Tag Archives: Kingdom of God

“The Lamb has won” by Patrick Schreiner

“The goal of the kingdom achieved in Revelation is described as a city, a people, and a conquering King. From the throne of this King comes a river with water (Rev. 22:1-2; think Gen. 2:10 and Ezek. 47:1-12), and on either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit for the healing of nations.

As Genesis began with the garden and the tree of life, now Revelation closes with a garden city and a tree that heals all the nations. Genesis began with a marriage; so also Revelation finishes with the wedding feast of the Lamb.

The twelve kinds of fruit harken us back to the promise made to Abrahams offspring, that they would bring blessings to the whole world. They are the chosen people through whom God established His kingdom.

The Messiah has come to fulfill the destiny of Israel’s seed in feeding all the nations. Israels hopes were too small. The tree that bore their king transformed into a source of life for the entire world.

Streaming into the city are the kings of the earth who come to give their glory to the King of kings, who reigns over all people. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil seemed to send the kingdom plan on a downward spiral, but it was through the tree of the cross that the kingdom was fulfilled.

Now the tree of life consummates the kingdom story started so long ago. The dragon is slain; the Lamb has won; the people are free; they are home.”

–Patrick Schreiner, The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018), 130-131.

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“Christ gives more than sin stole” by Herman Bavinck

“When the kingdom has fully come, Christ will hand it over to God the Father. The original order will be restored.

But not naturally, as if nothing had ever happened, as if sin had never existed and the revelation of God’s grace in Christ had never occurred. Christ gives more than sin stole; grace was made much more to abound.

He does not simply restore us to the status integritatis [state of righteousness] of Adam; he makes us, by faith, participants of the non posse peccare [being unable to sin] (1 John 3:9) and of the non posse mori [being unable to die] (John 11:25).

Adam does not again receive the place which he lost by sin. The first man was of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. Just as we have born the image of the earthy, so too after the resurrection shall we bear the image of the heavenly man (1 Cor. 15:45-49).

A new song will be sung in heaven (Rev. 5:9, 10), but the original order of creation will remain, at least to the extent that all distinctions of nature and grace will once and for all be done away with.

Dualism will cease. Grace does not remain outside or above or beside nature but rather permeates and wholly renews it. And thus nature, reborn by grace, will be brought to its highest revelation.

That situation will again return in which we serve God freely and happily, without compulsion or fear, simply out of love.”

–Herman Bavinck, “Common Grace,” trans. Ray VanLeeuwen, Calvin Theological Journal 24 (1988): 59-60.

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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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“An embassy of heaven” by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

“The church is not something additional or optional. It is at the very heart of God’s purposes. Jesus came to create a people who would model what it means to live under His rule. It would be a glorious outpost of the kingdom of God, an embassy of heaven.

This is where the world can see what it truly means to be human. Our identity as human beings is found in community. Our identity as Christians is found in Christ’s new community. And our mission takes place through communities of light. Christianity is ‘total church.'”

–Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007), 50.

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