What would the news be like if Jesus Christ was reporting it? Suppose if He was on CNN or MSNBC tonight? Would He discuss the upcoming presidential elections? Global warming? Relations between the U.S. and Israel? The moral decay in America?
No doubt if Fox News’ Megyn Kelly got the interview of the century with Jesus Christ on her program, He would discuss the one issue that has been on His heart and mind for the past two thousand years. Unlike the news of this day, it would be “good news,” a message of hope and glad tidings. He would present a case for the failure of all human governments in eradicating deception, corruption, famine and wars, and offer the one solution that would remove these lingering, systemic problems from mankind.
It would be the very same message that He preached two thousand years ago, and that He charged His disciples to “broadcast” throughout the world.
That message is important because Jesus said that this very same message that He preached two thousand years ago – the gospel of the Kingdom — would again be preached “into all the world,” just before His return (Matthew 24:14)!
That seems to suggest that His message really hasn’t been preached for thousands of years, or at least has not reached the ends of the earth. So then, what is that teaching that will herald His return?
Today, let’s take a look at that message and see why it’s more welcoming news than all that the United Nations and all that our brilliant minds have been able to muster.
FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM THE WORLD
We hear the phrase “fundamentally transforming America” bandied about these days, without the positive outcome we’ve been expecting. Jesus’s approach, however, to fundamentally transform the world has a two-pronged strategy: globally and individually.
Let’s take the global initiative first. But before we do, in order to find out what His message is, we have to first understand the Messenger! Who was Jesus?
KING OF THE WORLD
Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler who had jurisdiction over Judea, wanted to know who Jesus was as well. “Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate demanded.
Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
Then Pilate said, “So you are a king!” Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world — to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate, in typical political dodge mode, asked rhetorically, “What is truth?” (John 18:33-38 NET)
The truth that Jesus is outlying here is that He came into the world to be its King, to rule over all the nations. But He said, it’s “not of this world,” that is, not at this time. It’s when He returns again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, .
Now if He says “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords,” then that means there are other kings and other lords. Who are these other kings and lords? More about that later.
KINGDOM OF GOD IN TWO PHASES
There are two distinct phases of the Kingdom of God. It is in the here and now, and it’s also in the future.
Let’s look at the future one first.
In one of His Kingdom parables, Jesus describes Himself as a “nobleman” who went into a “far country to receive for Himself a Kingdom and to return” (Luke 19:11-12). While He was gone He expected His servants to “occupy” until He returns and to attend to His business.
Upon His return, yielding authority as King, this is what His Kingdom will be like:
- Every human government will be overturned and be subjected to His reign (Revelation 11:15).
- Jesus will lead a benevolent reign. Scriptures say He shall be called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
- It’ll be a thousand year reign of love, righteousness and peace (Revelation 20:4).
- War will not be tolerated in His Kingdom: “And he shall judge between the nations, and shall reprove many peoples: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4 RV).
- Even the nature of animals will be changed: “And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:6-9).
- All the inhabitants of the world will have joy and abundance: no hunger, no pain, no horror, no sin, no sorrow (Revelation 21:4).
- All the earth’s inhabitants will easily be led to love the Lord Jesus as God (Isaiah 12:1-6).
RULERS WITH HIM
We spoke earlier about Jesus being the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. That means that there will be other kings and other lords ruling with Him. Who are these rulers?
Jesus speaks about a bodily resurrection of all the saints from this life. And they, having overcome in this life, will have responsibilities as rulers with Him in His Kingdom.
Jesus says that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be in the Kingdom (Matthew 8:11). David, who ruled as King over Israel in his life, will be resurrected and continue his rule, under Jesus, over Israel (“And my servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them” (Eze 37:24 RV).
His apostles will each be resurrected and rule with Jesus, over each of the twelve tribes of Israel (“Peter said to Him, Behold, we have forsaken all and have followed You. Therefore what shall we have? And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you that you who have followed Me, in the (Kingdom), when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Mat 19:27-28 MKJV).
That invitation by Christ to rule with Him is made to all who would follow Him in this life! Jesus is inviting you to be a part of that wonderful Kingdom that will replace all the world’s kingdoms.
In the above parable, where Jesus told his followers to “occupy” till He returned, here’s the followup.
IT’S A FAMILY BUSINESS
To each of His servants, He gave them a “talent.” In a similar parable in Luke 19, He gives them a “pound.” In both instances, they denote something of monetary value, which Jesus expected them to “gain by trading” – doing business, returning a profit. This is all a business venture. Jesus, being the CEO, expects His workers to help build the family business while He’s away.
What will we do with the “truth” that He gives us?
A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities (Luke 19:12-19).
Notice: to each one of these servants, who helped build the Kingdom of God in this life, they were rewarded with positions of rulership over cities in the future Kingdom of God.
Other scriptures confirm this:
- And has made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:6).
- And has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10).
- And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations (Revelation 2:26).
It is imperative to understand that when His disciples asked Jesus about signs of His coming, He stated emphatically, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Mat 24:14 KJV).
We at news2morrow have been stressing the point that news events taking place today all attest to the fact that Jesus is coming soon. The preaching of the Kingdom of God will become all the more pronounced as we draw closer to the time of His return.
But there’s more to the story of the Kingdom of God. If Jesus was on The O’Reilly Factor, Jesus would say, in a way that even Bill O’Reilly couldn’t refute, that the Kingdom is in the future, but it’s also for the here and now.
When the Pharisees, who were the religious leaders at the time, demanded to know from Jesus when the Kingdom of God should come, “He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21 KJV).
How is the Kingdom of God within you? Where do you see the Kingdom of God today? Where is it in real life?
We’ll take that up in our next installment. So, come back for the answer.