A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Jesus is King. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus is King. Show all posts

October 4, 2023

"At the Right Time", Jesus Came & Died to Bring the Kingdom of God to Earth!

Our Home Church is studying Romans, one of my favorite Books of the Bible. It is full of Paul's theological terms [regarding God's character as it relates to our faith]. We have read these terms for years, but how many of us have really understood the weight of these religious expressions? Could you explain what Justification means to a non-believer? Or how about Righteousness, Sanctification, Propitiation, or Repentance? I will admit that when I was a new Christian, I just skimmed over these heady words and tried to grasp "the meat" of what Paul was trying to teach.

But now, as our group is progressing through our study in Romans, we are able to show them the significance of age-old doctrine in a new light. The sacrosanct words that have been preached from the pulpit for hundreds of years, are taking on real meaning, as we come to understand how God's Righteousness and Wrath are both designed to draw us to Him. Until Jesus came, we were God's enemy because we were born into sin. Neither the religious Law nor our works could bring His favor -- God is pure good, and His Divine standard cannot tolerate impurity and sin. So it is only by our faith [complete trust and confidence] in Jesus Christ and what He did on the Cross, that God is able to look upon us as meeting His standard of righteousness and acceptance.

But this post is not an exegesis on theological terms in the Bible. Rather, I wanted to share one of the hidden treasures that we unearthed; a jewel that was there in plain sight, but so easy to overlook. It is Romans 5:6, which reads, For while we were still weak [without faith, and deserving of God's wrath as a sinner], at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. So, why am I highlighting these seemingly inconspicuous four words?

To begin with, Romans is one of the most powerful and important Books in the Bible. So many concepts of God's character are loaded into these 16 short chapters. If you want to get a glimpse of how God's heart and mind works, and His plans for reconciling the world back to Him, read Romans -- and read it with purpose! I have read this chapter numerous times, but a few years ago, as God was revealing His concept of His Heavenly Kingdom coming to earth, those words jumped out at me. And so, my husband and I embarked on a journey and began digging to find out what "at the right time" meant, and did it have any significance for us today. I mean, we knew when in history Jesus came, but why was that time the "right" time? 

As we asked God for the answer, He led us to a teaching by the late Dr. Myles Munroe, a Bahamian minister and avid professor of the Kingdom of God. It is his teaching about "the right time" that I am paraphrasing [and expounding upon] today. As he explains it, there was 4000 years from the time of Adam's sin until Jesus came. That's thousands of years during which the world was in dire straits; when sin defiled the earth and mankind was in desperate need of a Savior. Why didn't God send Jesus in Chapter 3 of Genesis, when sin first appeared? Why not in Genesis 6, with the incursion of the Fallen Angels? Why not in Noah's or Abraham's time? Moses's or David's? Why didn't He send Jesus when the Assyrians, and then Nebuchadnezzar, took His chosen people into captivity? What was wrong with those times?

Dr. Munroe's theory is as profound as it is simple... God waited until a kingdom on earth (Rome) was the closest to resembling the government of His Kingdom in Heaven. The timing had to be right so that people would understand what Jesus meant when He talked about His Father's Kingdom. In all of previous history, the kings who conquered lands took the people they invaded back to their country. But Rome was the first kingdom in history to leave those they conquered in their own land. They didn't uproot them. The Roman kingdom would take its government to the lands it invaded. The king of Rome [Caesar, which also meant Lord] would handpick someone from his courts and appoint them as Governor of the conquered territory. That Governor [Tetrarch or ruler] would live in that conquered land, and his assignment was to convert that territory [and its inhabitants] into Rome. As Dr. Munroe said, "In other words, the Romans didn't bring the people back to Rome to make them Romans, they took Rome to the people to make the people Rome".

Do you see the resemblance to His plan in sending Jesus to earth? The timing was right! Rome was using God's system of government, so everything Jesus said should have made sense to the inhabitants of the kingdom of Rome. Wherever the Romans invaded became "little Rome". They made you speak their language, eat their food, follow Rome's laws and culture, pay Roman taxes -- they became inhabitants of Rome, and everything in that land became Rome. Wherever you were, was Rome! 

Is the picture becoming clearer? When Jesus declared, "Repent [renew your mind]! The Kingdom of God is near", He was announcing that He was invading earth and bringing the Kingdom of God [and its government] to all the people. For three years, His ministry was for the purpose of teaching the people to become like citizens of Heaven. The parables were to teach them about the culture of Heaven ... each parable begins with "The kingdom of Heaven is like...". 

He also began teaching about the commandments and rules of Heaven ... about fasting and laying up treasure in Heaven; about judging others, the Golden Rule and what defiles a person. He taught about Heaven's position on anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation and loving your enemies, teaching them, "You have heard it said... but I say to you...", distinguishing the difference between their old standards of behavior and Heaven's new paradigm.    

That's why Jesus Christ was a problem to the Roman Empire -- because He declared that HE was Lord and He was bringing a new government! It was a political issue not a religious one. Read your Bible! Jesus never claimed He was a Priest; He claimed He was a KING! 

And the religious Jews [Pharisees and Sadducees], who were also the ruling faction of the Jewish people, saw their delicate balance of power and rulership with the Roman government threatened by Jesus's position. Jesus declared Himself King and brought a new government to earth and it was a political conflict -- two kingdoms clashing! The Pharisees wanted to use Religion to control Jesus [and protect their liaison with Roman political leaders] but His message was about Lordship [rulership and kingship]. [NOTE: the conflict between Religion and the Kingdom of God on earth continues to this day].  

God's purpose for Jesus coming was not to establish a Religion, but to establish His form of government on the earth; a government that mirrored the government in Heaven. Jesus taught 12 men the principles of changing the territory of earth into looking like Heaven -- the very system the Romans used, and it should have been identifiable to the people He came to. But because it wasn't, the very people who were looking for the kingly line of David to restore them, didn't recognize His kingdom message and what He was doing. They let the religious leaders offer Jesus up as a sacrifice to ease the hostility and strained relations with Roman authorities. They couldn't see that He was offering them a position in the Heavenly Kingdom that surpassed all the kingdoms in human history! 

Jesus declared He was born to be a King and to testify of the Truth. But His kingdom was not from this world -- in it, but not from it. When Pilate threatened Jesus by telling Him he had the power to save or take Jesus's life, Jesus responded by telling Pilate he would have no authority at all, except that it was given to him by God through His government system in Heaven. You see, the truth is that when Jesus came to earth, He invaded it, bringing the government of Heaven with Him to transform this territory and the people into Heaven. That's who we're supposed to be -- acting like citizens of Heaven, where there is no lawlessness, no crime, no corruption, no famine, no war, no persecution, and no religion... 

So, Jesus came at just the right time ... At a time when the world could understand what His Father's government system would look like. And the benefits were great -- Salvation and a Reconciled Relationship with our Creator and Heavenly Father. We haven't done a very good job of implementing that system. But it's never too late! As long as there is a remnant that understands and clings to it, I believe that our Father will honor our hearts. And it begins with each one of us, as we take territory in our lives and declare that it is Heaven, governed by Heaven's laws and love! Everywhere we go should look like Heaven, as we walk out Heaven's culture and system of spiritual government. Let it be your "right time" and see how much territory you can convert and transfer into the Kingdom of Heaven! The world needs a transformation and a spiritual rebirth -- one life and one piece of ground at a time. 

Matthew 6:10   Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.