Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

"The Kingdom Of God Is Within You"

Bryan Matthew Dockens

According to Jesus, "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). Contrary to popular theory, the establishment of God's kingdom would not be a visible event. The coronation of Christ the King would not be witnessed by millions on earth. Rather, the kingdom is seated in the hearts of men.

There are those who say that when Christ returns He will be enthroned in Jerusalem, reigning over the earth for a thousand years. However, the Lord Himself said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here" (John 18:36). Shortly before the kingdom of Judah fell to Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah prophesied that Coniah would be the last of the independent, sovereign kings of that nation: "For none of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah" (Jeremiah 22:30). Jesus was the fleshly descendant of Coniah who also known as Jeconiah (Matthew 1:11); therefore, Jesus will never rule from David's throne in Judah. It is true that He reigns on David's throne (Luke 1:32; Acts 1:30), but not in Jerusalem.

It is also believed that Jesus has yet to establish His kingdom, thinking it won't take place until the end. However, in His life on earth, the Lord said, "There are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:27). Unless there are two thousand year old people walking the earth, the kingdom of God was established a very long time ago. The reign of Christ certainly will not begin at the resurrection because that is when it shall cease, as it is written, "Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet" (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).

Jesus is reigning now and those who obey have already entered His realm. Paul wrote that the Father "has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13-14). Entrance into this kingdom is predicated on rebirth, as Jesus declared, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5), with the application of water being a clear reference to baptism (Acts 10:47; 1 Peter 3:20-21).

Kingdoms ruled by mere men are subject to being overthrown and replaced (Daniel 2:39-40), but God assures us that "we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken" (Hebrews 12:28); indeed "the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18-19). Hundreds of years before Jesus came, Daniel foretold, "The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:44). We can take confidence in the unshakeable and enduring nature of this kingdom because of who reigns over it. Isaiah prophesied of the Christ: "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Are you in the kingdom (John 3:5)? Is the kingdom in you (Luke 17:21)?

To Whom Does The Earth Belong?

Bryan Matthew Dockens

It is God's. "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). It is appropriate that we sing "This Is My Father's World" because "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Indeed, "the living God... made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them" (Acts 14:15). The only credibility this information lends to the "Big Bang Theory" is the fact that God spoke and - BANG! - it happened (Genesis 1:1-31). "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God" (Hebrews 11:3). This being so, we are filled with praise for the Creator.

It is man's. Having spoken the world into existence, God handed control of it to mankind. He said to the first man and woman, "fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion... over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28). Since human dominion of the earth is a divine directive, man should not demean himself to ecological servitude; that is to say, environmentalism is contrary to God's will. And, since God has given the earth to men, it is unreasonable to expect men to be found on other planets. "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's; but the earth He has given to the children of men" (Psalm 115:16). Earth is the only world humankind has been granted this side of Judgment. We should be satisfied with that.

It is Satan's. Although the Creator is in ultimate control and has vested man with authority over the earth, man has generally surrendered to the enemy of God. "We know that... the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19). We are warned, therefore, to "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Those who lack this necessary soberness and vigilance have had the gospel veiled and their minds blinded by "the god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4). Ultimately, though, Satan will lose his worldwide grip on the souls of men. Jesus said, "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out" (John 12:31).

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