Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Kingdom Has Come Near

Matthew 10:7 "The kingdom of heaven has come near"

What a wonderful thought; the kingdom of heaven has come near. But what does this mean for us? John MacArthur writes, "The kingdom of heaven is above all the domain of God’s lordship, where He rules by His divine will." The question we must ask is this, Do we, the church in America, really live our lives as if we are living in the domain of God's lordship, or are we so consumed with our own agendas that we are neglecting the lordship of Jesus in our lives?

There are three aspects to living in the kingdom of heaven, and we need to understand each of these to fully appreciate what Jesus is telling us here:

First, as one who has been born again, we need to recognize that our position is that of being a subject in this kingdom. At conversion we left the kingdom of this world and we entered the kingdom of heaven. We are no longer the lord of our life, we have come into a new kingdom where we have accepted the lordship of another; we have bowed down to the King, and we are to follow Him.

Second, we are to live a holy and consecrated life, which means that we are to be set apart for God; we are to be separated from the world. We are to live like members of the kingdom to which we now belong. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, "but as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, 'Be holy, because I am holy'." Also, Romans 14:17 says, "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."

And third, we are to look forward to, and pray for, the soon return of Jesus to the earth to rule and reign. Again, John MacArthur writes, "the kingdom will be seen in its glorious millennial form when Christ returns to earth to establish and rule it in person and then sets up His eternal kingdom."

There is a lot in this one little verse; spend some time today contemplating what it means to be in the kingdom of heaven, and thank God for the promise and the hope He has given us.
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