How much do you think about the Kingdom of God? What’s your understanding about the Kingdom of God? It is another one of those theological concepts where all of Christendom is not of one mind.
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. –Psalm 45:1
In many churches that say the Lord’s Prayer, or as some prefer to call it The Disciple’s Prayer, we recite, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We are invoking the manifestation of the Kingdom on this planet.
Some theological perspectives would say that it is already here. After Jesus’ death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension, the Kingdom became a reality on the earth. After all, Jesus began His ministry with “Repent. The Kingdom of God is at hand.” They believe the presence of the church is what manifests the Kingdom.
To that, I have to say, “So, how is that working for us?” Looking around at this world, I’d say we’re failing to do our job, or we are being defeated. I don’t believe we bring in the Kingdom by our human determinations. Yes, we are ambassadors of the Kingdom, and, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we do Kingdom work. However, only the Messiah will bring the Kingdom upon His return.
I love the promises of the future, for the realized Kingdom of God.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; -Psalm 45:6
Of the increase of his government and of peace, there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. –Isaiah 9:7
Years ago, the annual season of Kingdomtide was celebrated every autumn in my denomination. Yes, it was a late invention of church bureaucrats who tacked it on the church calendar. They giveth and they taketh away, but it was a lovely idea to spend several weeks recognizing that we believe God’s plan is to one day restore this earth under His full reign. All our feeble human efforts at governing will fall away.
Many Jewish prayers begin with the words: “Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, King of the Universe…” They believe God’s original intention was that God would rule as King of the earth over all people.
The Jews still look for Messiah to come and rule the earth from Jerusalem. Many Christians believe Yeshua/Jesus will return as King to set up His throne in Jerusalem.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” -Luke 1:31-33
That sounds a lot like Isaiah 9, doesn’t it?
“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” -Matthew 2:2
And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” -Mark 15:2
Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.'” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” -John 19:19-22
Jews and Christians differ. Christians and other Christians differ on the details. All agree that we have a hope for a glorious future that is better than what we have now. But even now, we acknowledge our creatureliness. We are already subjects of the Most High. We bend the knee. He rules. We are citizens of another Kingdom.
We may not know exactly what that will look like, but it’s going to be good.
A holdover from the defunct Kingdomtime season is the celebration of the Feast of Christ the King. It’s always the Sunday before the season of Advent. It’s one Sunday to recognize His Kingship, which is next week, November 24th, 2019.
Better that we take a lesson from the Jews and begin many of our daily prayers with this salutation:
“Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam…”
“Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the Universe…”