The Kingdom of God Comes Humbly

mustardseed.jpgG.E. Ladd on the ‘mustard seed-like’ Kingdom:

“The Kingdom of God is a miracle.  It is the act of God.  It is supernatural.  Men cannot build the Kingdom, they cannot erect it.  The Kingdom is the Kingdom of God; it is God’s reign, God’s rule.  God has entrusted the Gospel of the Kingdom to men.  It is our responsibility to proclaim the Good News about the Kingdom.  But the actual working of the Kingdom is God’s working….  This is the mystery of the Kingdom.  Before the day of harvest, before the end of the age, God has entered into history in the person of Christ to work among men, to bring to them the life and blessings of His Kingdom.  It comes humbly, unobtrusively.  It comes to men as a Galilean carpenter [who] went throughout the cities of Palestine preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, delivering men from bondage to the Devil.  It comes to men as his disciples went throughout Galilean villages with the same message.  It comes to men today as disciples of Jesus still take the Gospel of the Kingdom into the world.  It comes quietly, humbly, without fire from heaven, without a blaze of glory, without a rending of the mountains or a cleaving of the skies.  It comes like seed sown in the earth.  It can be rejected by hard hearts, it can be choked out, its life may sometimes seem to wither and die.  But it is the Kingdom of God.  It brings the miracle of the divine life among men.  It introduced the blessings of the divine rule.  It is to them the supernatural work of God’s grace.  And this same Kingdom, this same supernatural power of God will yet manifest itself at the end of the age, this time not quietly within the lives of those who receive it, but in power and great glory purging all sin and evil from the earth. Such is the Gospel of the Kingdom.” (The Gospel of the Kingdom, 64-5)

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3 thoughts on “The Kingdom of God Comes Humbly”

  1. Jesus instructed His twelve apostles to preach, “the Kingdom of God is near”. During the time of Christ’s earthly ministry Jesus didn’t tell anyone else to do this. At the beginning of Acts the apostles ask Jesus if the Kingdom was going to begin at that very time. Jesus told them that they would receive power from on high. Soon after they did.

    The Kingdom of God did not come humbly or unobtrusively; for we read, “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:1-2.

    While the Kingdom didn’t come with mass killings, as the return of Christ will (2Thes 1:6-9), it did kill some (King Herod, Ananias and Sapphira) and caused many others to be in great fear, “And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things” Acts 5:11. The word ‘fear’ in this verse is the Greek word ‘phobos’ from which we get the word ‘phobia’.

    During the time of Acts we see that Paul and Barnabas were instructed by the Holy Spirit to preach about the kingdom. Other than the twelve apostles, I don’t see anyone given the instruction to preach about the kingdom. Notice that prior to Acts the preaching was, “the Kingdom is near” but during Acts the it is always expressed as the more general “preaching about the Kingdom”.

    Truly the Kingdom as seen in Acts did not come quietly within the lives of those who received it, but in power and great glory, purging all sin and evil from those living in the Kingdom.

  2. So, Lyle, are you saying that we’re not living in the Kingdom of God, at least, not as it was back in the very early Church? If so, did it end when Luke put down his pen or when exactly?

  3. You may have seen it in previous comments, but it is my belief that the Kingdom of God was put on pause at Acts 28:28 “Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation-bringing-message of God has been apostled to the nations – they also will hear it.”

    I look forward in earnest to a time when God will take His finger off the pause button and the Kingdom will begin again.

    Today we live in a time of Grace. Not just a time where God is offering the Grace of salvation, but a time, where God’s immediate judgement is put off until the Kingdom. This was not true during Acts, as we see many accounts in Acts of instant judgement (like instant karma only without the goofy Hindu part). Today God is acting in pure Grace. People can choose to bless God or curse Him. While it is obviously better to bless God, there is no lightning striking down those who choose to curse Him. This was not always so.

    There is so much more I could say.

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