133. Gospel about a Kingdom.
The Gospel is not only about a King but also about his Kingdom because he came not only to 'save his people from their sins' (Matthew 1:21) but also to establish his Father's kingdom on earth so that his people can find refuge there. "Do not be afraid ... for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32) Speaking of his kingdom, the King had said: "My kingdom is not of this world ... my kingdom is from another place." (John 18:36) Therefore he instructed his subjects to beseech his Father, the King: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) Just as Moses who was reared as a Prince, delivered the Israelites from slavery and led them to the promised land where they were to establish the kingdom of God, even so Jesus, the Prince of peace, has delivered us from slavery to sin and has led us to his kingdom in heaven. 'For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of Son he loves, ...' (Colossians 1:13) Since the Father has given the newly appointed King all authority on earth, he wants his subjects to establish his kingdom on earth. Therefore, he gave this great commission to his subjects, before he ascended on high, to sit on the Father's throne: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 38:22) His command to his subjects was not to wage war and conquer lands in his name but to find souls who were willing to accept his terms of peace and become subjects of his kingdom. However, that offer is not forever for he will come with his heavenly army to wage war and establish his eternal kingdom. 'With justice he judges and makes war ... The armies of heaven were following him ... Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which he strikes down the nations. He will rule them with an iron sceptre.' (Revelation 19:11-15) It was heard being said in heaven: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of the Lord and his Christ and he will reign for ever and ever." ( Revelation 11:15) Once he has put down all rebellion, will hand over the kingdom to the Father. 'Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after having destroyed all dominion, authority and power.' ( 1 Corinthians 15:24) The Gospel began with John preaching that 'the kingdom of God is at hand' and so did Jesus, who demonstrated the power of the coming kingdom through signs, wonders and miracles, as did the Apostles. But after his resurrection, since it was time for the kingdom to come, 'he appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.' ( Acts 1:3) He once had predicted that it wouldn't be long before the kingdom would come on earth. "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power." (Mark 9:1) And it did on the day of Pentecost! Since that day his kingdom has been on earth, and is forcefully advancing. But unlike the kingdom of Israel, it has no geographical borders because 'the kingdom of God is within us.' (Luke 17:21) The King has decreed that "this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to the nations and then the end will come." ( Matthew 24:14) Those who have stood with him to establish the kingdom will be rewarded. "You are those who stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as the Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." ( Luke 22:29-30) "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat with my Father on his throne." (Revelation 3:21) Amen.