I watched President Obama’s State of the Union address last night. I was exchanging texts with a friend who was also watching, and he suggested I do a State of the Kingdom address. It seemed a good idea.
The state of the Kingdom is very good.
1. The Kingdom continues to grow. The kingdom of God started with one (Jesus), expanded to twelve disciples, then to 120 at Pentecost. By AD 300, over 20 percent of the total population of the Roman Empire was Christian. Today, over one-third of the world’s population claims to be Christian. In 2000 years we have gone from 1 out of more than 200 million people to 1 out of 3 people, who claim to be Christian Just as Isaiah predicted, the kingdom of God is being established as the chief of mountains. (Isaiah 2:2-3).
2. Lifespans continue to increase. Isaiah prophesied that in the Kingdom Age, as the Kingdom progressed, people would experience significantly longer lifespans (“the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed . . .) and significantly lower infant mortality (“No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days . . .). (Isaiah 65:20). In the first century A.D., the average life expectancy at birth has been estimated at 20 years. While that number may seem unbelievable, one must remember that life expectancy is greatly determined by infant mortality. By 1800, the global average life expectancy was approximately 30 years. That number is now just over 67 years, and in the United States of American it is nearly 80 years and still improving.
3. A rebellious creation continues to be tamed. Isaiah also prophesied that in the Kingdom Age animals would be reconciled to man and to each other. Isaiah prophesied the “wolf will dwell with the lamb,” “the cow and the bear will graze,” “the lion will eat straw like the ox,” and animals will no longer harm man or each other. (Isaiah 11:6-9; Isaiah 65:24-25). If animals eating one another and attacking man is the result of the curse, then reconciliation is represented by animals living in peace with one another and with man. Just as Isaiah predicted, as the Kingdom of God has grown, animals have become progressively more domesticated. Today, more animals are domesticated than at any time in history.
All of the foregoing has occurred as the kingdom of God continues to grow, the creation is reconciled to King Jesus and the effects of the curse are being turned back in the earth.
If all this seems surprising to you because you thought things were getting worse, I would challenge you to reexamine your perspective and consider whether you have a Kingdom philosophy of history.
Bottom line: the state of the kingdom of God is good. GS