The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: (Acts 1:1-3).
As the days of the Lord approached for Him to depart this earth, having accomplished his mission, for forty days, he appeared to his disciples and spoke of matters pertaining to “the kingdom of God”. The Kingdom has been a subject which our Lord Jesus lived for. Throughout his many sermons and parables, he spoke constantly about the kingdom. Now, in his very last days before his ascension, as he constantly appeared to his disciples with many infallible proofs, his greatest concern still remained THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
The Kingdom of God is that realm or dominion where God is king, where his word is law, where his opinions are final, and men are careful to ensure that their lives on a daily basis are patterned after the rules, dictates and guidance of the king. The kingdom of God is that man, people, families, companies and nations where God rules without question, and his commands are obeyed.
For the disciples of Jesus, there were many issues confronting their world, and they wished they had solutions to them. In fact, a few verses later, they were asking Jesus whether it was time for him to restore the kingdom of Israel. They were being frustrated that Jesus was not saying anything about Israel, and the restoration of its kingdom. But the Lord was speaking of another kingdom, not of any nation, but of God Himself. He was essentially declaring, “If God can have subjects-men loyal to him without question, that is all he needs to change any nation, society, peoples and families”.
It is interesting that many of us have become activists. It does not take much to become an activist. We can stand up and talk about how we must say no to rape, how we must reject racism, ethnicism and tribalism, how we must treat women with respect, and all the other things we are constantly shouting about. But underlying all these societal issues is this reality, that the sons of men have sworn that Jesus of Nazareth will not reign over them.
Do you remember the parable Jesus gave about the nobleman who went to a far country to receive himself a kingdom, and then to return in Luke 19? Do you remember what happened when he left? Jesus said thus, “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14). This is the challenge, and it is what is at the heart of every problem in society today.
Racism cannot exist in a heart where Christ is king. Rape cannot cross through the heart of a man in whom Christ is king. Terrorism cannot thrive in the heart of a man in whom Christ is king. Prostitution, indecency, sexual perversions, pornography, etc. cannot survive in a heart where Christ is king. Bribery, corruption, nepotism, etc. cannot coexist with Christ in a heart where He is king. But, as long as Jesus does not reign in a society (in the hearts of men and in the community), you will constantly see these perversions and wickedness prevalent in that society. It is a kingdom confrontation. As long as Christ does not reign in men’s heart, then Satan reigns there; and no amount of activism, education, laws and by-laws can save a society from the consequences of its inhabitants living under the royal rule of the kingdom of darkness.
No man is innocent of the confrontation. No man is in-between in this matter. Every man is either under the dominion of the Lord Jesus, or he is under the royal rule of Satan. It is a Kingdom confrontation. Every day as I watch the news, and see the protests/anger in society, or the plans and counter-plans in men’s heart, I cannot help but say to myself, “we are at war, friend.”
Before he left the earth, Jesus taught his disciples well on the subject of the Kingdom, and warned about the coming Kingdom confrontations. That was why we never saw them raise a defiant feet against the Government, or carry placards to protest against one thing or the other. They knew what the real battle was, and they knew how to fight it well. They terrorized the Roman Empire, they pushed back idolatry from their lands, and they turned their world upside down. But they did not do it by activism; they did it utilizing the keys the Lord had given them; keys we will explore as we move on in this study. This is not to mean that a child of God cannot get involved in activism. We can be involved in many things, as part of our contributions to the Democratic society in which we live. We can all come out and add our voices in the cacophony of voices in the Global Public Square. But we are not confused; we know where the real battle is. At the heart of the whole issue, is a kingdom confrontation; and until Christ reigns in power in a society, there will be no end to the myriads of problems they will face.
This was why the constant cry of men, who understood Kingdom confrontations was this: “Come, Lord Jesus.”
FURTHER INSIGHT: I am including a link to a set of 6 (six) messages by the Late Rev. David Pawson on THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Click the topic to access and download, and I encourage you to spend the rest of this week listening to it. It will open your eyes more to the realities of what lies ahead for us in this fight.