The devil would have us think that the age of kings is a thing of the past. Indeed, this is partly true. We live in the age of individual freedom! But the age of kings is not over. Today, we take our hard-earned money and build our own kingdoms by ruling over our castle-homes, driving luxurious motorized carriages, wearing the finest linens, and accumulating a personal collection of entertainment and cool stuff. Our country is a kingdom of kings. In fact, our economy is built to thrive on people who live as if they are royalty.
I am not an exception. I was born into an obsession with trains and superheroes. My room became littered with toy engines and Batman action figures. In high school, most of my days were spent building virtual empires in video games. In college, I accumulated an epic library of music CDs and mp3’s. My short life has already seen me rule several kingdoms.
The Kingdom is near…
Jesus preached that some sort of “kingdom” was right around the corner. Was Jesus talking about castles and kings, or a massive collection of iPad apps? If you feel like you don’t really know what Jesus was talking about, that means you are already a step ahead of Jesus’ first listeners – they thought they knew exactly what Jesus was talking about.
They looked back with nostalgia on the reign of their greatest Israelite king: David. Ever since their kingdom had crumbled under the oppression of other kingdoms, the Jews longed for the golden age Israel. They had good reason since their prophets anticipated a day when God would restore the earth under His permanent rule.
But that’s not all…
In order for people to be citizens of the kingdom of God, they must first be rescued. Jesus’ audience seemed to ignore that message of the prophets. None-the-less, the prophets of the Old Testament anticipated salvation just as much as they anticipated the kingdom of God. Peter summarized it this way:
This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. (1 Peter 1:10-11 NLT)
All the resources I spent to build my tiny kingdoms were a sham. And I’m just one person. Imagine all the resources being wasted in all the kingdoms we build for ourselves. This is our problem: We can’t help it! We are hard-wired to either sit on our own frail throne, or die fighting for it. We need salvation!
The story of humanity is epic…
And you are a part of it. The person who succumbs to building his own kingdom is sucked into a tiny worldview. He is consumed with the hopeless mission to entertain himself while the end of his life draws near. But the person who understands that the story is so much bigger, can ditch his worthless pursuits for the sake of pursuing the ultimate kingdom.
“The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15 NLT)
Read Revelation 5 for a breathtaking sneak peak of the throne room of God and the mission of His kingdom.