Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 7 July 2018
Page 10

Is the Kingdom Coming?

Royce Frederick

Some people claim that Christ will return to earth to set up His kingdom and begin reigning on earth. However, they overlook one important fact: He set up His kingdom long ago. He has already been reigning almost two thousand years!

In Mark 9:1, Jesus told His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” Jesus clearly told them that the kingdom would come very soon within the lifetime of some of the people who were standing there. Later, all of those people died, and they’ve been dead for many centuries. So, the coming of the kingdom cannot be a future event.

In Colossians 1:13, Paul said this about God: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” This clearly shows that the kingdom of Christ had already been established before Paul wrote Colossians. In the first century, he and every Christian had already been “conveyed” (transferred) into the kingdom of Christ. Therefore, we know that the kingdom came soon after the words of Jesus in Mark 9:1, and before the words of Paul in Colossians 1:13. Every person who obeys the Gospel becomes a citizen of His kingdom (Philippians 3:20), a member of His body, the church (Colossians 1:18; Galatians 3:26-27).

There is no need to guess when the kingdom of Christ came. Acts 2 shows that the kingdom came with power in Jerusalem on the Jewish day of Pentecost. Three thousand people obeyed the Gospel that day! That was the beginning of the church, the kingdom of Christ.

Will Christ come again? Yes! Acts 1:11 declares that He will come again. However, the Bible does not teach that He will live on earth and reign from an earthly headquarters. Some men use Revelation 20 to teach that He will come to earth to reign. Yet, if you search Revelation 20 carefully, you will see that it says nothing about Christ coming to earth.

The kingdom has already been established. Christ is now reigning as King. When He returns, all Christians, living and dead, will be taken up into the clouds “…to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). The return of Christ will not be a time for setting up a kingdom on earth. It will be a time for removing His kingdom from the earth and giving it to God. “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father…” (1 Corinthians 15:24).

We should certainly look for the kingdom, but we should not try to look into the future to find it. The kingdom of Christ is His church. When we have found His church, we have found His kingdom!

The Danger of Forgetting God

Royce Pendergrass

royce PendergrassNo doubt about it, we live in a very busy age with so many things to be done that sometimes 24-hour days are not long enough. How quickly we can become “swamped” by the multiplicity of jobs to be done, people for whom to do things, taking care of ourselves (and often we truly neglect this one) and etc. How easy it is to push some things, even important ones, to the back burner just to get through the day. Case in point: We just did this very thing because of the stress and pressure of getting through our days at the hospital while the staff was trying to determine what needs to happen with me. My wife and I nearly always have our daily devotional and Bible reading just before bedtime, but while hospitalized overnight this past week, it just slipped by us. We had the Bible with us, and the hospital even provides one. It was just the concern, “busy-ness” and stress of being in a different place that apparently took precedent.

It just so happened that when we got home I picked up a copy of The Spiritual Sword publication to read, and the Editor, Alan Highers, had used as his editorial: “The Danger of Forgetting God.” It sounded like it was directed at me! Some of his comments follow:

Every life has priorities. By priorities, we mean those things that matter most. With some, it may be making money. This does not mean being industrious or hard-working, but it encompasses a mindset where making money eclipses every other goal in life. With others, the priority may be enjoying pleasure. In speaking of widows in the early church, the apostle Paul stated, “She who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6). By this standard, many in our society are walking around dead! They exist for pleasure and “cannot cease from sin” (2 Peter 2:14). Some seek popularity above all else. Like the chief rulers who believed on Christ but would not confess Him, they love “the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43).

We definitely live in a culture which is not conducive to “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). We must make up our minds and set our priorities or we will be engulfed by the standards and morals of the world. Jesus Himself set the guiding priority: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). According to Jesus, the kingdom of God and His righteousness come first. That is the divine priority. We cannot dispute that it is what it is. This priority should be established in the home and family by the parents, in congregations by faithful elders, in Bible classes by dedicated teachers and in the pulpits by consecrated preachers of the Gospel. The failure to order our priorities and to take a stand for what is right will weaken our resolve to be faithful to Christ.

When I was in the 9th grade, I was offered the leading role in a school play, but I turned it down because the play would be on a Wednesday night, and I knew that Wednesday night was Bible study time. I did not mention this to my parents because the decision did not seem remarkable to me. My parents learned about it after a teacher confided to my mother what I had done. I cite this event only to illustrate the atmosphere that prevailed in our home and to signify that parents set the tone. Children quickly discern what the real priorities are.

When we get covered up with obligations, it’s so easy to let go of the important to take care of what seems more “urgent” or “necessary.” It is my prayer that you will not push your service to God to the back burner.

We get swamped with the “busyness” of life, and God gets left out. Christians must always remember that we must “hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The “whole duty of man” means that everything else must take a back burner to God, and we must not leave Him out of our daily lives, no matter what the circumstances! We must not forget God!

In This Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16
Copyright 1999—2018                                                                 Conditions of Use

Click Here for a FREE monthly reminder when each new issue
of Gospel Gazette Online has been published to the Internet.

Click Here to send the URL for this page to a friend

Click Here to send your comments about this page to Gospel Gazette Online