In our last time together we looked into what Jesus meant when He came and proclaimed that people should “repent and believe in the gospel.” We discovered that Jesus’ gospel, His “good news,” was centered in, and upon, the Kingdom of God. Jesus came to establish and uphold this Kingdom on earth – and to open a doorway so we might all be able to enter into this Kingdom and discover the fullness of the King’s rule and favor. Everything Jesus did, while He was on this earth, was centered in this pursuit. If we are going to fully understand true Christianity, we cannot do so without the understanding that it is all about experiencing, and advancing, the Kingdom of God.
We should have been aware of this fact. For centuries, the prophets of God had foretold that the Messiah (The Christ) would come to this earth to set up an indestructable Kingdom. We read of this Messiah in Daniel: “…He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (from Daniel 7:13-14) And in Isaiah: “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
In His time with us, Jesus was constantly speaking of the Kingdom. He was preaching and teaching about it. He was describing it. He was comparing it to things we could readily understand. And after His resurrection, He still appeared to believers, “over a period of forty days and spoke about… the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3) His very ascension, back to heaven (Acts 1:9), was centered in taking up a position of ruling authority, as Scripture affirms: (The Father) “seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given… and God placed all things under His feet…” (from Ephesians 1:20-22). The apostle Paul picks up on this essential focus and purpose as He was inspired to write about the culmination of the last days of planet earth: “…then the end will come, when He (Jesus) hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25) If Jesus is seated in a place of ruling authority (at the right hand of the Father) then it must be His passion and purpose to exercise that authority, and to accomplish all that the King desires. When we truly see this fact, then we can truly understand that this “rule of the King” is the very centerpiece of true Christianity.
Jesus came to this earth to connect with us – and to tell us about why He came. The reason He came was to establish and uphold the Kingdom of God – and to invite us all to be a part of it. But also, Jesus left this earth (to be seated in the heavenlies) to establish and uphold the Kingdom of God – and to make it possible for all of us to be active participants in it! Jesus is, right now, seated in the place of royal, heavenly authority – and it is His certain desire to bring forth His rule, upon this earth, through those who have embraced Him as Lord, Savior and King over their lives (see Ephesians 3:10).
The wonder of true Christianity arises when we understand that God, the rightful King, deserves to exercise His good and benevolent rule over all the earth. And when we see this purpose, and our part in this purpose, we begin to see why the Kingdom of God is so important. The bottom line is: Jesus came from heaven to earth to provide the way to bring us into the King’s Kingdom – to love us, lead us, guide us and work in and through us, to bring forth the King’s rule upon this earth. The true gospel message is about the One True King and His Kingdom, and how we may all find our way into, and find the fullness of, this Kingdom. This is the fundamental foundation of true Christianity.
Coming next… The Kingdom of God… in practical terms