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June 15, 2011 / Daniel

The Kingdom, God in Charge

solor system creation

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What would this world look like if God was in charge?  The obvious answer is, “Different.”  When you turn on the news, you cannot help but hear about all of the problems in the world today.  Political scandals, natural disasters, tragic deaths, broken families.  It is quite obvious that this world is a mess.  Everywhere we look, we see the effects of sin.  This world is under a curse.  Ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against the Creator, this world has been in bondage to decay.  Things are falling apart.

But imagine what things would look if God was running the show.  What a different place this would be!  No more sin.  No more sorrow.  No more death.    The effects of the Fall would be undone.  This is the hope of the “kingdom of God.”  We’re talking about “new creation.”  The kingdom means the restoration of God’s people and the renewal of God’s creation.

When Jesus begins his ministry in the gospel of Matthew, he announces, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (4:17).  Very soon God is going to show up and show off.   The message of the “kingdom” is at the very heart of Jesus’ ministry.  When Jesus speaks, he is the voice of the kingdom.  When he acts, he is the embodiment of the kingdom.

Jesus defines the kingdom for us in the Lord’s prayer.  He teaches the disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”   How is God’s will done in heaven?  Perfectly.  The angels obey God completely.  No questions asked.  So when the kingdom comes, the same thing will be true on earth.

And so, our job is to prepare for the kingdom.  We can’t build the kingdom or establish in our own strength.  That’s impossible.  That’s going to take a fresh burst of God’s creative power.   But we can anticipate the kingdom.  We can live in such a way that our lives reflect the goodness of God’s future world.  Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  In other words, start living today like one day God is going to run the show here on earth, because it could happen any day now.

Psalm 98 celebrates God’s future kingdom.

7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
9 before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

This is an article that I’m working on for our church’s newsletter.

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