February 2013: Kingdom of God #1

Can we be in two places at once.  Yes!  How?  I’ll tell you later on in this issue or in next month’s.

But first I want you to ponder a few questions:  What’s your vision for your life?  What’s your purpose in life?  What’s your mission?  Why are you here on planet earth? Why are you alive?  Mark Twain said:  “There are two important days in each of our lives:  the day we were born, and the day we found out why.”

Have YOU found out why you were born?  Did you know that the majority of all adults in the entire world don’t have a clue about why they’re here or where they’re going . . . in terms of goals and plans for their lives and their futures here on earth?  Sadly, that includes people who say they are believers in Jesus and the Bible.  Of all people, those who believe in the Bible and in Jesus should have clear plans and purposes for their futures on earth, but far too many don’t have such plans.

Here’s something God says about your life and future: 

                   “I know what I’m doing [in your life].  I have it all thought out—to take care of you, not to abandon you, to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on Me, when you come and pray to Me, I’m listening.  When you come looking for Me, you’ll find Me.”

For the next few months, I’ll be sharing with you some of God’s overall purposes for your life; He really does have a purpose for your life—to give your life meaning, purpose, and hope. Those plans are clearly revealed in the Bible . . . if you’re interested in learning about them.  Contrary to the opinions of many, the Bible is not an old outmoded, antiquated book that has no relevance to our lives in the 21st century.   Yes,  it’s  an  old book, but God has been using it to change and transform lives for thousands of years . . . if people will accept it at face value, read it, and ask God to transform them.

What on Earth is God Doing?

Here’s a brief reference in the Old Testament part of the Bible—the Book of Proverbs; one version puts it this way: “If people don’t know what God is doing, they perish.” Another reads like this: “When people don’t have a revelation from God about their lives, they revert to anarchy and become totally self-centered and self-absorbed.”  Still another version of the Bible states:  “If you can’t see what God is doing, you’ll stumble all over; but when you pay attention to what He reveals, you will be greatly blessed.”  

I hope you’re one of those who believe in God, have invited Jesus into your life, who  reads and studies your Bible . . . and know why you’re here and where you’re going.  I hope you’re one of those who know God’s Spirit permanently lives inside you in your human spirit and empowers you to transform your life from within.  I hope you ask the Holy Spirit regularly and consistently to assist you to make positive changes in your life.

The Humanist Prayer

Have you ever seen the following prayer?  Probably not, because I wrote it a number of years ago for a friend who was a humanist.  Who is a humanist?   Someone   who   believes there is no God, we are mere products of evolution, and humans are their own gods.  I won’t bother you with the curious circumstances that caused me to write “The Humanist Prayer.”  That would take far too much space, but I understand it has been prayed by thousands of humanists over the years since I wrote it; every now and then I even see it written in a humanist publication:

Our fathers on earth—Darwin,  Hawking, and Dawkins— 
We hallow your names.
Wise and wonderful are you.
There is no God, no kingdom of heaven.
We humans are evolving to usher in 
The “Age of Humanity” on earth.
We don’t need forgiveness for sin,
Nor are we tempted, 
For sin is a figment of the imagination.
Deliver us from religion
And a relationship with God,
For we humans are gods, believing only in evolution and ourselves.
We build our own earthly “kingdoms,”
And have all power.  We are glorious gods!
Forever and ever.        Amen

Millions Pray, “Thy Kingdom Come.”

Contrast and compare that prayer with “The Lord’s Prayer” millions of believers in Jesus pray regularly:

Our heavenly Father,
We hallow your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done 
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us what we need each day.
Forgive us our sins 
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not lead us into temptation,
And deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom is yours . . . 
And all power and all glory!
Forever and ever.            Amen

Which of those two prayers do you pray? Oh, I don’t necessarily mean the words, but which of those two prayers is best exemplified in your daily life? Which of them best “fits” how you live and how you behave in your day-to-day life?  In one way or another, you are living one of those prayers.  One says God is King; the other says humanity is king.  The two prayers are mutually exclusive.  In order to “fit in” to the culture and society they live in, many believers in Jesus and the Bible attempt to reconcile humanism with being a believer in Jesus.  It  doesn’t work.  Never has.  Never will.  In fact, if you’re a follower of Jesus attempting to blend in and be a humanist, too, you’ll mess up your life in a major way.  You’ll be double-minded and unstable in all you do.

