Here you will find recent postings to the Truths to Ponder section.
The Kingdom, the Church
As one reads through the New Testament it becomes evident that the church and the kingdom have many parallels. As a matter of fact, it is obvious that either God has two Spiritual families, the church and the kingdom, or they are one in the same.
When Jesus promised to build His church, He used the terms kingdom and church interchangeably (Matthew 16:16-19). Both are blood purchased (Acts 20:28; Revelation 5:9-10). The gospel calls one into the kingdom (I Thess. 2:12), and into the church (Colossians 3:15). New Testament Christians were members of the kingdom (Revelation 1:19; Colossians 1:13) and of the church (1 Corinthians 12:12). The kingdom is entered by the water and the Spirit (John 3:5) and by one Spirit, baptism is into the church (1 Corinthians 12:13).
When one submits to Christ’s authority, Christ becomes the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). The saved are added to the church (Acts 2:47). Jesus reigns over the kingdoms of the world, but when one is called by the gospel and translated into His Spiritual Kingdom, they become members of His body—the church. Christ’s blood-purchased kingdom is His blood purchased body, the church.
— Lanny Parker
Duration of Christ’s Reign Over the Kingdom
Christ’s Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (Psalm 145:13; Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:33). There is no kingdom mentioned in the Bible as lasting for a millennium (1000 years). Jesus is presently at God’s right hand reigning in the midst of His enemies (Psalm 110:1-2), waiting for a time when His enemies will be made a “footstool for His feet” (Hebrews 10:13). Jesus will reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet and the last enemy that will be abolished is death (1 Corinthians 15:25-26). Therefore, as long as men are dying, Jesus is reigning! At the end of time, Jesus will relinquish His reign and return the Kingdom to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24), not establish an earthly kingdom.
— Lanny Parker
Entering the Kingdom
John wrote that men are released from their sins and made to be a kingdom (Revelation 1:5-6). He adds that Jesus purchased all nations with His blood and made them to be a kingdom (Revelation 4:9-10). Therefore, the kingdom is entered when one is purchased with the blood of Christ by being released from their sins or forgiven. When Jesus promised to build His church, He told His apostles that He would give them the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:19). These keys were the terms for entrance into the kingdom or the terms for receiving the benefits of Christ’s blood.
As Peter was preaching the initial gospel sermon, the convicted audience asked, “Men and brethren, what must we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter replied, “Repent every one of you and be baptized in the name of the Lord for the forgiveness of sins . . . (Acts 2:38). When sins are forgiven, the alien sinner is purchased with the blood of Christ and born again (1 Peter 1:19-23). It becomes evident why Jesus told Nicodemus that one must be “born again” to enter the kingdom and that the new birth is by water and the Spirit (John 3:3-5).
By being guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), Peter and the apostles presented the keys to the kingdom by preaching the gospel. Those who repented and were baptized for the remission of sins experienced the new birth and entered the kingdom by water and the Spirit.
— Lanny Parker
The Time Frame of the Kingdom
Daniel spent most of his life in Babylonian captivity. While in captivity, Daniel was given the gift of interpreting visions or dreams. Daniel was summoned by King Nebuchadnezzar to interpret a dream. The dream was of an image that was comprised of four parts that represented four earthly kingdoms. Daniel explained to the king that the head of the image representedBabylonand that the remaining parts of the image represented the three worldly kingdoms that would followBabylon—Medio/Persia,GreeceandRome. When Daniel spoke of the fourth kingdom the image represented (Rome), he said, “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed. . .” (Daniel 2:44).
Jesus and John the Baptist began their ministries preaching repentance for the time was fulfilled and the kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven was at hand (Mark 1:15; Matthew 3:2). Jesus even told His audience that some of them would not die until they witnessed the arrival of the kingdom (Matthew 16:28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27). Both Jesus and John lived and died during the rule ofRome, the fourthkingdomofKing Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
Following Jesus’ crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea was waiting for thekingdomofGodto arrive (Luke 23:50-51). Following Jesus’ resurrection the apostles were curious concerning the arrival of the kingdom (Acts 1:6). Until the gospel was initially proclaimed in Acts chapter two, the kingdom was spoken of in future tense. Following the preaching of the gospel and submission to the gospel message, the kingdom was present.
The Colossians were translated into Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13). The Hebrews had received a kingdom (Hebrews 12:28). John was a member of the kingdom (Revelation 1:9). The gospel calls one into the kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:12). The kingdom arrived during the days of the fourthkingdomofKing Nebuchadnezzar’s vision just as Daniel had prophesied. Just as Jesus had prophesied, the time had been fulfilled and there were those in His audience who witnessed the arrival of the kingdom.
— Lanny Parker
The Nature of the Kingdom
When one fails to understand the nature of Christ’s kingdom, he fails to grasp a crucial part of the Bible. Jesus plainly stated that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). An earthly kingdom fails in comparison to the kingdom of Christ. Christ’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom where the central theme is the forgiveness of sins and all the Spiritual blessings in Christ. John wrote that Jesus releases men from sins by His blood and makes them to be a kingdom. . . (Revelation 1:5-6). God calls men into His kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:12) through the gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14). Christians are citizens of a heavenly, blood-purchased kingdom (Philippians 3:20). Christ’s Spiritual kingdom far exceeds any earthly kingdom that so many visualize.
A popular doctrine of the modern age teaches that Jesus will return to this earth and establish His kingdom. Advocates of this doctrine believe Jesus will reign in peace from David’s throne in Jerusalem for a literal one-thousand years. They also believe that the kingdom was not established during the first century due to Jesus being rejected by the Jews. Do kingdom prophecies and kingdom passages agree with this popular doctrine?
Jeremiah prophesied that no descendant of Coniah or Jeconiah would ever reign and prosper from David’s throne in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 22:28-30). If Jesus, a descendant of Jeconiah (Matthew 1:12), were to return and reign in peace from David’s throne in Jerusalem, Jeremiah’s prophecy would fail. If Jeremiah were a false prophet, the Bible would lose all credibility.
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