The central-theme of Jesus Christ’s ministry pertains to proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Jesus expounded his role as the Messiah, King and Lord. He instructed others on standards of conduct within the Kingdom. He assigned seats of authority to his inner circle of twelve disciples when the Kingdom makes it complete arrival on earth. He died at the hands of the Romans as the King of the Jews. His entire ministry was spent in preparing his chosen few to become equip to lead and teach others about the Kingdom.
He spoke of a new world government rather than a heavenly retirement home. Isaiah prophesied the same. Before Jesus’ birth, angels proclaim his kingship to His mother. Throughout scripture the emphasis is on government and begs the question “Who will you serve? In today’s American culture, people have lost the significance of a higher authority. A heavenly government is ridiculed. No longer do we ask “Who is my boss” or “Who am I accountable too?” Instead, each person focuses on pleasing themselves. they have become their own creator. The only exception lies with those whose human spirit is being regenerated by God’s Spirit.
God hates rebellion. When people fail to acknowledge His reign in their life they are openly rebelling against their Creator. And like any form of government, open or even quiet rebellion leads to disunity and eventual removal from its protection. In our world, defiance to governmental authority may lead to expulsion or even capital punishment. God though wants all people to willingly share within His governmental operations. He wants all people to come under his benevolent authority and reap the benefits of His Kingdom.
The concept of God’s Kingdom lays the foundation and goal of a person’s life. When a person understands that this life is a preparation for eternity, the means become as important as the end results. When one begins to understand Scripture, one eventually must ask this question. “What are Christ-followers being prepared for after death?” The answers are gray, but imply a certain theme of leadership. John writes that you will “be kings and priests.” An implication of a combined governmental and ministry role, not hammock swingers. It also raises the question of what characteristics are important for Kingdom living. Will people be allowed to enter without God’s love? Without faith in Christ? Or hope in His Promises as the cornerstone of their life? Will those with unrepentant illicit behavior be allowed entrance?
The Bible records the outcome of the Kingdom as a new heaven and a new earth and the beginning of a new age. The Christ-follower learns today how to live in harmony, in oneness, and in relationship with the Lord of the Kingdom – Jesus Christ. As a Believer walks with his Lord, she becomes familiar with His commands. She learns His techniques with working with people. She discovers His desires and His goals for living. Only Believers partake in a taste of the Kingdom today.
The message of the Kingdom carried more weight with the Jewish recipients in the first century who were waiting for the return of the Messiah. They long for the establishment of the prophetic Kingdom. The message of the Kingdom is the prophetic vision turned into reality. This is the reason God chose Israel. He blessed them, produced Jesus’ lineage and the church from them. Today He continues the same eternal plan set in place from the beginning of time. Thy Kingdom Come is closer today than they were some two thousand years ago. Are you ready to get on board?
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The establishment of the Kingdom is God’s greatest desire. Note that the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer is for the Kingdom to come and this same desire will become increasingly dominant in each Christian as he/she grows toward greater spiritual maturity.