Are you waiting for God's Kingdom...Christ's return? Or, are you waiting for the same kingdom Jesus' disciples where hoping for?
A Heavenly Kingdom...or, an earthly one??
I often get the two confused myself. My focus shifts from the Kingdom the Bible tells us to prepare and look for, to a different kingdom. The one that Jesus enables Christians to set-up on earth -- here and now. You know, the one where we over-throw secular oppression and set-up a Christian theocracy (like in the Old Testament). Although, I'm not sure what benefit we'd actually seek in a Christian theocracy: prayer back in school, 10-commandments displayed in the public square...ho-hum
Hmmm...funny...Scripture doesn't really foretell of a kingdom like that, yet we all keep looking for it. Well, at least I often do. Why else am I glued to Fox News every night? I keep watching for the victory...whatever that is.
In the very same way, Jesus' disciples were sick of Roman oppression. And the Israelites were especially weary of their legacy...misplaced, enslaved... They were ready for Jesus to set-up an earthly kingdom that would finally give them the status and good-life they deserved. Even on the night before his Crucifixion, they still didn't get it. Hadn't they endured enough?...that's all they could worry about.
...Haven't we endured enough?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:1-4
...or, have we??
The passage above silences my opinions...immediately!
Ahhhh -- Truly, I'm sick of watching Fox News (with all due respect). I'm sick of making God a conservative who can't accomplish His plan. (Dare I say that God is neither liberal or conservation...He is God. What need does He have to take sides!)
Socialized medicine? Bring it on. Iran developing nucs? Who cares. Will either of these events undermine God's sovereignty? No! Would these events prevent me or you from following Jesus? I pray not!
No, I don't really want socialized medicine or Iran stock-piling nucs. But I do need to put both of those possibilities (and many other hypotheticals) back under the umbrella of God's sovereignty!
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:12-14
It's time for me to replace secular propaganda (however accurate it may be) with God's holiness. It's time for me to return to seeking the true Kingdom. It's time for me to be about the business of treasures in Heaven, not treasures on earth. Capitalism is fleeting, and so is this world...but the Word and Will of the Lord will remain forever!
This is what God is calling us to...this is what should be our concern:
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Let brotherly love continue.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
Hebrews 12:28- 13:6
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:12-16