Category Archives: Kingdom of God

“Sitting down at one table” by Herman Bavinck

“The blessedness of communion with God is enjoyed in and heightened by the communion of saints. On earth already this communion is a wonderful benefit of faith.

Those who for Jesus’s sake have left behind house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields already in this life receive houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields—along with persecutions—(Mark 10:29–30), for all who do the will of the Father are Jesus’s brother and sister and mother (Matt. 12:50).

Through the mediator of the New Testament, believers enter into fellowship, not only with the militant church on earth, but also with the triumphant church in heaven, the assembly of the firstborn, the spirits of the righteous made perfect, even with innumerable angels (Heb. 12:22–24).

But this fellowship, though in principle it already exists on earth, will nevertheless be incomparably richer and more glorious when all dividing walls of descent and language, of time and space, have been leveled, all sin and error have been banished, and all the elect have been assembled in the new Jerusalem.

Then will be fully answered the prayer of Jesus that all His sheep may be one flock under one Shepherd (John 10:16; 17:21). All the saints together will then fully comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ (Eph. 3:18–19).

They will together be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19; Col. 2:2, 10), inasmuch as Christ, Himself filled with the fullness of God (Col. 1:19), will in turn fill the believing community with Himself and make it His fullness (πληρωμα, plērōma; Eph. 1:23; 4:10).

And sitting down at one table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt. 8:11), they will unitedly lift up a song of praise to the glory of God and of the Lamb. (Rev. 4:11; 5:12)”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Vol. 4, Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 4: 722–723.

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“The risen and reigning Lord Jesus” by Alan Thompson

“God’s plan of salvation is being carried out according to His promises through the continuing reign of the risen Lord Jesus. The inaugurated kingdom of God continues to be administered by the Lord Jesus.

In this era of the kingdom of God the Lord Jesus continues to add to His church, to enable the spread of the word, to strengthen His people before the consummation of the kingdom at His return. His death and resurrection mean that the blessings of the age to come are found in Him even now.

All who turn to Him receive the blessings of forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. God’s people may be assured that they will be enabled and transformed by the Spirit of Jesus. The Lord Jesus is the one who grants these gifts to Jew and Gentile alike.

Thus Gentiles are receiving God’s salvation by the grace of the Lord Jesus through hearing and believing the same good news of forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, not because God has failed to keep His word to Israel.

God’s people may be reassured, therefore, that God fulfills His promises through the acts of their Saviour, the risen and reigning Lord Jesus!”

–Alan J. Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke’s Account of God’s Unfolding Plan (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 195-196.

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Filed under Acts, Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, Kingdom of God, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel

“Do you love the Lord’s appearing?” by George E. Ladd

“Here is the motive of our mission: the final victory awaits the completion of our task. ‘And then the end will come.’ There is no other verse in the Word of God which says, ‘And then the end will come.’

When is Christ coming again? When the Church has finished its task. When will This Age end? When the world has been evangelized.

‘What will be the sign of Your coming and of the close of the age?’ (Matt. 24:3). ‘This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations; and then, AND THEN, the end will come.’

When? Then; when the Church has fulfilled its divinely appointed mission. Do you love the Lord’s appearing? Then you will bend every effort to take the gospel into all the world.

It troubles me in the light of the clear teaching of God’s Word, in the light of our Lord’s explicit definition of our task in The Great Commission, that we take it so lightly. ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.’ This is the Good News of the Kingdom….

His is the kingdom; He reigns in heaven, and He manifests His reign on earth in and through His church. When we have accomplished our mission, He will return and establish His kingdom in glory.

To us it is given not only to wait for but also to hasten the coming of the day of God. This is the mission of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and this is our mission.”

–George E. Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959), 139-140.

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“The costume kingdom” by Paul David Tripp

“These three things– lack of excitement with the gospel, disappointment with God and with Christianity, and taking on the traits of my treasure rather than the character of Christ– can rip the mask off of the costume kingdom in your life.

Could it be that you have shrunk the kingdom of God down to the size of your little kingdom treasures? Could it be that your excitement with the things of the Lord is not really about the Lord at all?

Could it be that the transcendent glory of God and His kingdom has become for you more of a means to an end rather than the end itself?

The scary thing about the kingdom of self is that it is a costume kingdom. It very quickly takes on the shape and appearance of the kingdom of God.

It is very easy to think that we are living for God, while our personal agenda still rules our hearts and shapes our decisions, words, and actions.

It is very easy to think that we are living for the transcendent joys of intimate communion with God, fueled by a personal enthusiasm for His glory, when in fact we have placed our hope in the shadow glories of this created world.

It is very easy to think that we have exited the narrow confines of our little cubicle kingdoms to breathe the spiritually invigorating air of the kingdom of God, when really we are more entrapped in our cubicles than ever before.

It is very easy for our earth-bound treasures and anxiety-bound needs to masquerade as love for Christ and enthusiasm for His work on earth.

It is very easy to shrink the size of your life to the size of your life and not know it, because the little kingdom of self has been a costume kingdom since the time the fatal deception in the garden…

You are not alone in this battle to unmask and dismantle the little kingdom in your life. Be excited! Your Messiah gives you just what you need for this battle.

The little kingdom leaves you poor, so He offers you the good news of the eternal riches of His grace.

The little kingdom enslaves you, so He endured the cross to set you free. The little kingdom leaves you blind, so He places hands of grace on you to restore your sight.

The little kingdom has left you oppressed, so He purchased your release. In your Lord you find all the resources you need to live with insight and liberty while you breathe the big sky air of His glorious kingdom.”

–Paul David Tripp, A Quest For More: Living For Something Bigger Than You (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2008),  81-82.

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“The kingdom of God” by David F. Wells

“The kingdom of God, in the Gospels, is never a realm. It is a rule. And it is the rule of God. The primary idea in this language is that God Himself has begun to rule. It is present, but this reign still has to be concluded and consummated at some point in the future.

Let us not miss an important point here. It is that this reign, this rule, is something God is doing. The reason, clearly, is that this is not something that emerges from ‘below,’ which we ourselves can get going. It must come from ‘above.’ We cannot bring it about; only God can.

We can search for the kingdom of God, pray for it, and look for it, for example, but only God can bring it about (Luke 12:31; 23:51; Matt. 6:10, 33). The kingdom is God’s to give and to take away. It is ours only to enter and accept (Matt. 21:43; Luke 12:32).

We can inherit it, posses it, or refuse to enter it, but it is not ours to build and we can never destroy it (Matt. 25:34; Luke 10:11). We can work for the kingdom, but we can never act upon it. We can preach it, but it is God’s to establish (Matt. 10:7; Luke 10:9; 12:32).

God’s inbreaking, saving, vanquishing rule is His from first to last. It has no human analogues, no duplicates, no parallels, and no surrogates. It allows of no human synergism. The inbreaking of the ‘age to come’ into our world is accomplished by God alone.

This is all about the spirituality that is from ‘above’ and not at all about that which is from ‘below.’ It is about God reaching down in grace and doing for sinners what they cannot do for themselves. For if this is God’s kingdom, His rule, the sphere of His sovereignty, then it is not for us to take or to establish.

We receive, we do not take; we enter, but we do not seize. We come as subjects in His kingdom, not as sovereigns in our own.”

–David F. Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 196.

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