Here we go . . . Part II.
I’ve been rocked over how much Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven in the scriptures. We also see that type of thinking from the apostles as they shared the message of Christ around the Roman world. Paul likewise continued that theme throughout the New Testament. One of my favorite texts that illustrate this is in 2 Timothy 4:1 where Paul encourages the young preacher Timothy. Paul states. “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word . . .”
The kingdom reality is just all over the place when you think about it. So what we find is that Christ came for more than just offering fire insurance, but something totally and completely “new and from above”. (Note John 3:3) A common misunderstanding about the Kingdom is that it is something that will be established when Jesus comes back. But it’s much more than that. I cut my teeth on this truth while taking a preaching class from Mark Scott way back in 91 or 92. The main text that I was looking at was Mark 1:15 where Jesus opened up his ministry with the radical words of,”The time has come . . . The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” The old King James Version of the text sheds a bit more light in its translating the verse, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.”
The real shot came when I dived into the original language of the verse, (don’t worry, we won’t get too heady here and I’m really not that smart) and noticed that the phrases, “time is fulfilled” and “is at hand” are both in the perfect tense. The point being that Jesus was saying that the long awaited coming of the Kingdom of God was an “event that happened and is continuing to happen.” In other words, the Kingdom of God was inaugurated with Jesus Christ. We can live in it now as kingdom citizens. Yes the final reward will be when we move on from this side of eternity into its fulfillment. But the Kingdom is also a present reality. This is seen by Christ the King ruling in the lives of His citizens today. This is also seen in His providential sovereignty around the world today. So in the pages and blog of Kingdomolgy, we’ll be exploring and discussing what it means to really live as Kingdom Citizens now. What about you? How are you living out the Kingdom in your world today? Are there areas where you struggle in this area?