February 4, 2012

The Kingdom of God is Now

One of my relatives belongs to a cult, those that go from door to door with a message that sounds biblical but falls short. Last week he said that we have troubles and sickness because we live in “Satan’s system” and that one day, all of that will be over. He expressed hope in a future utopia where everything would be perfect. 

As I thought about his ideology, I agree there is a sense where Satan does have reign over this world, or at least part of it. He does cause much sorrow in this world. However, the Bible calls him the prince of darkness and darkness is the realm where he rules. 

There is another kingdom; the kingdom of God. Luke quotes part of the Old Testament that foretells how the Messiah will do something to that realm because He will come . . .
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:79)
When Jesus came, John spoke of Him as light, and Jesus called Himself the Light of the world. No darkness can remain darkness against even a tiny candle so it is easy to see what happens when Jesus comes into the darkness of Satan’s kingdom.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)
Later on, the New Testament says much about the change because Jesus Christ is the light of this world. This change does not happen to the realm of darkness but to the people He delivers from it.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13)
For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
In other words, Jesus delivers those who believe in Him from the rule and dominion of Satan. Instead of living in darkness and under his rule or his system, we live in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Our lives are not dominated by the devil or his doings. We are released from the power of sin and the power of this liar and destroyer who once held us in his clutches. 

Of course Christians look forward to the future where there will be no sin, but we also have the power and presence of God now. He is our King and we are members of His kingdom and his family from the moment we believe and are saved. Satan may be at work in the world around us, but we are not of this world. The Bible says that our citizenship is in heaven and that we are here as God’s ambassadors, representing Him until He returns.

Instead of a fearful desire to do all the right things so we can have a future with God, those who believe in Jesus Christ can enjoy Him right now. From the moment Christ came into my life, He began giving me light instead of darkness and placed me in a kingdom that cannot be conquered by Satan or anyone else. It is a kingdom where the King is not only in charge, but takes care of His subjects, supplying our every need.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.] The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:13–16)

My Lord and my King, I bow before You today, thankful that You delivered me from Satan’s system and transferred me into the kingdom of Your dear Son. What is so amazing is that I didn’t need to do anything to earn or deserve this — nor could I. Salvation is by grace through faith, and even faith is a gift from You so that no one can boast. Thank You for being my King, for being faithful and kind, for upholding me when I fall and lifting me up when I am down. Thank You also that as I rely on You, You take care of everything — my needs, my wants, even the desires of my heart. Knowing and serving You is a privilege and a blessing. Thank You.

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