THE COMING OF GOD'S KINGDOM



(MARK 1:14-15) 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”


THE ARRIVAL OF GOD'S KINGDOM WAS CENTRAL TO JESUS' PROCLAMATION. PEOPLE ARE TO REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL BECAUSE GOD'S KINGDOM HAD ARRIVED IN THE PERSON OF JESUS.(MARK 1:14-15, LUKE 4:42).

THE ARRIVAL OF GOD'S KINGDOM WAS EAGERLY AWAITED BY THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, FOR IT WOULD FULFILL THE MANY PROMISES OF GOD THAT HE HAD NOT YET BEEN REALIZED:

* THE SPIRIT WOULD NOT ONLY COME AGAIN, AS HE HAD IN THE PAST, BUT HE WOULD COME UPON EACH INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER IN FULFILLMENT OF JEOL 2:28-32 (Acts 2:16-21)

* SATAN WOULD BE DEFEATED (LUKE 10:18), AS WAS ALREADY BEING DEMONSTRATED BY JESUS' EXORCISMS (MARK 2:1-12; 3:11; 5:1-20)

* THE NEW COVENANT PROMISED IN JEREMIAH 31:31-34WOULD BE ESTABLISHED (MARK 14:24)

* THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD WOULD PRODUCE ITS FIRSTFRUITS (MARK 8:31; 9:9)

* GID'S ANOINTED, THE PROMISED SON OF DAVID (LUKE 2:25-38) WOULD ARRIVE.

THESE DIMENSIONS OF GOD'S KINGDOM HAVE ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED IN THE COMING, DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND ASCENSION OF JESUS.

IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE ARRIVAL OF JESUS AND JOHN THE BAPTIST, ISREAL WAS OPPRESSED BY ROME AND WITHOUT TRUE PROPHETS OR THE ACTIVE PRESENCE OF GOD'S SPIRIT. INSTEAD OF A KING DESCENDED FROM DAVID, A ROMAN GOVERNOR RULED THE LAND. IN SUCH A SITUATION, FASTING WAS APPROPRIATE. WITH THE COMING OF JESUS CAME THE COMING OF GOD'S KINGDOM, AND THINGS RADICALLY CHANGED. THE SPIRIT WAS ONCE AGAIN ACTIVE IN THE LAND, WORKING THROUGH THE PROPHET JOHN THE BAPTIST AND IN THE MINISTRY OF JESUS. FOR THOSE WITH EYES TO SEE, THE PROMISED MESSIAH, OR CHRIST, HAD APPEARED. BECAUSE GOD'S KINGDOM WAS WITH THEM IN THE PERSON OF JESUS, THE DISCIPLES COULD NOT FAST LIKE PHARISEES AND THE DISCIPLES OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. FASTING BECAME INAPPROPRIATE, FOR THE OLD TESTAMENT PROMISES WERE BEING FULFILLED. IT WAS TIME TO CELEBRATE AND FEAST BECAUSE GOD'S REIGN HAD BEGUN (LUKE 11:20). PEOPLE WERE ALREADY ENTERING INTO THE KINGDOM (MARK 10:23-25) AND EXPERIENCING ITS MANIFESTATIONS (MARK 9:1).

THERE IS A FUTURE, NOT-YET-REALISED DIMENSION OF GOD'S KINGDOM THAT AWAITS CHRIST'S RETURN(MARK 14:25). THE JEWS' NATIONAL HOPE FOR THE ARRIVAL OF GOD'S KINGDOM IS MOSTLY PART OF THIS "NOT YET" DIMENSION. THE ULTIMATE JUDGEMENT OF EVIL, THE FINAL ESTABLISHMENT OF JUSTICE, AND THE ERADICATION OF DISEASE, POVERTY AND EVEN DEATH WILL FIND THEIR FULFILLMENT WHEN JESUS, SON OF MAN, RETURNS IN GLORY, GATHERS HIS ELECT JUDGES THE WORLD, AND RESURRECT THE DEAD. ALTHOUGH THE TIME OF CHRIST'S RETURN IS UNKNOWN, CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE ALERT AND WATCH FOR HIS COMING IN ANTICIPATION OF THEIR BLESSED HOPE (TITUS 2:13).

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