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Tuesday, June 9

Tuesday, June 9

The Kingdom of God: Already, Not Yet

Jesus came proclaiming the kingdom of God. In His first public proclamation at Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21) Jesus affirmed that through Him that day Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy of the kingdom and its redeeming ministry had been inaugurated.

Luke records another saying that attests the kingdom’s present reality. Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom would come, Jesus answered them that the “kingdom of God is within you”’ (Luke 17:21, NKJV). Other translations suggest that the kingdom is in your midst. That is today, with the arrival of Jesus, the kingdom has already come, with its components to include healing the sick (Luke 9:11), preaching of the gospel (Luke 4:16-19), forgiving sins (Luke 7:48-50; 19:9, 10) and crushing the forces of evil (Luke 111:20). This, Jesus made the kingdom a present reality within the individual, transforming the person to be like Him. The kingdom of God is also seen amid the community of believers, a revelation of righteousness and salvation. This present aspect is also known as “the kingdom of God’s grace [that] is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been fill of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love.”- Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 108.

While the “already” aspect has settled the finality of the kingdom- that is, the defeat of sin and Satan and Jesus’s victory in the great controversy-the “not yet” aspect looks forward to the physical end of evil and the establishment of the new earth: “The full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world.”-Page. 108.

What do these texts teach about the kingdom of God at the end of the age? Luke 17:23, 24; 21:5-36.

Our world, and the state of our world-the turmoil. Sorrow and trouble in it-certainly reflect the words that Jesus expressed here. Though some argue that the pain and suffering in this world mean God doesn’t exist, we could reply that , given what Jesus warned us about almost 2,000 years ago, the state of our world helps prove not only God’s existence but the truth of the Bible itself. (If the world were paradise now, Jesus’ words would be false). Only at the end will the kingdom of God, in all its fullness, be established. Until then, we have to endure.

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