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Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom of God’

How does the kingdom of God actually come to us? How does it advance in the world? This is an important question, I think. And it raises the following questions as well: Can we see signs of the kingdom’s coming? Ought we to look for them?  Will they come through the news headlines?

In Scripture we are told to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” But can we have any evidence, any tangible sign, of God’s kingdom actually advancing in the world? Can we even have a small glimpse of its coming? If so, where are we to look?

Michael Horton offers ever-helpful insight into how we should understand and anticipate the coming kingdom of God and its advancement in this presently dark and evil age. In the latest edition of Modern Reformation, Horton writes:

The manner in which the demons respond to Jesus shows his authority over them, but it is not just a raw power: it is his coming in his kingdom of grace and forgiveness that they fear most. Satan and his emissaries are busiest not with plotting wars and oppression–these are symptoms of the sinful condition that human beings are capable of generating on their own. However, Satan knows that if the Messiah fulfills his mission, the curse is lifted, his head is crushed, and his kingdom is toppled.

All of Satan’s forces are deployed in this last battle for “all authority in heaven and on earth.” all of Jesus’ miracles are pointers to this saving announcement; they are not ends in themselves. The kingdom comes with words and deeds. In the miracles, it is said that Satan has bound these people. Christ is breaking into Satan’s territory, setting history toward a different goal, bound to his own rather than to demonic powers. This is why Paul’s call to spiritual battle in Ephesians 6 identifies the gospel, faith, the Word, and Christ’s righteousness as the armor and weapons. Satan’s energies are now directed against the church and its witness to Christ. The devil knows his house is being looted and his prisons are being emptied as the gospel is taken to the ends of the earth.

So then, the Kingdom of God advances with the very proclamation of the gospel into all the world.  Where the word of forgiveness and grace is uttered, by the power of the Holy Spirit, souls bound by sin are freed and Christ’s kingdom is established.  It isn’t through pomp and circumstance that we observe the battlefield change, but rather with these foolish words: “Your sins are forgiven… Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

Broken sinners leap for joy at these words while all hell’s angels flee in terror. And they must flee because in these words is announced the demise of their master. Christ has crushed the serpent’s head and the gospel merely announces this reality so that the whole world  can hear of it. And we who hear these words rejoice that Christ our saviour and king is the victor and that our blessed inheritance in his eternal kingdom is now a most certain and glorious reality.

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