The Coming of the Kingdom of God
Posted by Job on August 3, 2009
The Coming of the Kingdom of God
August 2, 2009 — Mike Ratliff
by Mike Ratliff
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:3-14 ESV)
This part of our Lord’s discourse is about being prepared for His return. Our hearts need to be on His expectant return not the ways and means of this world. Goods are not the sum of the lives of those in Christ. Lot’s wife did not escape God’s judgment because her heart was still tied to Sodom. She looked back and was killed. In this age those in the “not yet” part of the manifestation of the kingdom, Christians should live in such away that that their lives belong totally to their Lord not themselves. They should be living sacrifices being daily transformed through the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1-2). They should be willing to obey the Lord even if that brings persecution. Notice also that the ones who belong to the Lord will be taken away and be saved while those right next them who are not in Christ will lose their lives. Just being close to a genuine Christian is not enough to save anyone. Think of those people who believe that their religiosity will save them.
And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (Luke 17:37 ESV)
Our Lord ends this discourse in the use of a popular proverb to teach that just as dead bodies attract vultures, so the spiritually dead invite judgment. My brethren, in this age things will continue to become worse and worse until the cup of God’s wrath becomes full. The end of this age is known by God alone and when it comes the world will be shocked. Our part is to be prepared by walking in repentance and obeying the commands of our Lord to make disciples from all nations. Some of us teach, some of us go to the uttermost parts of the world to make disciples, some of us live and work in the midst of this lost and dying generation with friends and even family members who hate the truth and despise the gospel. Our part is to not be part of this world. We must live in it, but we must not be part of it. We must become separate from it as we work to become the disciples God wants us to be and to work to tell as many as we can about the hope that lives in us.
Soli Deo Gloria!