Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Kingdom of Heaven

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Daniel 2:44

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream. His dream was of a large statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with clay. Then a large stone, which was cut without hands, struck the image, broke it, crushed it, and caused the wind to blow it away. In the end the stone became "a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (Dan. 2:35). Daniel subsequently explains how each metal represents a kingdom that takes over after the previous kingdom. He then makes this statement, saying that at the end God is the one that will establish a kingdom that will consume all of the previous kingdoms.

A quick look at history can match up various kingdoms with each part of the statue. As stated in the passage the gold head represents King Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. Next came Persia, then Greece, and then Rome, and lastly Rome as it was divided. This brings us right up to Jesus's birth, life, death, and resurrection. 

Jesus constantly talked about the 'Kingdom of Heaven' and this is why. Jesus did not just come to forgive our sins, He came to establish "a kingdom which shall never be destroyed". A lot of Christians think of the kingdom of Heaven as something to look forward to after we die but it is so much more than that. Jesus said the kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21). At the start of His ministry he stated "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). I believe the kingdom of heaven began right here on earth with Jesus. He is calling us to live in His kingdom now, not later. We should be studying out what He said about the Kingdom and striving to live it out. Jesus even told us to seek the kingdom of heaven first (Matt. 6:33).

What are your thoughts on the Kingdom of Heaven?

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