Summary: God’s plan from the beginning was for his creation from Adam and Eve to the present day to be part of His Kingdom. From Scripture we discover several facts about the Kingdom of God.
A Present and Future Kingdom
“And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:33 (NLT)
Luke’s gospel gives us two historical birth announcements. The first announcement was to elderly Zechariah, with the angel Gabriel informing him that his elderly wife, Elizabeth would bear a son. They were to give him the name “John.” He would prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah.
The second birth announcement was six months later by the angel Gabriel to Mary in the little town of Nazareth. Mary was a virgin and she would bear a son by the power of the Holy Spirit and his name would be “Jesus.” Jesus would be the long awaited Messiah.
The birth of John the Baptizer was a direct answer to the prayers of the Priest Zechariah and Elizabeth who were both elderly and beyond child bearing years. The birth of Jesus was miraculous because Mary was a virgin. The angel Gabriel gave Mary the message: “God has blessed you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:30-33 (NLT)
All previous kingdoms had a beginning and an end. The Kingdom of Saul ended. The Kingdom of David ended. The angel Gabriel declared that the Kingdom set up by Jesus would never end.
With the birth of Jesus the Kingdom of God was present in the person of Jesus. When John the Baptizer began his public ministry he said, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2 “The time has come… The kingdom of God is near.” Mark 1:15 Jesus gave evidence that the kingdom of God had come by his casting out demons, “If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Matthew 12:28
Many first-century Jews knew the phrase, “Kingdom of God.” They eagerly wanted God to send them a leader who would over throw the Roman rule and make Judea an independent nation again – a nation of righteousness where everyone could learn God’s way.
From the beginning of creation the Kingdom of God has always existed, but it only became visible and present with the birth of Jesus the long expected Messiah. The Kingdom of God is both present and future. The day of the Lord is coming when Jesus will set up His eternal earthly kingdom.
Jesus said in Matthew 25:31-34, “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. Then the King will say to those on the right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
God’s plan from the beginning was for his creation from Adam and Eve to the present day to be part of His Kingdom. From Scripture we discover several facts about the Kingdom of God.
I. The Kingdom of God is a Spiritual Kingdom
Scriptures teach that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. Jesus is king of the spiritual kingdom – a kingdom of righteousness and holiness. The prophet Isaiah gave this prophecy concerning the coming of Jesus as Messiah: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles; Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!” Isaiah 9:6-7
The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom and not a physical organization. God’s Kingdom includes all who are living plus all who have died with an active faith in God. The scriptures are clear that when you surrender your life to Jesus, turn from sin, and confess Jesus as Lord of your life, you become a member of the Kingdom of God.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the dawning of the visible Kingdom of God. Jesus is King of the Kingdom of God.
King Herod saw the birth of Jesus as a threat to his own power and prestige. When he felt the wise men betrayed him, he had all babies two and under killed in and around Bethlehem.
Christmas is not about advancing commercialism. It is about giving honor and glory to the newborn King, Jesus Christ. From time to time there are stirrings in the corporate world to keep Christ out of Christmas.