Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Kingdom of God

An old novel ends with the crucifixion of Jesus (Bauer, Behold Your King, Bobbs-Merrill, MCMXLV, p402). The nephew of Nicodemus seeks the body of Jesus from the Roman soldiers so that he might give Jesus a decent burial. Jonathan informs the soldiers his uncle has a tomb close by.

The author concludes the final chapter before the epilogue with this paragraph: “He has a tomb close by,” said Jonathan, turning slowly away. “It is there we will lay him, where no man has ever lain.“ And with a sigh, he added to himself, “He shall be wrapped in precious spices and fine linen. And with him will be buried--his Kingdom” (emphasis added).

The Kingdom of God still arouses much interest today. There are those within Christianity who pursue a close relationship with Israel in the belief that Jesus will one day return and “establish his kingdom” as a Jewish political state for 1,000years (generally called premillennialists).

Interestingly enough, the Iranian President recently stood before the United Nations and prayed a prayer that was an Islamic version of that Kingdom concept of Protestant Premillennialists - only Arabic.

Dr. Alfred Edersheim, wrote on page 270 of Volume I, of his well known two volume series, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah and concluded:

In fact, an analysis of 119 passages in the New Testament where the expression ‘Kingdom’ occurs, shows that it means the rule of God; which was manifested in and through Christ; is apparent in ‘the Church; gradually develops amidst hindrances; is triumphant at the second coming of Christ; and, finally, perfected in the world to come.”

A careful reading of the Bible (both old and new testaments) reveals THE KINGDOM OF GOD not in literal Jerusalem “someday,” but in the hearts of individual believers, when you submit your life to Christ as the King of your life.

When Pilate interrogated Jesus, during the trial of Jesus, Pilate found no fault in him because Jesus was no threat to Rome; his kingdom was purely spiritual--“not of this world”--non-political.

While Jews, Arabs, and perhaps others, seek to prove their unique relationship with God, there is only one (1) kingdom. It is composed of people of all nations, nationalities, and languages - people whose prayer is “not my will but thine be done” as Jesus taught all men to pray. The “chosen people” are those who have aligned their lives with God, via Jesus Christ, and live their lives to reveal the God Who Is.

Much of the conflict in today's world is not because it was prophesied as such, but because carnal, greedy, selfish human beings want to claim a special relationship with God as "His Chosen." They fail to grasp the eternal truth of God thatJesus came to bring "on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased" (Luke 2:14NASV).Religion is not the cause of war and violence today, the heart of humanity is full of anger, jealousy and violence; thus, wars continue.

From Warner’s World,

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