birthday is the best party of the year. Praise God the Father for sending his only Son that we might trust him with our lives through the promise of forgiveness and gain an inheritance of eternity in heaven. We are all going to live forever, it is simply a matter of where. Yielding our life over to the King grants us the privilege of being a party to bringing the Kingdom of God on earth. No greater aspiration exists.
There is more to learn about His Kingdom. Although this will be the last installment on this topic for now, there is more to know than I have presented. May these writings spur you to study. For today, we begin with Matthew 25 with a look at Jesus’ second coming.
Matthew 25:1-13 which tells of the Ten Virgins who were to be ready and watching in expectation of the groom who was to arrive and take his bride, but his timing was unknown. This was the custom of the era. Jesus is saying we are to be ready for his coming again at which time the kingdom’s consummation will come. The timing of his second coming is unknown; therefore, we should be actively waiting. This is communicated in our next passage.
Secondly, in Matthew 25:14-30 we find the story of the 10 talents. The master in the story gives out some of his money to his mangers, but with expectation that work will indeed be done with what was given. Although the phrase “Kingdom of God” is not in this passage, it is most definitely about the kingdom. God expects us to be actively doing kingdom work as he has asked us.
Our third passage takes us to Acts 1:3. There we read, “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” Jesus not only proves he is alive but deems enough importance of the Kingdom of God to speak of it one more time before his ascension. Lending credibility to the promise of its coming, just as they now have seen the dead alive! What seems impossible, is possible with God!
The Apostle Paul further defines this present Kingdom of God. In Romans 14:17 he says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…” The Kingdom of God comes in and through us as we live in the pursuit of righteousness and take the Gospel into the world. In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul exclaims, “do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” He then lists some elements of unrighteousness for the clarity of his readers. See the verses following 9, then go read Galatians 5:21 and Ephesians 5:5 to see Paul driving home this critical understanding in the hearts of the New Testament Christians. There is hope to live in this pursuit because “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son…” Colossians 1:13. The Kingdom of God is in and through true believers.
Our last passage is Acts 8:12 which reads, “But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Here we see the “Good News” as a synonym with the Kingdom. The news of redemption and its employment brings the Kingdom of God to earth through us and further secures its coming in the fulfillment in the future. This is the kingdom “now” in the “now, but not yet” idea discussed in previous articles. This is our place in the bringing of the kingdom on earth.
These passages teach us we need to be actively doing kingdom work; the bride-groom of the church will return unexpectedly in the consummation of the kingdom; what is impossible is possible thus the kingdom will be fulfilled just as the Christ was raised from the dead; righteousness is to be the melody of our kingdom song since redemption has transferred us into heavens choir; and the Good News of the kingdom is our keynote of evangelism.
Each of these scriptures and others deserve your attention in further study. For the moment, the culminating point of this examination is that since Jesus “The kingdom has not only come near; it is currently among Christ’s people (Luke 17:21), who have already been transferred into the kingdom (Col. 1:13).” So now, we better understand that when we pray “your kingdom come” we are calling back, even so far as the Garden of Eden, Abraham and David for the fulfillment of God’s creative purpose. We are to petition our Kingly Father to bring his kingdom, his rule, his reign to bear on all time and existence. And to pray such a petition, implies we are subjects of that kingdom eagerly and actively aiding its ushering in.