S34P1 – The kingdom of heaven: lasting
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Roman Empire lasted for 500 years. At its height, Rome was the apex of power and knowledge in the known Earth. In the 1500 years since then, historians have tirelessly studied its rise and its fall. For a civilization to last so long, generations of people must have lived and died within its reign. They may have thought that their empire would last as long as the earth existed. Undoubtedly, a culture that makes some of its rulers divine after death must expect to be eternal. Some of us in the United States might have the same notion. Living and dying under this set government system might make us think that it will always remain. However, the kingdoms established by mankind will never last eternally. Only the kingdom established by the one true eternal God will continue forever.
We cannot be deceived into thinking that the eternal kingdom of God is something yet to come. This kingdom already exists here on Earth and dwells within us. It is not a physical place made up of buildings and courtyards. It has no acreage to be counted. The kingdom of God is an established government of authority and rule. It is perfect and pure. When this kingdom operates here, it prevails over whatever lower authority has tried to establish itself. That God’s kingdom is eternal means that it was never established at any point. It has existed forever. With perfect rule and perfect justice, it operates within and around us all the time. Regardless of the words on our passports, we are first and last citizens of God’s kingdom of heaven. In perfect security, we never need fear or worry that any rival civilization will overthrow us. We cannot fall.
God’s kingdom is without boundaries. It has no set real estate. It has no date of foundation. It will not end. Being citizens of this eternal kingdom means that we are eternal as well. While we certainly wait for the time when Jesus Christ will come and re-establish order and justice, we know that this kingdom has arrived already. God, in his graciousness, does not ask us to wait in this world without his power. He has imparted his kingdom to us so that we may operate under it in the here and now. Every coin decorated with the face of a man will one day be gone. No national flag will endure time. There will come a day when every border disappears, and there will be only one citizenship. Father, thank You for the promise of your eternal kingdom within us now and the promise of what it brings in the future.