Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. John 18:36
The above quote contains the words that Jesus spoke to Pilate as the man questions Him about other’s claim that He was a King. Indeed, He is a King: the King of kings, and yet He is the King of an unseen kingdom; nevertheless, it is as real if not more so than this world in which we live! Our lives are bombarded with other-world themes in books and movies. Topics dealing with the spirit world are of major interest to this generation. As I recently looked over the books on display at our local high school’s book fare, I was amazed at the number of books that dealt with the dark side of the spirit world: zombies, vampires, and witchcraft. Even the Lord of the Ring rage and Narnia are set in other worlds or times in this world that don’t exist on our timelines.
His Kingdom: Nine times in the New Testament, the Bible speaks of His kingdom. Here’s a quick outline of what each passage says:
- Not everyone that says “Lord, Lord,” will enter in to His kingdom (Matt. 7:21)
- The “sheep” at the Father’s right hand will inherit His kingdom (Matt. 25:34)
- Jesus said that He would not “drink…of the vine” until in His Father’s kingdom (Matt. 26:29)
- After the Last Supper, Jesus tells his disciples that they will “eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
- We are considered workers of the kingdom of God (Col. 4:11)
- We are “heirs of the kingdom” who are “rich in faith” (James 2:5)
In Matthew, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a farmer, a grain of mustard seed, a treasure in a field, a net cast into the sea, a man hiring labors for the day, a prince’s wedding, and ten virgins and their lamps.
There’s not much description in the Bible about heaven, or God’s kingdom! It’s been said that the Bible doesn’t say much about heaven because we wouldn’t be able to understand it! We know it’s beyond our wildest imagination. Revelation twenty-one probably gives us the most information about heaven: streets of gold, a river, the Tree of Life, twelve foundations of gems, twelve gates made of pearls.
Whatever you think about heaven, the fact is that as born-again believers, we will someday
enter that kingdom – “the joy of the Lord” (Matt 23:21); and although every religion in the world offers heaven to its followers, Jesus Christ–the ONLY Son of God–alone has the “keys to heaven” and purchased that right with His own blood. Please don’t be duped by your own fancies or others tales into thinking that you are on your way to heaven if you haven’t followed God’s simple plan of salvation. Jesus said, “Ye MUST be born-again.” (John 3:3) (For more information, take a look at “What is Salvation.”)
How often to do you stop and think of your heavenly home? How hard are you working for that kingdom? Think about your day. Is it packed full with this kingdom’s focus? Yes, we are living in this world. We need to care for our homes and families and business; but our FOCUS should always be on HIS kingdom–our future home.
Think about it: We get seventy or eighty years here on earth to live this life, and then for more years than even an evolutionist can imagine, we will be in the presence of God, living and serving and worshiping Him! What will we actually be doing? I don’t really know. But Jesus is very clear about the reality of heaven and His return for us in John fourteen. “…I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).
Eternal vision keeps God constantly in our peripheral vision. When I’m at the store, I’m thinking about others, trying to be kind, giving a word of encouragement here or there, giving the cashier a Gospel tract. When at home with my children, I’m praying over their boo-boos, reading the Bible and Bible-related stories to them, I’m seeing God’s goodness in my life and readily sharing it with my family.
My husband often says that our home is a little corner of heaven here on earth. How beautiful! This world truly is not our home–we ARE just ‘apassing’ through! But snatch a little of heaven and put it in your pocket! Carry it with you and all the cares and worries of this life will truly grow strangely dim! It’s like having your very own Jacob’s Ladder, where God’s Spirit freely joins you and your family as you live your lives for the Savior! Imagine God’s angels, coming and going as they please, and they ARE pleased to come to your house! What a blessing!
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hebrews 1:14