The Then-and-Now Kingdom
At its deepest level, the human heart longs for the kingdom of God. Many people don’t know that’s what they’re longing for, but they are. They don’t necessarily want the King to rule their lives, but they do want the joy and peace and love of the kingdom. And many, even among those who already believe, are waiting to enter it one day.
You don’t enter the kingdom “one day.” You enter it when you believe and receive it. So you don’t need to wait to experience the kingdom; you can experience it now, at least in part. And not only can you experience it; you can play a significant role in bringing it to earth. After all, that’s where it’s coming (Matthew 6:10; Revelation 5:10). It isn’t through human government or any other social structure, but it can flavor everything we do in this world. It’s the reign of Jesus, in one form or another, through his people.
Of course, the kingdom comes in its fullness at the return of the King. And if we’re looking for overt, in-your-face, kingdom realities that the whole world can see, we’ll have to wait until then. But even while some people wait for that day, God is busy working through those who understand the kingdom mission. If we want to be like him, we’ll be deeply interested in seeing the kingdom come on earth as much as possible as soon as possible. And that means living, praying, and working for the kingdom to grow on earth even now.
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