Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Kingdom that turned the world upside down............

   The kingdom of God is within you...
    If all of this was not astonishing enough, Jesus told the Pharisees something even more startling: "Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, "See here!", or "See there!", For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you"(Luke 17:20,21).  
   What kind of kingdom is this? A kingdom thats within you??? Jesus was truly introducing something marvelously new---something revolutionary. This was not just a new kingdom. It WAS a new TYPE of kingdom. It was a type of kingdom that was totally different from what anyone---Jew or Gentile---had ever heard of before. A kingdom that is "within you".
   "Oh, I see," you may  be thinking. "Jesus was talking about a spiritual kingdom, not a real one." No, Jesus was talking about a real kingdom. The ancient kingdom of the Israelites was definately a real kingdom, wasnt it? It had real kings, real subjects, and real laws. The kingdom of God is just as real as the ancient Israelite kingdom. It too has a real king, real subjects, and real laws. It's domain encompasses the entire earth, even though most of the earths population are not citizens of this kingdom.
   What did Jesus mean whne He said that the kingdom of God is within you? Tertullian, an early Christian writer, commented on this phrase, "Now who is there who does not understand the phrase, "within you", to mean in your hand or within your power? That is, if you hear and do the commandments of God?" Anybody can choose to be a citizen of the kingdom of God if he is willing to make the needed commitment. A person doesn't have to travel anywhere or pay any sum of money to become a citizen.
   Now, many greek scolars today that Luke 17:21 should be translated, "The kingdom of God is in your midst," rather than "within you". In other words, the  King and some of His subjects were already standing there inthe midst of those religious leaders who asked Jesus when the kingdom was coming. The kingdom was in their midst, but they didn't realize it.
   Whichever significance Jesus intended by the phrase,"within you" or "in  your midst", the principle is still the same. His kingdom has no national boundries, no earthly king, and no military forces. His subjects live within the midst of the peoples of this world, yet the world cannot see this kingdom. Becoming a citizen of Gods kingdom is within reach of everyone. In fact, what makes Gods people the subjects of this kingdom is something within them---the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

More later...

Love to all who read.....

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