Scripture Text: Luke 17:20-21 Title: Finding God’s Kingdom
Question of the Day: When do we need to start getting ready for God’s Kingdom?
Many people today have the idea that when Jesus Christ, the Messiah, comes and sets up His kingdom, then I’ll jump on the bandwagon and follow and support Him and make it happen. But this cuts across everything taught in the Scripture. Jesus taught much about God’s coming kingdom, and here He points out the most significant thing about it.
The religious leaders of His day were always hounding Jesus, and it seems that as He neared Calvary, they were getting more and testier and more demanding. Here’s what today’s text says: “About this time the Pharisees demanded of Jesus to know when the kingdom of God would be coming; so He answered them, ‘God’s kingdom doesn’t come by our just looking forward to it, or watching events unfold as it nears. Nor can you say, ‘Look, here it comes!’ or ‘Look, there it is!’ because the kingdom of God starts within you.’”
Many today want to wait till the Messiah shows up, and then decide whether He is true or not and follow Him and thus bring in the kingdom. But Jesus told them several things about God’s coming kingdom:
• First, it is God’s kingdom, and He decides when and where and how it will come.
• Second, God’s kingdom doesn’t come any faster by knowing a lot about it and observing it come. We spend a lot of time thinking about whether Jesus Christ is returning soon to set up His kingdom, and we are told to watch and be ready; but if we wait to get ready until Jesus shows up, then we are too late.
• One can’t point to a sign and say, “Here is an indication that it is here!” Or “That is another sign that it is very near!”
• Then Jesus makes a startling statement: “God’s kingdom starts within you!” From the rest of Scripture we know that when a person responds to God’s voice and His calling and bows their heart and life before God, they are born again, and Walla, the kingdom of God is right there inside you! Man is always looking for a coming monarch to set up a kingdom, and then they want to chose to get on His side; but God’s kingdom is made up of people who a long time ago accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, were born again, and now live and walk by the Spirit of God, and when God’s kingdom comes, we will already be part of it!
This puts Christ’s coming kingdom in proper perspective. When we are born again, God’s kingdom has already begun in you, and whether you die and go to heaven and then return with Him, or are here on earth when He comes, you are already part of His coming kingdom. But if you wait to decide until He actually comes, you may not make it through the holocaust that precedes His coming as all of His enemies are wiped out! It will be too late then to decide!
Prayer: Lord our desire is that everyone around us prepares their heart and is ready when You come with Your kingdom—and to be ready we must already be born again and waiting for Your return. Prepare my heart so that I am ready and “looking up” and watching and keeping my life pure so that when Your kingdom comes, I’ll be there and fully ready to be part of Your great coming kingdom. Amen!
David B. Virts has written a book called “Knowing, Seeking Worshiping — a study of the character of God.” It is available by calling 615-945-0611.