The King was promised.
He would come through the line of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Judah, and David. He would be born in Bethlehem and live in Nazareth. He would heal the sick and set free the demon oppressed. His rule would begin in Israel and span the globe. This king would have an international kingdom; he would reign without end.
The King came.
Jesus arrived on the planet and lived an entirely perfect, holy, and righteous life. He pastored, preached, and perfectly obeyed the Father. Then, in an act of radical love, he allowed himself to be posted on a cross where he paid the price of all the sins of all his people. A few days later, he rose from the grave proving the Father’s satisfaction, his own deity, his own veracity, and his season of humiliation to be complete. A few weeks later, Jesus the King ascended into heaven where he took possession of his throne. What a coronation ceremony that must have been!
The King rules.
From his regal throne and lofty castle, Jesus watches over all the affairs of his universe. It is all his, given to him by the Father. In his world, he has all authority and power. He does with his own that which he wishes. In addition, he does with and to his enemies all that he desires. He struggles not to control his cursed planet. He does not wear himself out fighting with the Prince of Darkness. No, he keeps the devil on his leash and uses him for his own purposes. And when he is finally finished with the devil and his devilish followers, he will vanquish them as easily as he created them. They will be destroyed by the word of his mouth. The Lake of Fire awaits the enemies of the king.
However, he chooses not to do so, yet. He is patient. He is long-suffering. He is not quick to pull the trigger and damn all his enemies. Why? What is he doing?
The King gathers.
Jesus is a compassionate dictator who everyday calls unworthy men into his regal family. Every single day, the king convinces hell-bound allies of Lucifer to walk away from their doomed leader. With sovereign and royal mercy, Jesus is filling his kingdom with unworthy people rescued from the domain of darkness.
The Kingdom grows.
Under his watchful gaze and controlling hand, that kingdom which began with the Jews has grown to include the Gentiles. The movement that began with twelve patriarchs and twelve tribes, blossomed to be a world-wide fellowship built upon Christ and his Apostles. That kingdom which started in the Holy Land, it has grown to encompass the whole earth. His kingdom is now a multi-ethnic multitude which no man can number.
What is the Kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches … To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.” (Luke 13:18-20)
The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. From something incredibly small, it is growing to gargantuan size. Like leaven in dough, it is permeating and affecting the entire earth. Jesus’ kingdom is unstoppable; “his truth is marching on.” As his Spirit moves, churches are planted. They grow. They start schools and para-church ministries. They influence their neighbors. They influence governments and nations. Their influence permeates the globe. But friends …
Keep the proper perspective.
Keep your nation in perspective; it is only a small part of Christ’s kingdom. Jesus reserves the right to change his subdivisions and neighborhoods as he wills. He has divine right and immanent domain to do with your nation as he pleases.
Do not be overly inflamed or infatuated by the political process. Jesus is king; he is going nowhere. He is the one who enthrones and dethrones. No ruler exists who is not placed there by his sovereign hand. Trump, Cruz, Clinton, and Sanders are pawns in his hand. Do not fret as he wisely moves his pieces about his board. And he owes you no explanation for why he does what he does.
Be not overly impressed or overly troubled with your minister, elders, deacon board, local church, national denomination, Christian school, or para-church ministry. Ministers come and go. Elder boards change and transition. Church membership has its ebbs and flows. Denominations increase, decrease, split, and apostasies. Christian institutions rise and fall.
However, not for a moment should you confuse your minister and elders with King.
And not for a moment should you confuse your church, presbytery, denomination, or Christian institution with the Kingdom.
Jesus’ sovereign reign as King of kings has something to do with your church leaders, church buildings, church denominations, church schools, and church ministries, but it is not synonymous with these things. The rule and reign of Jesus Christ was in very good shape before you and your institutions came on the scene. The same is true when physical bulldozers or spiritually liberal men take down your precious institutions.
Therefore, as you seek to walk faithfully and build Christian churches, presbyteries, denominations, schools, institutions, and governments that are supportive of such, keep the proper perspective. The King rules, gathers, and grows according to his divine prerogative. In addition, he rules, and scatters, and ruins according to his sovereign omniscience. He gives, and he takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
And then find comfort, hope and confidence in this …
The King awaits.
Many of you will see him soon. As he patiently gathers his elect, many of his beloved citizens breathe their last breath. It is OK. You who are in Christ are OK. He waits for you with open arms of compassion. He has a white robe for your body, sandals for your feet, a ring for your finger, a crown for your head, and a feast for your mouth. He prepares a fantastic dwelling place for you. Soon you will be with the victorious saints, walking with Jesus and worshiping him face to face. And then …
The King returns and cleans house.
When the time is right, Jesus will come and finally set all things right. The accursed will be removed from his earthly domain. The effects of the curse will be entirely removed. All those who are new creations in Christ will enjoy his newly created heaven and earth. So do not worry. Do not fret. Do not fall apart. Do not become sullen and depressed. The King reigns, and he will reign forever.
Keep the proper perspective!
Perhaps, as part of your prayer time today, the words penned by Martin Luther might be encouraging to your soul.
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
does seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same;
and he must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God has willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo! his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
That Word above all earthly powers
no thanks to them abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours
through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever!