The Kingdom is Now but not Yet, The certainty of Christ coming but the uncertainty of when.
Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached that the Kingdom of God was at hand. The Pharisees expected that if Jesus was indeed the Messiah he would introduce his rule with a sudden demonstration of power and a visible conquest of the land. Jesus goes on in His teachings to make clear that the kingdom at this point in time was not an observable political and military movement. At this time it was not a territory nor a system of government, but it was in you or with regards to the Pharisees it was “among” you.
The Pharisees and even the disciples could not understand the message about the Messiah and the Kingdom. It was here but He had to suffer first return to the Father and come again to take up the redeemed (1 Thess. 4:13-18) and judge and deal with evil and unbelief, then establish the Kingdom, his followers would be deprived of His personal presence and that many would come claiming to be the Messiah.
The lesson for us is that Gods kingdom is also in us and among us too. Christ is here, hidden but present in His Church and in His people. Christ is here in the hopeless and the weak, the needy and the oppressed. Lets not be deceived as the Pharisees were, by worldly wealth, by buildings, by glamour etc. We do not know when He will return, but return He will. Meanwhile, lets always remember, God’s Kingdom is among us, as Christ expresses His love through us to a lost and hurting world.
This world will not get better before Christ returns and He not will find a receptive people. In this passage Jesus says that when He comes things will be as they were before the flood and before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. There will be little faith left and people will be living for self, everyone will do what is right in their own eyes. The coming of Christ will be unexpected as a thief in the night, yet Scriptures says this day should not take us by surprise we need to be always ready.
The question to us is: How then should we live?
The answer: “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” II Peter 3:11-18
Lenten Reader 2018
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