The Kingdom Of God

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Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord ? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Isaiah 45:20-23

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:16

The sections beginning “thus saith The Lord” are God’s responses to the prior verses. In verses 9-13 of Isaiah 45 God is rebuking those who object to Him using Cyrus, a pagan, as His servant. God points out that He is the creator of the earth and all men. Being the creator of all humanity He is concerned with the salvation of the world, not just Israel.

Thus we see, long before Christ, that God is preparing a gospel that will go out to all nations. As Paul points out, it is for the Jew first and then to the Greek, representing the gentiles. Two thousand years later we easily take this truth for granted but this was a significant issue for the early Christians (mainly Jews) to resolve.

Jewish Christians had to learn the hard way that God seeks all men who are lost, not just the lost sheep of Israel. They rightly understood that they were God’s chosen people but they perverted that fact by thinking they were better than the gentiles. In Acts 10 Peter saw the Holy Spirit come upon Cornelius and other gentiles and realized that God is no respecter of persons. In Galatians 2 Paul writes about his confrontation with Peter over his hypocrisy in observing Jewish law only when certain other Jews were around. God was spreading His grace abroad, not the Law, and bringing the gentiles into His kingdom. They have received the gospel that the Jews have rejected.

The Air Force’s vision is “Global Reach, Global Power.” It reflects the United States’ position as a global leader, or better yet THE global leader. Its power is as vast as its reach. This vision rightly fits God’s kingdom. He is gathering together His people from all over the world. This kingdom extends across all boundaries and time zones. It transcends nations and races. Not only is it global but is also eternal.

We must realize that we are a part of this kingdom which is greater than any community or nation of ours. It is far more prestigious and glorious than any empire that has ever existed. Its king is far more powerful and majestic and any monarch. To be the least in the kingdom is better than being the ruler of the greatest empire in history. We share this kingdom with all the brethren in Christ all over the world. We will spend far more time in this kingdom than in any other. I did not always understand the significance but lately I have come to realize that my time and energy is better spent advancing God’s kingdom than any agenda of mine. Those who store up their treasures in heaven will be rewarded more than they can ever imagine.

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