Thursday, September 15, 2016

The kingdom of God is in your midst!

Luke 17:20-30

When we pray and consider the Lord's Prayer we often do not think about, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10)

Yet in a very real sense this one calls to mind the very subject which the Pharisees were asking about (Luke 17:20).  They asked when it would come – but his answer is not simple – for the kingdom is manifold. In the Lord's Prayer we pray “on Earth as it is in heaven” so it is clear that the Kingdom spans many dimensions, and that what we see of the Kingdom on earth, is not what we see of the Kingdom in heaven.  The Kingdom of God in Heaven may be seen in Isaiah's call to the ministry in Isa. 6:1-7, or in John's description of heaven in Rev. 4:2-11, Paul's comments in Col 3:1-7, and Ezekiel's comments in Eze. 28:24-26.

Christ answer is for Earth and yet such is not of earth – for the kingdom of God is Heavenly and not essentially earthly.  What does the Kingdom of God on Earth look like today?  Look at the way Christ speaks to Nicodemas in John 3:1-8.  Unless one is born again, it cannot even be seen! But it's effects are seen. Nevertheless - it is a real kingdom and when it has been brought into it's fullness on earth it may indeed be seen.  But for now, the Pharisees were misguided in their attempt to 'see' or recognize the Kingdom now, apart from the Spirit.

There is another matter to consider.  To use earthly means (i.e. political power) to achieve Heavenly ends is misguided at best, malevolent at worst (A government which thinks it is doing moral good for its people, forces its will on them all the more.).  This is a great error, which is seen in groups such as the AFA and the Moral Majority.  Perhaps with good intent they use pragmatic means to achieve heavenly results... This can never be!   

Christ's answer is that those earthly signs which preceded his kingdom are sudden, bright, and powerfully effective. No earthly political uprising – even a coup, is like the Kingdom of God!!

And until we get that thought out of our heads, we will suffer bad thinking that somehow this or that earthly power is the Enemy – or the Savior.  The Savior already completed his work; it is finished (John 19:30). Have you availed to the blood of the lamb for your sins? There, I say, is the kingdom of God. Today it is in converted lives. But make no mistake – when the fullness of time came God sent forth his son born of a woman, born under the law (Gal 4:4), and he will send him once again in power with his mighty angels. (2 Thes. 1:7) Will you be part of His kingdom while in this earthly world of sin? If not now you will not be counted as part of the Kingdom then.

May the Lord grant us understanding and an entrance to the kingdom while it is still day (II Cor. 6:1-2) for night is coming (Heb. 3:12-14)…

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