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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010
991: Thy Kingdom.
Christ, when teaching His disciples how to pray, taught them to ask God to usher His kingdom in on the earth ("Thy kingdom come").

This kingdom, of course, is to be ruled by Christ until all things (including, and perhaps especially, death) are put under Christ's feet by God. At that point Christ steps down, and God the Father rules. Christ is the King of kings, and the Lord of Lords, but He will surrender His Father's throne when all things have been put beneath His feet.

We have therefore a King (Christ), and a kingdom that Christ inaugurated, but I recall sitting down with a group of youth perhaps eight to ten years ago and asking a question about the kingdom. What was it, where was it, who was in it, when does it start, when does it end. You know, the basics. Sure there was that awkward teenage silence thing where no one wants to make a peep lest they be wrong and look foolish, and perhaps ruin forever their hopes of one day getting married, but truly their silence was steeped not only in awkwardness but in genuine ignorance. They simply didn't know what the kingdom really was, when it started or ended, though they were all pretty sure that God or Jesus was associated with ruling over it.

So I thought I would post a very quick (for me) article on God's kingdom.

Picture the scene where the disciples approached Jesus asking him how they ought to pray. They had heard Jesus pray many times, so I believe that Jesus didn't just burst into prayer and they quickly jotted down the words, rather I think Jesus was speaking to them, and not to God when He told them to pray in this way, "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, etc." That is, Jesus wasn't praying these words to God, but putting forth a sort of example of prayer to the disciples.

Of course, at that moment, the kingdom was imminent, knocking at the door, as it were, but it had yet to be established. Christ was crowned, as it were, when He rose from the grave, yet the earthly kingdom was not established until the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost.

In Hebrews we read that when God spoke to the Israelites on Mount Sinai, he shook the earth, but that a day is coming when God is going to speak and shake not only the earth but the heavens also, we read also that this shaking serves a purpose - it looses and removes all that is not firm. Paul writes of the same sort of thing as passing through fire - some things being burned up, and others surviving the fire. These are eschatological (end times) pictures. On the last day the the angels will come through and remove all that offends. This is the same as the fire that burns away all that is worthless, and again, what the author of Hebrews writes - the shaking of the heavens and the earth so that only the kingdom remains.

Think this through for a moment. The kingdom will only have one King, Jesus, and His rule will continue until all things are put beneath His feet. That means that when Christ rose from the grave He took up His crown, and sent forth the Holy Spirit, thereby inaugurating His reign, and establishing "visibly" (if you will) the onset of His kingdom. This kingdom will continue until the judgment is completed and death is cast into hell - one might say, this reign will continue then, until the last day: judgment day.

That's the length of it.

One might argue, though not very convincingly since you would have to miss the point to make the argument, that the "kingdom" began with the first act of faith - say with Adam, or with Abraham, or even with "King" Saul. But whatever foreshadowing we see in the OT, we ought not to confuse that with the substance of the Kingdom that Christ ushered in. It was Christ's kingdom that all of history anticipated, and that the OT pointed to. Recorded history reads a thousand road signs pointing to the coming kingdom - but we mustn't mistake the sign for the substance. Christ did not teach His disciples to pray, "Thank you that your kingdom has already come", but to implore God to bring into existence that which sat pregnantly waiting.

It is proper, I think, to paint the kingdom as God the Father's kingdom, ruled by Christ in God's stead, though I don't suppose I would object very much if someone called it "Christ's kingdom". We understand that Christ is the King who will rule God's kingdom until that reign is surrendered to the Father on the last day, so I wouldn't spend a lot of time splitting hairs on that point.

The Kingdom then, will survive the destruction of this age and world, it is that which will not be shaken - and that is why the author of Hebrews encourages us to be grateful for our inclusion in the kingdom - because the kingdom will survive. That is why the author of Hebrews encourages us to continue in that which we have received, etc. etc.

Consider therefore, today, that we ought to show reverence and awe at our inclusion in this unshakable kingdom as an act of acceptable worship. For this reason, the author of Hebrews writes, our love for the brethren should continue, for this reason we should not neglect being hospitable to strangers, remembering prisoners in prison, holding marriage as honorable, keeping our character and conduct above reproach, our doctrine true, and our determination to follow Christ outside the camp, as it were, in tact. We have received already the kingdom which will not be shaken - let us walk worthy of that.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:18 AM  
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