Summary: Prepared for Christ the King Sunday in November of 2006, this is a message about being witnesses for Jesus Christ and bringing the lost into His Kingdom by the power of the Holy Spirit ministering through us.
Crown Him with Many Crowns
“Happy New Year!” Before you say, “That’s a little premature,” let me explain. Next Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the Church or Liturgical Year. Today is the last Sunday of the current Church Year, “Christ the King Sunday.”
In the Roman Catholic Church, “The Feast of Christ the King,” originated with a Papal encyclical issued by Pope Pius XI on 11 December 1925. Today it is observed by many Protestant Churches including United Methodists. Pius XI was concerned that more and more people were turning away from the rule of Christ in their lives due to the advancement of communism and the embracement of secular humanism as their worldview.
More and more individuals, societies, and governments were looking at the world with the attitude that there was no place for the supernatural or spiritual in guiding and directing human decisions or in determining moral values. Secular humanists make personal decisions and determine moral values solely upon the basis of human understanding, reason, and personal feelings, with no regard for God’s authority in their lives.
Secular humanism rejects the Biblical promise of life after death and calls everyone to “find the good life in the here and now.” Secular humanism leads to sexual promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality as an alternative life style, and abortion on demand all under the umbrella of “human rights.” Secular humanism is hostile to our Judeo-Christian faith and standards of Biblical morality. Concerned about this rise in moral and spiritual decay, Pope Pius XI called Catholics to crown Jesus Christ the rightful Lord and King of their lives. Before we enter Advent this is the same invitation I extend to each one of us as well.
Historically a Kingdom is a state or nation whose supreme ruler or head of state is a king or queen. The monarch inherits his or her position and is the supreme ruler for life. Only One Person in the Universe has the right to be our Supreme Ruler and guide our personal decisions and moral conduct. That Person is God the Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, The Messiah. Let us “Crown Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords with many crowns.”
In our text Pilate asks Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus declares, “My Kingdom is not from this world. If My kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, My Kingdom is not from here.” Jesus’ Kingdom is “The Kingdom of Heaven,” “The Kingdom of God.” The two terms are used interchangeably in the New Testament. Jesus came preaching His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God. We read in Mark 1:14-15, “Now after John (the Baptist) was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’”
The Kingdom of Jesus is from heaven; it is “The Kingdom of God.” The Kingdom of God comes in two stages. It is present in the here and now and yet to come in the future. Today it is a spiritual Kingdom. Jesus currently reigns as King on the throne of our individual hearts. In Luke 17:20-21 the Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come, and He responded, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ’Here it is,’ or ’there it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” The hymn writer Alfred Henry Ackley testifies so powerfully that the “kingdom of God is within us”: