Mark 1:14-15 - “…Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, ‘the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of god is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’”
Several Scriptures throughout the gospels say the “kingdom of God is at hand” – this is translated as “near” or “has come”. Jesus brought the Kingdom with him – when he taught His disciples to pray, he said pray like this “Thy Kingdom come…they will be done, here on earth as it is in Heaven.” – he was telling us to pray for the Kingdom of Heaven to be manifest in our circumstances here on earth, just like it is in Heaven.
The people in that day didn’t understand the Kingdom because they were waiting for a ruler to come and set up a physical kingdom and rule on the throne here on earth.
Luke 17:20-21 – “Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, ‘the Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘see here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.’”
So let’s talk kingdom… the notes in my NKJ “Spirit Filled Life” study Bible put it like this: “The terminology of the kingdom holds more than poetic pictures. It is practically applicable to all our living.”
Every kingdom has...
- a king
- usually a queen (the King’s bride)
- Representatives (Ambassadors) for when they are in other countries and speaking on behalf of the king, representing their Nation
- Servants – completely loyal and obedient to the King and the laws of the kingdom (or suffer the consequences)
There are good kings and bad kings, those who rule for themselves, or those who put the people’s best interest at heart.
But there has NEVER before, nor will there ever be another king like King Jesus. Likewise, there is NO kingdom quite like the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is the King – the church is His Bride, therefore His Queen…but we also have many other titles and responsibilities. Besides being the Queen/Bride, we’re His children, joint heirs to the kingdom, His ambassadors, and His servants.
· Bride – Eph. 5:25-27 “…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
· Children – John 1:12-13 - “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
· Heirs – Rom. 8:17 – “Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
· Ambassador – 2 Cor. 5:20 – “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.” We represent Him here on earth (since His Kingdom is not of this world), we act as His representatives in this foreign land where we reside for now.
As with any kingdom, a king’s queen enjoys certain privileges; an heir comes with many promises; an ambassador to the King has a great deal of authority when coming in the name of the king; and the servants have great responsibilities to represent their kingdom in a way that is pleasing to their king.
I encourage you to study the Scriptures regarding this kingdom in which we as believers in Jesus Christ have become members. We are called to “press into” this kingdom (Luke 16:16).I am filled with excitement about 2012 as the people of this Heavenly Kingdom take our rightful place.