Summary: In Daniel God predicted He would establish a Kingdom that would never end. What is that Kingdom, and what difference can that make in our lives?
The famous writer named Ernest Hemingway (author of books like “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, “The Old Man and The Sea”, “A Farewell to Arms”) had a brother named Leicester. In 1964, Leicester decided to form his own Kingdom. He built an 8 x 30-foot floating bamboo platform that he anchored with a Ford engine block 7 miles off the coast of Jamaica. When reporters visited his “kingdom” he told “I can stand on the platform, walk around on it, and salute the flag… and there are no taxes here, because taxes are for people not smart enough to start their own countries.”
Unfortunately for Hemingway, his kingdom crumbled. Fishermen destroyed it looking for scrap wood and the rest sank in a storm. (Uncle John’s Legendary Lost Bathroom Reader)
He built a kingdom that crumbled and sank beneath the waves. And down thru the ages, other men have built kingdoms that have ultimately crumbled and sank into the dustbin of history. Babylon, the Medes & Persians, Greece, and Rome --- just to name a few. But God vowed that He would “set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. (That Kingdom) shall break in pieces all these kingdoms (mentioned in Daniel) and bring them to an end, and (His Kingdom) shall stand forever” Daniel 2:44
God was going to set up a Kingdom that would STAND FOREVER!
So what was this KINGDOM that God prophesied? Well, an angel told Mary that Jesus “will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom THERE WILL BE NO END." (Luke 1:33) In other words, the Kingdom prophesied in Daniel is the Kingdom of Christ, and it WILL NEVER END!!!
And that’s the Kingdom WE belong to! Colossians 1:13 tells us we have been “delivered… from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” When we became Christians, we became citizens of the Kingdom of Christ. We were transferred out of the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of the SON.
During His earthly ministry Jesus talked about many things. But the one thing He talked about the most was His Kingdom. And, in the New Testament that word KINGDOM shows up 158 times. John the Baptist told people to repent and prepare for that Kingdom (Mt 3:2); The 12 apostles preached that that Kingdom was near (Matthew 10:7); The 70 that Jesus sent out, preached that that Kingdom was at hand (Lk 10:9); James preached that the poor were heirs to this kingdom (James 2:5); And Paul preached that the Kingdom was all about Jesus (Acts 28:23,31).
Throughout the New Testament, God referred to THIS KINGDOM as “The Kingdom of God”, “The Kingdom of Heaven”, “The Kingdom of Christ”, and just (PAUSE) “the Kingdom.” But all these phrases were used interchangeably to describe the same kingdom (see footnote)
So, what is this Kingdom? Well, its the Kingdom we call the Church… it’s us. When we transferred into Kingdom of the Son, this is who we are.
But is the church really a Kingdom? Well, every kingdom has to have at least 3 things in order to BE a Kingdom, and the Church has all of them.
1st – a Kingdom has to have A KING!
Isaiah 9:6-7 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. OF THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT AND OF PEACE THERE WILL BE NO END, on the THRONE OF DAVID and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”
Jesus was born to be our King!!!! He sits on His throne NOW!!! As the Book of Revelation describes Him, Jesus is the KING of kings and Lord of Lords. But what does that mean? What does it mean that Jesus is our King? It means He has the right to demand our full allegiance. In Ephesians 5 Paul writes about the relationship of a husband and wife, but he ends that section by saying that he really was talking about “Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32). In the middle of that section of Ephesians, Paul says that “the church submits to Christ…” (Ephesians 5:24). In other words, Christ sets the rules as King, and we as His church submit to Him!
ILLUS: In essence that’s saying that, if Jesus tells us to jump, we should ask “How High?” on the way up.
SO the Kingdom (the Church) has a “King. But a Kingdom also has to have … a people. And, WHO are the people in Christ’s Kingdom? That would be us. The church! As 1 Peter 2:9 declares “… you are a chosen race, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY NATION, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.”