Monday, May 16, 2005

"KINGDOM OF HEAVEN"

"Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." - Matthew 3:2
Ridley Scott, the man behind "Blackhawk Down" and "Gladiator" has a new movie called "Kingdom of Heaven." But it has nothing to do with the kingdom spoken of in the Bible. And since it is only "based" on actual events, it isn't much help in understanding the Crusades of history. Read: "The Kingdom of Self-Hate"

Since the time of John the Baptist, people have asked to know about the kingdom of heaven. John the Baptist said, "repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." But John did not live to see it (Matthew 11:11). A study of Scripture shows that it would come in the lifetime of the disciples and would come with power (Mk. 9:1). The Bible clearly shows that Jesus was the King over a kingdom not of this world (John 18:36,37). In Acts 1, the disciples were still confused and asked Jesus about "restoring the kingdom to Israel" (Acts 1:6). In Acts 2 we see the fulfillment of the promise with Jesus taking his place on David's throne, as prophesied in the Old Testament (Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:34,35). Later, Paul wrote to the Colossians that they were delivered from the "domain of darkness" and "transferred into the kingdom of his beloved Son" (Colossians 1:13). Now the kingdom is spoken of as being a reality. Entrance into the kingdom happens when a person is born again (John 3:3-5). Until one is "born again", he cannot enter the kingdom. When a person is raised from the watery grave of baptism, by faith in God, he or she seeks the things above where Christ is seated as king (Colossians 2:12; 3:1). This is why John wrote, "He has made us to be a kingdom" (Revelation 1:6; 5:10). The real "kingdom of heaven" was realized shortly after the resurrection of Christ, when He ascended to be seated at the Father's right hand. At the end of Jesus' reign, He will return in the clouds to save His church and He will conclude His reign, handing over the kingdom to the Father.
But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. -- 1 Corinthians 15:23-26
The kingdom of Christ cannot be located on a map, and it cannot be captured like a piece of property, because the kingdom of heaven is in each person who believes and obeys Jesus Christ.

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