Kingdom of God (Eternity)
Everyone wants a better tomorrow, it does not matter how good today is, people, want a better tomorrow. People are encouraged by companies to want a better car, a better house, a better phone a better body.
Politicians make promises of a better tomorrow, and they are right too, we must believe, and have hope that this COVID pandemic will come to an end, many have said that the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel.
The issue with wanting a better tomorrow is that it is temporary. The vast majority of people pay little attention to the matter of eternity.
Why do people think more about the here and now and less about eternity?
I think sometimes it seems easier to think about what is almost immediately in front of us. There is a need for us to be in control, and people struggle to get their heads around the fact that there is something more to life than this.
We will look in this article at what will happen when Jesus returns and what the fullness of the Kingdom of God will look like.
So, let us begin with the promise of the return of Jesus:
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.
Acts 1:10 – 11
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
We can see just from these scriptures alone that Jesus will return. The fact that scripture tells us that Jesus will return throws up another question, when?
Endless books have been written about Jesus’ return, earlier in Matthew 24, Jesus warns that there will be a time of tribulation before He returns, wars, rumours of war, famines, and earthquakes amongst many other things. People ask are we in the end times now, is Jesus about to return, well the truth is yes, we are in the end times in the sense that today we are closer to Jesus’ return than we were yesterday, but no one knows when Jesus will return only God the Father knows.
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
We should not be deceived by anyone who says they know the exact time that Jesus will return, like wise we should not be deceived by someone who claims to be Jesus, we will know when Jesus returns because He will return in the same way He left.
Whilst it is tempting to get inpatient and perhaps frustrated that Jesus has not returned yet let us head the words in
2 Peter 3:8-10
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
God wants all to come to repentance, will they no, but whilst we wait, we must pursue our role of calling people to repentance, of being ambassadors a subject we will dive into next week.
Whilst the day Jesus returns will be a great day for those who know Him it will hasten the time when people can no longer enter the Kingdom of God.
Revelation 20 tells us of what to expect, initially, satan will be thrown into an abyss for 1,000 years, his authority tempered, Jesus and some of the saints will reign for 1,000 years and then there will be a final battle at which satan will be defeated and thrown into the lake of burning sulphur where he will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
At this point judgement day will come, everyone will be judged. There will be those who are found to be in the book of life who will enter the fully realised Kingdom of Heaven, and those whose names aren’t in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire.
For those whose name is in the book of life, they will find themselves in the fully realised Kingdom of Heaven, the new Jerusalem.
There are many things to look forward to when the Kingdom of Heaven fully comes but I want to spend a few minutes looking at the start of Revelation 21.
21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
First of God will come and dwell with us, He will be amongst us. Amazing we will be with God, Jesus who was also known as Immanuel (God with us) only dwelt on earth for some 33 years, God with us in the fully realised Kingdom of Heaven is for ever.
There will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain, these things will cease. Illness will be gone, our bodies now are fallible to illness, to pain, we can suffer but that will cease. No death. This is the future for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
Read the description of the new Jerusalem in Revelation:
The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.
The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.
It had twelve gates which were made with twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl.
The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
Then the angel showed John the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city.
On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
No longer will there be any curse.
The divine order is returned, think back to Genesis and how it was meant to be before Adam and Eve sinned.
The consummation of the Kingdom of God is the final restoration.
That is what those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour have to look forward to.
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