The Kingdom of God is His kingship, His rule, His authority. When this is once realized, we can go through the New Testament and find passage after passage where this meaning is evident, where the Kingdom is not a realm or a people but God’s reign. Jesus said that we must “receive the kingdom of God” as little children (Mark 10:15). What is received? The Church? Heaven? What is received is God’s rule. In order to enter the future realm of the Kingdom, one must submit himself in perfect trust to God’s rule here and now. We must also “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt. 6: 33). What is the object of our quest? The Church? Heaven? No, we are to seek God’s righteousness—His sway, His rule, His reign in our lives.
God created the heavens and the earth. Heavens, the realm of the spiritual, and earth, the realm of the physical. It is easy to find instances of people who take one and leave the other. We have specialists in things of the spirit who ignore things of the earth—people who are so heavenly-minded that they do no earthly good. They are full of dreams, visions, pious sighs, and beautiful thoughts, but somehow it never makes any difference in how they treat their friends, conduct their business, or care about the world. And then there are people who are specialists in the material and ignore things of the spirit. They collect money, pursue sensations, play games, or accumulate possessions, but with all their devotion to the material, they never seem to become any better, happier, or more useful. They are selfish, disgruntled, and anxious.
As believers, we are sojourners from another Kingdom while we live here on Earth. The documentation of our heavenly passport and the word of God define who we are and how we are to live in this world when its demands of earthly citizenship contradict our higher allegiance. We should always speak with the accent of Heaven and carry with us the customs and lifestyle inherent with that citizenship. Without those distinctions, we will slowly fall into the slumber of compromise where we will succumb to ways of thinking we would have never thought possible when our faith was awake and clearheaded.
Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.
No man who is fit to live need fear to die. To us here, death is the most terrible thing we know. But when we have tasted its reality it will mean to us birth, deliverance, a new creation of ourselves. It will be what health is to the sick man; what home is to the exile; what the loved one given back is to the bereaved. As we draw near to it a solemn gladness should fill our hearts. It is God’s great morning lighting up the sky. Our fears are the terror of children in the night. The night with its terrors, its darkness, its feverish dreams, is passing away; and when we awake it will be into the sunlight of God.
The Lord kept the Passover with His disciples in the Upper Room to fulfill the law. More than that, communion with Him looks toward the Wedding Supper that we will be eating and drinking in the last days. Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant by His observance of the Pasch and at the same time established the New Covenant with us. We entered into a new dimension of worship and fellowship with the spirit. Jesus was… sacrificed as the Passover Lamb. We are not only to observe the Lord’s Supper, we are to be a part of it by being part of His sacrificed body. Jesus participated and finished the old ceremony that we might participate with Him and be a part of the new.
Even the tired horse, when he comes near home, mends pace: be good always, without weariness, but best at last; that the nearer thou comest to the end of thy days, the nearer thou mayest be to the end of thy hopes, the salvation of thy soul.
We might have the beautiful house, beautiful country, fat account, good friends, wonderful children, nice jobs, but there is nothing that can replace the reality of disturbed soul that is heading towards destruction.
But what the joy it is, on the other hand, to be in peace with God, to feel His presence and to smell His presences. This is what we should, by all means, strive for in faith, hope for and die for, for the city of God, is far much better than a taste of this life.
It is best to be with those in time that we hope to be with in eternity.