Thursday, September 6, 2012
The Kingdom of our Lord
Rev. 11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord
and of his Messiah,
and he will reign forever and ever.”
Rev. 11:16 ¶ Then the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
Rev. 11:17 singing,
“We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty,
who are and who were,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
At this moment in John's revelation we become witnesses to a cosmic shift. The earth had fallen under the authority of the enemy and he had ruled causing chaos and destruction but now, a new moment was appearing on the face of the earth. The kingdom of the world was going to be replaced by the kingdom of God. Jesus had preached for three years announcing the coming of the new kingdom. The world, including the religious leaders of his day did not comprehend what was coming their way, but now John was proclaiming it! "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord….you have taken your great power and begun to reign." Jesus was now on the throne and the already - not yet - of the kingdom of God was beginning here on the earth.
As I look around at the Christian world it seems that there are those who look at this kingdom in two different ways. There are many who are awaiting Christ's return and with his return the kingdom. They still see the world as fallen and that the prophecy is about a future time. Or, there are those who believe that John was referring to a kingdom which was already being ushered into existence. What difference does it make when it comes to our spiritual walk? I think it makes a big difference! If I am waiting around for the kingdom to come at a future time then I don't engage in the kingdom which already exists here on this earth. Somehow I fail to see the hand of God which is already at work and reigning here and I don't participate in that kingdom.
Jesus had declared that the kingdom of God was at hand! John was proclaiming that the kingdom had now come -- that the kingdom of the world had become the kingdom of our Lord! Jesus' death on the cross had provided that victory and as followers were baptized into the new birth, they were also baptized into the new kingdom. We are invited to step into the new kingdom which does already exist here on this earth. We are invited to be active agents of the kingdom in the here and now! We are invited to participate in the victorious kingdom! And yet, so often we are content to sit back and wait for the kingdom to come. We are waiting for something out there in the future.
God's people are called to be active kingdom people. Active kingdom people worship the One who is on the throne. They spend time with their leader and they get their marching orders from him. They do not act on their own in a fallen kingdom. Instead, they work together with him to fulfill his will and purposes in his kingdom. We must open our eyes and see the kingdom of God … just as the elders did. And when they did, they were overwhelmed with what they saw and had to fall to the ground in worship of him. That's the kingdom in which I want to serve. What about you?
Lord, I thank you for your kingdom presence already here on this earth. Please help me to be in tune with you and what you are doing in this world today and join you in your activity. Amen.