Unfortunately, that’s often the case with some Jesus believers who have careers in all levels of public education and those in the “helping” professions.   I was a teacher in public school systems for a number of years; believe me, I know what I’m writing about attempting to blend and reconcile belief in the Bible with belief in humanism.  They’re oil and water; they don’t mix . . . .  Notice both those prayers mention desiring a “kingdom” to come.  Which kingdom are you praying and hoping will come to earth?  God’s Kingdom . . . or a kingdom created by humans?  Which of the two types of kingdoms are you hoping will be in your future?  For the next few months, I’m going to be writing about the return of Jesus to earth to usher in God’s coming Kingdom.

Kings and Kingdoms

Throughout most of human history, most kings (and queens, too) have held absolute power over their subjects, many times believing they ruled by “divine right” (or by the right of some “higher power”).  Kings were in total, complete control of everything in their kingdoms . . . much like some dictators are today.  Some historical kings were “good” and benevolent, some were “bad” and evil, doing whatever they pleased.  With a nod of their head, they could take lives or save lives.  

If a king’s subjects ever had to enter the king’s throne room, they often had to bow or lay face down on the floor in abject humility before the king.  In some instances, to look directly at the king was punishable by death.  That was what ancient kings and kingdoms were like. That being the case, why would any reasonable person ever want to pray for King Jesus to return and usher in God’s long-awaited Kingdom of peace?

Modern kings (and queens) are generally mere figureheads, with real political power vested in prime ministers, parliaments, and the like.  Most of us living today have very little understanding of what it was like in the past to live under kings, queens, and other types of monarchs.  Okay, let’s back up for a few minutes.  If God really is the one true and living God (He is!) with all the attributes and characteristics we generally ascribe to God, one of those attributes is God is King—or Ruler, or Monarch—over all He has created.

But God is not at all like many of those ancient, human kings.  There is one basic character trait that defines God:  God is altogether good and absolutely everything He does is good.  (Psalm 119: 68)  That understanding of what God is like, motivates everything I do and teach.  Moreover, the Bible clearly teaches God is love. He loves every human equally and simultaneously from where He is “headquartered” in eternity.  Whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, God is your King!  He’s ultimately in charge.  He’s the “Boss.”  He can do anything He wants to do with our lives.  We don’t vote for Him, we don’t get to choose whether or not we want Him to be King of our lives.

But . . . God is not like most of those human kings of the past.  He is good.  He is love.  He is full of grace. He is a benevolent King.  He is always working behind the scenes of our lives for our ultimate good . . . as only God can do!  God’s kingship began before the creation of all things, and has “touched down” upon earth from time to time throughout human history; unfortunately, most of the times God has offered his Kingdom to humans, they have rejected his kingship.  Why? We humans want our own way.  We want to be in charge of our own lives.  We are self-centered and self-absorbed and don’t want anyone—especially God!—“interfering” with our lives.

Jesus and the Kingdom of God

Jesus spoke and taught much about the Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven). He was born as King over all, and He remains King over all. When Jesus returned to heaven after having been raised from the dead, He sat down at the right hand of Father God’s throne. From there, He now reigns as King over the spreading Kingdom of God on earth.  Jesus’ Kingdom reign over us will fully begin when Jesus returns to earth to rule and reign for all the ages of time and in eternity—with his royal throne headquartered in the New Jerusalem on a freshly restored earth.  

If we don’t accept his Kingship in our lives now, we will!  He will exercise his royal dominion throughout the entire universe by means of redeemed, resurrected humans (that’s you and me!) who are presently in “training for reigning” and in “schooling for ruling.”  Yes, you will someday reign as a lesser king under the King of kings and Lord of lords!

By the way, when the Bible teaches what I have just written, the word “king” as it applies to humans is not gender-specific.  In Jesus, there is no male nor female; both genders will be kings.  I know this is beginning to read like some far-fetched, fanciful science fiction.  I understand that . . . but it’s true.  Jesus will return to earth as King to usher in the long-awaited Kingdom of God on earth.  Please understand clearly:  I am not predicting when Jesus will return. There’s been enough of that foolishness the past 150 years or so.  I am merely writing that the Bible clearly teaches Jesus will return to earth to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, headquartered in the New Jerusalem in the land of Israel.  When Jesus will return is known only by God!

Biblical Reference for the Month:

                    “Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is coming . . . from Jesus, the faithful witness.  He is first among all who will be raised from death.  He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.  Jesus is the one who loves us and has made us free from our sins with his blood sacrifice.  He made us his kingdom and priests who serve God his Father.  To Jesus be glory and power forever and ever!  Look, Jesus is coming with the clouds!  Everyone will see him . . . .”   –From Revelation 1, paraphrased

To Think About This Month

“I really can—and do—know the future.  God Himself is my future, and it is full of his boundless love and amazing grace!”

Bill Boylan
Life Enrichment Services, Inc.
E-Mail:  leservices38@yahoo.com
Revised and Updated December 2020

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