Saturday, December 29, 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.”
The vision of John has expanded and he is seeing a great cosmic shift. Evil has had the power and authority to rule over the earth. Remember when Satan offered Jesus the earthly kingdoms? Jesus knew that this was not a way to victory but a way of succumbing to the evil one. The evil one tempted Jesus with power for a period of time, if he would be willing to give up his loyalty to his father. Jesus understood the eternal implications and temporal power, wealth and authority could not sway him.
Now, we see the great cosmic shift. Jesus had ushered in the Kingdom of God. Instead of siding with evil, the Kingdom had been firmly rooted and planted on the earth with the coming of the Messiah and was growing and expanding through the Church, Jesus' bride! However, the Kingdom of our Lord and the Kingdom of the World have been in continual conflict -- a conflict that I'm sure each and every one of us can sense. There is a continual tension between the two Kingdoms who are active and trying to contain the same space. One constantly trying to push out the other. When this seventh and final trumpet sounds the tension will finally be over. Only one Kingdom will remain -- and it will be the Kingdom of our Lord -- of Jesus, the Messiah!
We are living in the period of great tension. We can feel it on a daily basis as we rub shoulders with the world and its Kingdom. The question we have to ask ourselves is how we respond to living within that tension.
We face the same temptation of Christ. We are invited to participate in the Kingdom of the World -- and all that it has to offer -- which includes temporal satisfaction. We may experience power, wealth, and authority by living in the Kingdom of the World -- but what does it mean for us when it comes to eternity. Jesus, the Son of God, knew that it wasn't worth it to sell out to temporary satisfaction. Why should we? The Kingdom of this World will become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah! When that happens, where will we find ourselves?
The two Kingdoms are living in cosmic tension with one another. If we are already living within the Kingdom of our Lord -- then the gates of heaven have been opened up to us. When we spend intimate time in prayer we are ushered into the throne room of the Kingdom of our Lord. We are able to participate in the new Kingdom and take our marching orders from the one who is already ruling. The result is that at times we will feel like aliens here on this earth and our responses to the things of the world may make no sense to those around us.
A misconception for Christians is that we have to fight the battle between the two Kingdoms! How arrogant is that? Do we really think that we have the power to take on the Kingdom of this World? This is a battle which is happening in realms we can't even begin to understand and with powers beyond anything we can even imagine. We are asked to be faithful servants in the Kingdom of our Lord -- as our Lord continues the battle against evil. We must act in obedience to Him -- but also in accordance with the new Kingdom. Jesus laid out those rules quite clearly in the Sermon on the Mount. The principles that He describes there are counter-cultural because they are really counter-World Kingdom! When we respond to the world around us we need to examine ourselves and determine whether our response is coming from the Kingdom of the World, or the Kingdom of our Christ!
Yes, the tension continues today but when the seventh trumpet sounds the battle will all be over. The Kingdom of this World will be broken and the Kingdom of our Lord will have complete and total control of this earth. Where will we find ourselves on that day?
Lord, forgive me for the times that I am tempted to listen to the voices and responses from the Kingdom of the World. I want to be a faithful servant in Your Kingdom! Amen.