My reaction is not without reason. Those who preach such things, while likely from good motives ,can have a devastating effect on Christians investment in advancing God’s kingdom of earth. After all, why polish brass on a sinking ship?
So, I would like to posit a possibility for you to consider: What if Jesus doesn’t return for 500,000 years?
Is that so unthinkable? Why would Jesus have told parables about the ten virgins unless He was not going to return for a very long time? And if your initial response is “Jesus said he was returning ‘soon,'” – if it means 2,000 years, it could just as easily mean 500,000 years. “Soon” is not 2,000 years in any human’s vocabulary. “Yes,” you say, “but to God a day is as a thousand years.” Yes, to God it is, but when Jesus said He was returning soon, He was talking to men. It would make no sense to give men a timetable using metrics that meant nothing to them.
In part I and part II of this series, I built on the premise that Jesus used the metaphor of the kingdom to describe His rule because the concept of the earthly kingdom was the thing most like Jesus’ rule.
I suggested we could look at earthly kingdoms and where their characteristics aligned with the Bible’s descriptions of the kingdom of God, we could learn something about the kingdom of God. In the first two posts, I built on this premise with the issue of sovereignty. Here I address the issues of territorial sovereignty and royal lineage.
Territorial Sovereignty. Like earthly kings, Jesus’ sovereignty is complete and coextensive with the jurisdiction of His kingdom. Jesus’ sovereignty is not limited to a particular area but includes the entire natural realm and spiritual realm. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. (Matt. 28:18). As a result, Jesus has authority over the demons that dwell in the spiritual realm (Luke 4:36) and all the humans who dwell on the earth. (John 17:2). It makes sense that all authority in the spiritual realm and natural realm would be given to Jesus, because without it He would not be able to fulfill His role as King throughout His entire jurisdiction.
In reading the Book of Daniel, I was reminded of a misconception I used to have about something Jesus told His disciples in the last days of His earthly ministry.
In Matthew 24 Jesus is warning His disciples about the catastrophic events that will happen in Israel within a generation (Matthew 24:34), which by Jewish reckoning was 40 years.
Jesus said that after the tribulation of those days the sign of the Son of Man will appear and “they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30). Jesus is talking about His coming to earth right? Actually, no.
Like many Americans, this past Monday I gathered with others outside to experience the eclipse.
Where I live, we only had about a 75% eclipse, but it was still interesting to watch it get semi-dark in the middle of any otherwise sunny day.
As you know if you have been following this blog, three weeks ago, The Wife and I returned from our Reformation Tour in Prague and Germany.
While there, I had started reading the letters of Jan Hus. While I was on the treadmill yesterday I was getting toward the end of his letters and came to the point in his life where he was jailed in Constance, Germany and was getting ready to make his first defense before Sigismund, King of Germany, just a month before he would be burned at the stake. In introducing the letter Hus wrote that day, the editor mentioned that:
“On the 7th Hus was again brought before the Council. The friary was surrounded by the town guard, and at an early hour the Council assembled for Mass. While this ritual was proceeding the sun was eclipsed, to the consternation of all. An hour later, about 8 A.M., Hus was brought before before the court.” Continue reading “When an Eclipse Meant Something”
The answer is found in Old Testament prophecy, confirmed by Jesus, and reconfirmed by the Apostle Paul.
In around 600 BC, Daniel interpreted a dream of Babylonian ruler, Nebuchednezzar.
Daniel said the dream concerned four kingdoms.
The first was the Babylonian Empire, which Daniel said would be followed by a second (the Medo-Persian Empire) and a third kingdom (the Greek Empire).
It was in the days of the fourth kingdom though (the Roman Empire), that Daniel said, “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom and that kingdom will never be destroyed.” Daniel 2:44. That means that God established the kingdom of God on earth sometime between 27 B.C. (the beginning of the Roman Empire) and 476 A.D. (its end). Continue reading “Six Kingdom Questions: Part 4”