In this four part series – Signs for our Times – we’re looking for signs, or indications that the Bible still has something to offer in 2021. Journey’s need purpose and direction and we covered that in part two. Here in part three we have our sights on the destination.
…it is just as the Scriptures say, “What God has planned for people who love him is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds!”
God’s Spirit has shown you everything. His Spirit finds out everything, even what is deep in the mind of God.1 Corinthians 2 v 9-10
God knows us very well
After all, He created us, and as far as He is concerned:
Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don’t be afraid!Luke 12 v 7
And so God hasn’t left us in the dark when it comes to His plans for the future. The destination is clear and so are the directions of travel. And while we’ve already learned the journey is not without its challenges, the Kingdom of God will be entirely worthwhile.
While talking about the Kingdom Jesus encouraged his followers:
“…put God’s work first and do what he wants.”Matthew 6 v 33
He also taught that the Kingdom is one of the most important things we can pray for:
Come and set up your kingdom, so that everyone on earth will obey you, as you are obeyed in heaven.Matthew 6 v 10 (“The Lord’s Prayer”)
Where IS the Kingdom?
Very nearby as it turns out.
While some explain the Kingdom as being a state of mind or something we feel in our heart, read for yourself… the Bible says no such thing. The Bible actually talks about the Kingdom on earth as a place of peace and security:
In the future, the mountain with the Lord’s temple will be the highest of all…every nation will rush to it.
..The Lord will teach us his Law from Jerusalem, and we will obey him. He will settle arguments between nations. They will pound their swords and their spears into rakes and shovels; they will never make war or attack one another.Isaiah 2 v 2-4
This passage was from the Old Testament but the New Testament is consistent with this message:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. The people of all nations will be brought before him…
Then the king will say to those on his right, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created.Matthew 25 v 31-34
“..before the world was created”!
This has been the plan all along
The earth will be completely changed – and not only humans – even the animals will behave differently. The earth will be a safe place for all.
Wolves and lambs will graze together; lions and oxen will feed on straw. Snakes will eat only dirt! They won’t bite or harm anyone on my holy mountain. I, the Lord, have spoken!Isaiah 65.25-26
Not only that, but disease, suffering and sadness will also be removed.
He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.Revelation 21 v 4
Sin sounds very old fashioned these days. So lets say “wrong doing”, “offence”, “trespass” – these are all common words and could easily be replaced with the “s” word.
The point is, Jesus overcame “wrong doing” (as God defined it) and made it possible for us, through association with him, to be considered “worthy” of a place in God’s Kingdom.
There’s no denying the effort required on our part (hence the “hard, narrow” path we read about in part 1) but when we reflect on the world of peace and safety described in the passages above, it’ll surely be worthwhile.
By overcoming the sinful nature of mankind Jesus has started a chain of events that will lead to a world without pain, without suffering and without death:
Christ will rule until he puts all his enemies under his power, and the last enemy he destroys will be death.1 Corinthians 15 v 25-26
God’s purpose and direction for the earth and mankind are clear.
Jesus lived a perfect life (the example for us to follow) and consequently, the Kingdom IS coming.
So we better be ready.
But when will it happen?
In part four we’ll explore the age old question of travellers with young children: “Are we nearly there yet?”