Monday, August 6, 2012

Going Deeper for the week of August 5, 2012

The kingdom of God is a wonderful, powerful reality, yet it is also a profound mystery.  How does the kingdom come?  We pray "Your kingdom come", but how does it come?

(Read Luke 17:20-37)

"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is' or 'There it is' because the kingdom of God is within (among) you." (Luke 17:20-21)

So the kingdom of God is within or among the people to whom Jesus is speaking.  But what does that mean?  For years I wondered about that saying.  I thought about it related to today.  The kingdom of God is within or among us as followers of Jesus.  And I think there is some truth to that statement, but it is not the most important truth.  The kingdom of God comes in the person of Jesus, and Jesus was right there with them in their midst.  That is why the kingdom of God was among them.

But what about God's people, all who have placed true faith in Jesus, are we not also considered the body of Christ?  If then we are the body of Christ, and Jesus Christ is the ONE who brings the kingdom, then do we not have some role in its coming?

I answer "yes" and "no".  "Yes" because we proclaim the truth that Jesus reigns and that all who trust in Him are God's children and heirs of Christ's salvation.  In other words, all who believe are loyal subjects to Christ and His kingdom.   But I also say "No" because the kingdom ultimately comes at Jesus' return.  We say and do things now that point to the reality of His kingdom (His reign), but we cannot bring the kingdom.  Only Jesus has the power and authority to do that, and He will.

At the end of time, Jesus says, it will be just like it was in the days of Noah and Lot.  Jesus will return very unexpectedly and He will judge the living and the dead and make all things new!  This will be the kingdom to which we are looking forward.  And He is coming soon!  The king will return, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!!!

So what do you think about the kingdom of God?  Because it is an "already" and "not yet" reality there is lots more to say.  So let's discuss!

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