The Hebrew prophets looked forward to the coming Kingdom of GOD.
According to the prophet Daniel, this Kingdom would be for all nations and ethnic groups (Daniel 7). Daniel declared the exact time this eternal King would come to the earth to inaugurate His kingdom (Daniel 9). The wise men (magi), educated in the Babylonian School of Daniel, came to Jerusalem at the time of His coming, asking, “Where is He that is born King …?”
Throughout history, men had sought to establish kingdoms, but “the stone not cut with human hands” (Daniel 2:34) came to be the Foundation Stone of a new Kingdom. He brings people into His Kingdom as stones built on Him, the Foundation.
How does He do it? He crushes the pride of people, transforms us from the inside out, and shows us the silliness of trusting in earthly kings and kingdoms.
Jesus tells us “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).
When John introduced the Savior to the world he proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15).
The Kingdom of God and the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ. are like peanut butter and jelly between two pieces of bread. You can’t separate them.
Where the gospel is believed, a new brick is laid on the Foundation Stone and the Kingdom of God expands.
Definition of a Kingdom: A King with a Domain
Jesus said, “My kingdom is NOT of this world” (John 18:36).
So where is it?
Jesus came to earth to establish His Kingdom in the hearts and minds of His people
“Now, when Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21).
Jesus didn’t come to guarantee you a retirement fund, to make comfortable your holidays, or to promote to a new position at work.
Jesus came to give you unshakeable confidence while living in a shaking culture.
He came to reign in your mind and heart. He came to convince you that eternity is worth your allegiance to Him.
In the United States, it seems we worship comfort. We go to our comfortable churches, live in our expensive homes, drive our new cars, and find ourselves shaken when our comforts begin to disappear.
But true Kingdom people are never shaken.
We have the unshakeable Kingdom of Christ (see Hebrews 12:18-29) in us.
The day is coming when Spirit-led revival awakens more and more people in the United States, similar to what happened in the Book of Acts.
For the kind of Christianity seen in Acts to be normative in the United States, our culture has to be brought to a place of shaking so people look for the unshakeable.
Our Unshakeable Kingdom in a Shaking World
When I read the book of Acts, I see followers of Jesus who are living in a hostile world, with very few possessions, and with no financial safety net.
These early Christians, disliked by the Roman kingdom, were endued with Spirit’s power.
Christ reigned in their hearts, and they trusted nothing other than Him.
I believe the early Christians in Acts display normative Christian living.
Their hearts and minds are captivated by Christ’s unshakeable Kingdom while living in a shaken world.
Chinese Christian writer and martyr Watchman Nee, author of the classic work The Normal Christian Life, once wrote:
“Christianity today is so subnormal that if any Christian began to act like a normal New Testament Christian, he would be considered abnormal.”
Normality may soon be returning to us Christians as we see temporal comforts removed.
Don’t be shaken.
Christ reigns over all the kingdoms of men.