Jim Elliot, a missionary who was
killed by the Indians he was trying to help at about age 27, said, “He is no
fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” This quote
captures both the cost and the reward of being a Christian.
It is costly to become a Christian. But look at some of the rewards: forgiveness
of sins, adoption as God’s children, a relationship with Jesus, the gift of the
Holy Spirit, freedom from sin’s tyranny, the fellowship of the church, the
final resurrection and glorification of the body, inclusion in God’s kingdom,
the new heaven and new earth, eternity in God’s presence and seeing His face!
Paul quoted Isaiah in 1 Corinthians 2:9 9 However, as it is written “What
no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and
what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love
The Christian life is not just
about avoiding God’s wrath. It’s about being in a right relationship with Him
and enjoying Him forever. Or “gaining what we cannot lose: – becoming a citizen
of His eternal kingdom.
The moment we become believers Paul
tells us in Colossians 1:13, God
delivered us “from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom
of His beloved Son.”
Jesus preached on the kingdom of God constantly. So did Peter and Paul.
The author of Hebrews wrote:
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let
us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
What is this kingdom, exactly? Is
it a place? Is it here now or is it something we’re waiting for that will come
in the future? Why is it the kingdom
of God? Doesn’t he rule
over everything whether a person is a believer or not?
Scripture teaches us that the kingdom of God is God’s redemptive rule over His
people. “Kingdom” can be a bit confusing. We
think of kingdom geographically. A place; with borders.
Biblically speaking though, the kingdom of God is best understood as more a kingship. Psalm 145:11, 13 describes God’s kingdom as God’s rule, reign and
tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might, and Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all
generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
And not just His rule and reign, but
His redemptive rule and reign. His
loving sovereignty over His own people!
Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?
The wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Also, the kingdom of God
is here: Matthew 3:2 “Repent, for the
kingdom of heaven has come near.” This was a stunning claim that Jesus
made. The Jews had for centuries been waiting, hoping and praying for the
dawning of the kingdom, for the day when God’s rule would be established on
earth and His people finally vindicated. And now Jesus was telling them that
that day had arrived. And through Him!
Jesus’ incarnation was much more then
just a kind visit from the Creator. It was the launching of God’s full and
final counter-offensive against all the sin, death and destruction that had
entered the world when Adam fell.
And you can see the war happening all
over the story of His life in the New Testament. King Jesus going alone into
the wilderness to face Satan, the one who tempted Adam and had thrown the world
into corruption so many years earlier – and He defeats him. He heals the lame
and blind, He raises people from the dead. When He was on the cross He cried
out “It is finished!” And death was defeated because 3 days later He rose again.
Step by step, blow by blow, Jesus was
decisively rolling back the effects of the fall. The rightful king of the world
had come and all that stood in the way of the establishment of His kingdom –
sin, death, hell and Satan was being overcome.
What that means is: many of the
blessings of the kingdom are already ours. Jesus told the disciples He would
send them “another comforter” the Holy Spirit who would guide them, convict
them of sin and sanctify them.
We are reconciled to God as a believer.
Paul even says in Ephesians 2:6 that in
God’s eyes we are already raised up and seated with Christ! “And God raised us up
with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”.
But the kingdom is not yet complete. And
it will not be complete until Jesus returns. Satan has been bound, but not destroyed.
Evil has been defeated, but not annihilated.
of God has been inaugurated,
but not completed. Jesus spoke of a future day when the kingdom would finally
Labels: evangelism, God's plan