1000 years of the Kingdom of God
Recently, at our Sunday evening meeting, we had a Bible talk about the Kingdom of God. We asked everyone to write down what they thought was the main reason Jesus was going to come back to establish God's Kingdom. We had some wonderful answers, from adults and children alike. Here are a few:
- "To restore his creation to perfection"
- "Because the world needs a Saviour and a helper before it is destroyed completely"
- "Because He wants to be with us"
What grand thoughts! All are ideas we find in the Bible - and Jesus will make them a reality when he returns.
Most of the ideas, however, were like the following three:
1. To judge the ungodly and unbelieving and demonstrate God’s Righteousness.
This might not be an aspect we might immediately think of, or like to think about. But it's critical. The Apostle Paul said this in Acts 17:31:
[God] has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Sadly, from the Garden of Eden onwards, the Bible shows us that humans have a remarkable ability to spoil the beauty of what God has created - whether in the environment, or in their own lives and relationships. God is not going to tolerate disobedience to His laws for ever. Before there can be true peace in the earth there has to be peace with Him.
2. To bring relief and reward to those who believe Him, in fulfilment of His promises.
Over many centuries, God has made many promises to those who trust Him. The Bible says they are 'asleep', knowing nothing. But God keeps His promises: those faithful people are awaiting Jesus to come back and raise them back to life. Listen to Paul again (2 Timothy 4:1,8):
- Jesus is going to judge people, whether dead or alive at his return. This will be the time of his Kingdom.
- Paul, as a faithful disciple, would be given a 'crown of righteousness'. Peter terms it 'a crown of glory' (1 Peter 5:4). James calls it 'a crown of life' (James 1:12). This is eternal life, with Christ, in his Kingdom.
- This same hope can be shared by all who 'love his appearing'. The things of God must be more important to us than anything else - we must love the hope of his coming.
3. To fill the earth with people who reflect His character.
Most of all, God wants people who choose to be like Him now - although we all make mistakes in our attempts. But in the end, He will transform those who seek Him in Truth to be like Jesus - perfect in body and mind, able to do what He wants. This is the promise He gave in the Bible (Habakkuk 2:14):
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
At the moment, our world often resembles Noah's - filled with violence (Genesis 6:11). The return of Jesus will change everything. Ultimately the whole earth will praise God. It will be a wonderful place to live.
What steps will you take today to prepare yourself for that time?