VI. God’s Universal Kingdom

The ultimate question we have to ask is are we submitted subjects of the Great King and Messiah Jesus of Nazareth. That his kingdom was to come during the reign of Roman rulers is well attested in prophetic scripture. Daniel writes unequivocally to that issue: “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever” (Daniel 2:44).

Jesus, at about 30 years of age, comes proclaiming the good news of God during the reign of the Roman kings, saying, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15). As we have noted earlier, Peter proclaimed that he was seated next to God as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:34-36). And placed as a descendant of God’s first messianic king, Peter spoke of David who spoke of the reign of the Ultimate Christ/Messiah:

“But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ that he was not abandoned to the grave nor did his body see corruption.” (Acts 2:30-31). Paul acknowledges that Christians, at the time of his writing, definitely had been “rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought . . . into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). It is for Christians to live this life as the church, the community of believers–those living by faith, who are little by little adding virtues to life over the course of their days, becoming more and more like Jesus in their moral behavior, and ultimately seeing their destiny of receiving “a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11).

This is the disciples’ ultimate reality and identity. God the Father in his wisdom and love has ordained that there be spiritual children. Our hope is that, by the grace of God, we who are his children will  be what Jesus has become, a man granted the inheritance of an eternal existence in the presence of God. Hear the words of the apostle John:

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure (1 John 3:1-3).

VII. Conclusion

To conclude this introductory statement of what Disciples for One God is all about, I want you to see that this blog contains subject matter that is not warped in its focus. Discipleship is a broad thing. Yes, it acknowledges the identity of God the Father, and it admits a place for Jesus that, while not equal to God in position, is very high indeed. He demonstrated that what was undone by his counterpart the First Adam could be repaired in his perfectly obedient life despite the temptation that he endured as a man (for he could not have so suffered temptation had he been God). This should encourage us to live up to our potential.

But even when we do not, Jesus stands as our defense attorney before God his Father, appealing on behalf his spiritual siblings like whom he was made. He learned what it meant to be tempted to sin, and he pleads that we be shown mercy on the basis of his blood sacrifice. This salvation initially brings us into God’s community of believers, stage one of the kingdom of God through the forgiveness of our sins. Stage two is the final rich welcome of increasingly perfected believers into the eternal kingdom. This is the gospel of the kingdom of God, which is our evangelistic message to the world: As we have been saved and are being saved, so may they also be if they will learn obedient faith as Jesus our Lord and Christ did. One day, we will receive what Christ received after his successful journey through this life. Having been declared successful and considered perfect on the basis of his sacrifice, we, God’s sons and daughters of God that we have become through obedient faith in Christ, will one day be like him, as he is.

Danny Andre’ Dixon