Sunday, February 27, 2011


As Christians, we know Jesus Christ is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, but did you know that the first person to formally present Him as Israel's King was Pilate? The wise men were seeking the King of the Jews, but when they found Him, instead of revealing Jesus as the long-awaited King, they "snuck out of town" (Matt. 2:1-12). John the Baptist presented Him as the sacrificial Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:7). His disciples preached the Kingdom but not in the presence of the King. However, the first person to announce His royalty was the very man that turned Him over to the mob to be crucified. Pilate not only presented Him as King (Matt. 27:17; Mk. 15:9; Jn. 18:39), he had a sign placed above His head on the cross declaring Jesus as their King in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew (Matt. 27:37; Mk. 15:26; Lk. 23:38; Jn. 19:19).

Some have suggested that the Church is the Kingdom of God, because Jesus said He was going to give Peter the keys to His Kingdom (Matt. 16:17-19). What on earth does that mean? The answer is found in a few passages in the book of Acts. Jesus told His disciples they were to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the rest of the world (Acts 1:8). This is extremely important, because there are only three kinds of people: Jews, Samaritans (part of Israel that differed from orthodox Jews), and Gentiles (everyone else). The Apostle Peter was present when each of these groups of people was accepted into the Church as followers of Christ (Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 10). But the Church cannot be the Kingdom because Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this world (Jn. 18:36).

There are a couple of other major reasons the Church is not the Kingdom. One, the King is not physically present during the Church Age (the time between the coming of the Holy Spirit and the Rapture - Acts 2; 1Thes. 5:13-18), and all of the prophecies concerning the reign of the Messiah referred to His ruling in the Land of Promise. Two, there is to be a specific period of one thousand years known as the Kingdom Age, nicknamed "The Millennium" (Rev. 20:1-7). It is true that the Church will play a significant role during the Millennial Reign of Christ, but it will be composed of saved Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles in their glorified bodies; we are to rule and reign with Him during His earthly Kingdom (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 5:10; 20:4, 6).

Had Israel heeded the call of John the Baptist to repent and acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, the Kingdom could have begun. But they did not, and as a result, the Kingdom has been put on hold for almost two thousand years (Jn. 1:11-12). Where is the Kingdom today? It was among the Jews who rejected Him (Matt. 12:28; Lk. 10:9, 11; 11:20). It was at hand because He was there (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7). But today, it is wherever the King is! For now, He is seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting to come establish His Kingdom (Matt. 26:64; Lk. 22:69; Acts 7:55). All I can say is, "Come quickly Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20)!

No comments:

Post a Comment