What is God’s kingdom?
Jesus likened himself to a man who would go away and secure the kingdom. He spoke of a time when he would return with power and glory and all the angels with him. The kingdom is an expression of God’s goodness to mankind. When Christ returns in kingdom power mankind will finally understand what has been happening through history and what wonderful opportunities are possible. It will bring in peace and security and be a blessing for mankind.
‘When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne.’Matthew 25:31
What blessings will Gods kingdom bring?
When Jesus walked the earth, he cured people of all sorts of infirmities. This was a demonstration of what Gods kingdom can accomplish. Jesus demonstrated a benevolent loving and kindly spirit to mankind. He witnessed to people classed as sinners, prostitutes, the lowly and downtrodden and dealt with all people in a dignified way. When people let him down, he built them up. Even as he was dying, he assured a sinner who was dying alongside him of a place in Paradise. Gods kingdom will bring in conditions that are truly remarkable. God will wipe out every tear from man’s eye and do away with death. Truly, God’s kingdom is mankind’s hope.
‘and there came to him great crowds having with them cripples, mutilated men, blind men, dumb men, and many others, and threw them down at his feet; and he cured them,’Matthew 15:30
‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’Revelation 21:4
Why do we need Gods kingdom?
Early in man’s history, a fallen angel seduced humankind away from God. He lied to mankind. This put us onto the path that our history demonstrates with the rise and fall of kingdoms. This angel said that man would not die in the manner that God had warned mankind would be the consequence if they chose to follow another God. When humankind chose to follow this false god, they became what the Bible call sinners, literally meaning one who no longer serves God. The result of sin is death just as God said would be the case. The thousands of years of man’s history confirm that everything promised by this fallen angel is a lie. Out of respect for man’s freedom of choice, it was necessary to allow humankind to experience the truth about the lie of this angel. Because men die this fallen angel even came up with the idea of the immortality of the soul. Today most people recognise that this is a fallacy. When Christ returns all mankind will receive clarity and be able to see clearly how this fallen angel has caused so many problems on the earth. The kingdom will restore mankind.
‘and the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not die’Genesis 3:4
‘for the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’Romans 6:23
‘for there is an outcome for humans and an outcome for animals; they all have the same outcome. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit. So, man has no superiority over animals, for everything is futile.’Ecclesiastes 3:19
Why so much suffering through history?
The ruler of this world is identified as Satan the devil in Scripture. Mankind chose to follow a cruel God. Today if a people choose to put in power a very cruel ruler, they suffer the consequences. It is the same with mankind’s history relative to Satan. He is the ruler of this world. Jesus spoke of him as such but made the point that Satan had no power over him. Gods kingdom will overthrow the kingdom of Satan.
‘“I shall not talk with you much more, for the ruler of the world is coming. And he has no hold on me,”’John 14:30
‘and the great serpent was thrown down, the primeval snake, he who is called the Devil and Satan, the misleader of the whole world of men—thrown down to the earth, and its angels thrown down with it.’Revelation 12:9
Is there a hope for all those who have suffered?
Absolutely yes. The Bible book of Job describes a resurrection from the dead at God’s appointed time. Jesus stated that “all those in the grave” would receive a resurrection. Gods kingdom will do away with the kingdom of Satan. It will crush and destroy Satan’s rulership. It will then proceed to restore beautiful conditions to the earth and while this progresses there will be a resurrection from the dead. All those who have died have been subject to Satan’s rulership. We can only imagine how wonderful the earth will be when Christ kingdom is extended over the earth.
‘If a man dies will he come to life? I will wait all the time I had to serve till my relief came; You will call and I will answer you; you will have a yearning for the work of your hands.’Job 14:14, 15
‘Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out,’John 5:28
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.Daniel 2:44
‘And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades [Hell] gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.’Revelation 20:13
Why does the Bible speak of Armageddon?
On one occasion the Bible does speak of Armageddon. It states that the followers of Satan, other fallen angels, seek to gather mankind to Armageddon. When Christ returns the Demons are hoping that there will be some sort of battle with the Christ. In between the two verses in Revelation 16 we are told that we need to be awake and understand that there is more to this. The Bible describes the initial reaction to Christ’s return as being fearful. After this fearful reaction however, the Bible describes a great crowd of mankind out of all nations who welcome the kingdom. There is no hope for the fallen Demon angels, and these are described in battle with the kingdom. But mankind does have the opportunity to avoid confrontation with Christ. Happily, the Bible makes it clear that there will be a large scale reaction in support of God’s kingdom.
‘They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and they perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. “Look! I am coming as a thief. Happy is the one who stays awake and keeps his outer garments, so that he may not walk naked and people look upon his shamefulness.” And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon.’Revelation 16:14-16
‘And there came a war in the sky, Michael and his angels battling with the serpent; and the serpent and its angels battled, and they failed, nor was there any longer to be found in the sky a place for them. And the great serpent was thrown down, the primeval snake, he who is called the Devil and Satan, the misleader of the whole world of men—thrown down to the earth, and its angels thrown down with it.’Revelation 12:7-9
‘After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. And they keep shouting with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.”’Revelation 7:9,10
What of the scenes that the Bible shows that appear to be great destruction?
The Bible does contain some candid scenes that are frightening. And there are accounts including the flood of Noah’s day and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah that illustrate in a very powerful way the consequences of following this false god Satan. However, Jesus condemned people who were continually looking for some sort of sign and compared himself to the prophet Jonah. Just as Jonah was in the heart of a large fish for approximately three days so he explained that he would be dead for approximately three days. Then sometime later Jonah arrived at his assignment to condemn the nation of Nineveh. When Jonah arrived, he proclaimed God’s judgement against the people of Nineveh and then he went up into a lofty place to watch God’s judgement. But the people of Nineveh put trust in God’s word and repented and turned around. The people of Nineveh were one of the most vicious and cruel races that this earth has ever seen. God did not destroy them because they changed their ways. When Jonah questioned this, God explained that he would not destroy people who lived in ignorance of right and wrong. The point of Jesus illustration is a powerful one. Today, there is so much confusion among different religious faiths and everyone claims to know the so-called “truth” and yet in reality we see only a hazy outline of the truth. Jesus explained that it would only be on his return that everything would become clear. The point of these Bible scenes is very powerful. No human could win in a battle with God. Why would we even consider fighting against God? When Christ returns in kingdom power there will be great signs and doubtless the first reaction will be fearful. But Christ has already demonstrated his wonderful personality and his kindness when he walked the earth. It is time to put faith in Christ.
‘In reply he said to them: “A wicked and adulterous generation keeps on seeking a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.’Matthew 12:39,40
‘Finally Jonah started to enter into the city the walking distance of one day, and he kept proclaiming and saying: “Only forty days more, and Nineveh will be overthrown.”’Jonah 3:4
‘And the men of Nineveh began to put faith in God, and they proceeded to proclaim a fast and to put on sackcloth, from the greatest one of them even to the least one of them.’Jonah 3:5
‘And God got to see their works, that they had turned back from their bad way; and so the [true] God felt regret over the calamity that he had spoken of causing to them; and he did not cause [it].’Jonah 3:10
“Should I not also feel sorry for Nineveh the great city, in which there are more than 120,000 men who do not even know right from wrong, as well as their many animals?”Jonah 4:11