The Kingdom of God – Part 2
DG Blog #35
The kingdom Jesus brought with him is eternal—without fault, without failure, or the capacity to fail. It is a kingdom that rescues broken lives from their broken ways. This kingdom from heaven is “good news!” Jesus demonstrated the “good news” in the power of signs, wonders, and miracles (Hebrews 2:3-4). They were “signposts” used to point people to a better country, a “heavenly one” with a tangible experience. He gave them a taste of how much better his kingdom was (and is) compared to the kingdoms offered by the prince of darkness, governed by and heavily burdened under an oppressive yoke.
Jesus showed them the way, the truth, and the life to his kingdom. His yoke was easy, and his burden was light. He invited them to take his yoke and shed the other, not through coercion but through an unparalleled love never seen. All were welcome to join his kingdom. If they wanted citizenship in his domain, they must not only believe in him but pledge total allegiance and obedience to him as their Lord, King, and Savior. No one could enter the gate into his kingdom other than by him through faith in his name. Citizenship came to all who believed his message, believed he was who he said he was, and that he would reward those who follow him and become his disciples (i.e., perpetual students of his life and ways).
To be a disciple in God’s kingdom one cannot ignore the fact that Jesus equipped his disciples with authority to drive out demons, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, make the blind see, the deaf hear, the mute speak, the lame walk, and the dead rise (see Matthew 10.7-9). It’s what God’s kingdom in heaven looks like. None of these malformities exist in heaven. When such power is displayed on earth—as it is in heaven—it is released to give people hope in a greater kingdom than the one we’re in now.
Healings, miracles, signs, and wonders all demonstrate a loving, caring, and powerful King who has come to bear good gifts for those who love him. They are heaven’s announcements of a King who has come to earth to destroy the works of the devil (Acts 10:38) and to transform us into a new, resurrected life in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the King of heaven and earth.
As Christ’s disciples, we are urged by Paul to eagerly desire the use of these gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1) and to do the works that Jesus had done and even greater works than his (John 14:1-12). When Jesus returned to the Father in heaven’s country, he left us in charge as his “colony” outpost to advance his heavenly kingdom on earth. After his ascension, Jesus equipped us with the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this advancement with the evidence of signs and wonders through the gifts of the Spirit (Acts 1:8), just as he did when he walked the earth.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. –Luke 4:14
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. —Luke 4:18-19
The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. –1 Corinthians 4:18-20
What happened to the days when “normal” in the early church included a gospel confirmed with signs and wonders? It is my sincere belief that the Lord will bestow this type of “normal” in the last days upon those who not only desire the spiritual gifts but walk in faith and practice to use the gifts to advance the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
Grace and peace!