The Daily Word of Righteousness

Fifty-two Kingdom Concepts, #46

Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 28:31—NIV)

There is no point in God returning Paradise to us if there is no kingdom that is strong enough to prevent sin from occurring again. This is why God is training victorious saints, saints who through Christ have managed to conquer every force that has come against them. They shall sit on the throne with Jesus Christ and judge the angels and the nations. They shall rule forever from their headquarters, which is the new Jerusalem.

There is a real Heaven and a real Hell, make no mistake. But Jesus Christ did not come to bring us to Heaven or deliver us from Hell. There is no scriptural support for this prevailing myth.

It is true rather that the Lord Jesus Christ came to deliver us from spiritual death and give us eternal life. Eternal life is a kind of life by which all saved people are to live. Heaven is an actual place, not a kind of life. Salvation does not change where we are but what we are.

If our goal is Heaven we have to wait until we die in order to go there. Meanwhile we trust that God will overlook our wicked disposition and take us to Heaven anyway after we die.

But if our goal is to be a part of the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, then every day we have to make the effort to enter the Kingdom. We have to work with the Spirit as He removes from us every thought, word, and behavior that does not belong in the Kingdom of God. We enter the Kingdom of God now, not after we die.

We see, then, that whether we adopt the mythological goal of going to Heaven when we die, or the scriptural goal of entering the Kingdom of God today, has a practical effect on the diligence we apply to our Christian walk.

God invited the Lord Jesus to pray for the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth as His inheritance. Although the Lord had created the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth, He had to come as a baby and grow up to be crucified in order to possess that which He Himself had created.

Because we are co-heirs with Christ, our inheritance is the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth. The nations and the farthest reaches of the earth are a far, far more valuable inheritance than is Heaven.

The true effort of the new covenant is not to bring us to Heaven, it is to create Christ in us so we will be able to help ourselves and others to maintain Paradise once it is entrusted to us for the second time.

To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery just as I have received authority from my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27—NIV)

To be continued.