Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Come – means, there is more to come…
Isaiah 64:1-9 Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 Mark 13:24-37
Each year our kids enjoy making a list of things they want for Christmas gifts. The creation of this list forces them to think carefully about what they want. As they make this list they also think about the likelihood of what they might get based on those who are receiving the list. (They can ask for a Xbox360 – but no one in the family is going to buy it for them….) The key to a good list, is reaching as far as possible, without going so far as to get nothing on your list. If you were to make a list of what you want, what would be on the list? Think of that list, write out the top 5 right now…. It may seem unfair, but on your list, did you include the salvation for someone who does not know the King? If not. I would guess that it is because the advent of the King is not a pressing thought for you rather than a lack of concern about someone’s salvation. If I change the question – stating that Jesus will return in 24 hours, what are the top 5 desires of your heart? In this our trials and troubles seem to be removed, and our concern for others salvation is increased. What does it look like for us to live in this way every day?
Each year at this time the Church moves into a season of Advent. In this season we remember the coming of Jesus to the world – culminating in the celebration of the birth of Christ – our King. The Church is also called to look forward to the second coming of Jesus to the world – the final establishment of His Kingdom Come. The Kingdom of God is both here and now – as we read last week, it is here now, in you. And the Kingdom of God is very much still yet to come. But when it comes it brings more than we might want.
When the King comes again to fully establish His Kingdom on this earth – all things will be restored in a way that can not and will not happen prior to the advent of Jesus to the earth for the final time. With this advent there will be deliverance for God’s people, and at the same time there will be a judgment for those who are not known by Him. Are you ready for the advent of the King? For those who quickly respond yes – their eyes are fixed on their deliverance and removal of their suffering. This is a great promise and hope for those who are attentive and waiting for the coming King. However, tied to this coming is the weeping for those who did not heed the warnings of the prophets and the signs of the times that pointed to the destruction of the earth. There is much we do not know about the second coming, and the Bible seems very clear that no one will know the time or the hour of the final advent of the King. What we do know is that the King is not unaware of His people and as His people we are not to be unaware of those around us. What we also know is that there is more to come…
As the Church we have gotten comfortable hoping that someone else will share the gospel of the Kingdom with those who do not know. We wait for an evangelist to preach, we wait for a prophet to show the way, we wait for a pastor to pray…. We are called to be awake and alert, that the hour is at hand. If the King were to return at this moment, do you believe that you would be lacking anything? If you lake nothing, what do you have that others who are lacking are in need of? This awareness is to be what keeps you awake, not for your own benefit but for the impact that it can and does have on the lives of those around you. Now it is time to make a list and check it twice. The list that needs to be made, before we wishfully desire the Advent of the King, is the list of names whom are not blameless and covered in filth.
Make a list of three people whom you fear have not accepted the Grace of Jesus Christ over their lives. For these people in this season; pray for their hearts to be opened, seek out opportunities to share life with them, be alert and aware of how your mission can be a testimony to them. Let us not give up on this list, not let us give up asking the King for his mercy over their lives. You can ask for the world… but you may not get it.. make your list based on those whom God has already laid on your heart.
Finally, remember the Prophets have spoken, the people have ignored the message, and the cycle continues…. You may be the prophet God is calling to share your hope with your neighbor, co-worker or family member this season. The prophets were not visionaries who knew the future, rather they were vessels who God filled in the present. What is God filling you with this season? What would it look like for you to be a prophet to the people on your list? This Advent season begins by remembering the prophets and we share in their message of proclaiming the Kingdom Come.
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