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The kingdoms of this world...
It must seem to some that Jesus’ words have failed, for it seems not that the kingdoms of this world are becoming and are being overcome by the Kingdom of Christ but rather that the Kingdom of Christ has been overshadowed and consumed by the kingdoms of this world.It must have seemed that the ever advancing and transforming Kingdom of Christ as the Christian’s of the Roman Catholic era experienced was greatly damaged by the revolution of the protesting “Reformers”.
And today it seems that the liberating yet Scripture respecting Kingdom of Christ as Christian’s of the "Reformational" and “Evangelical” era experience is constantly degrading into chaos and confusion, hence their belief the world is about to end.
So, how is it that we Christians can say the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ? Is it as the dispensationalists (and most of our futurists brothers) say; that eventually someday all the kingdoms of this world will be physically destroyed and then and only then will the Kingdom of Christ truly be ushered in?
Perhaps God’s Sovereignty has been playing out in history yet we have been oblivious to how it functions?
I can imagine that the descendants of Abraham must have wondered about God’s promise to Abraham while they suffered under the Egyptians. I can imagine that the Jews of the first-century must have wondered about God’s promise to Abraham as they watched in disbelief as the very footstool of God burned and was leveled to the ground.
So, again I ask how is it that we Christians can say the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ?
There are even some among us who fear that further reforms, especially in the area of understanding the nature and purpose of Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, and Evangelists as being uniquely first-century pre-consummation, pre-completed canon offices will further erode THEIR concept of how the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ.
When Christ spoke of bringing freedom, did He speak of more than salvific freedom?
When Paul spoke that in Christ there is “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female” did he only mean in some mystical sense or was it a change in status that would in time, in history become increasingly more apparent?
It is questions like these that scare some of us. It is questions like these that cause some people to accuse us of liberalism or feminism or even anti-Trinitarianism. It is questions like these that cause some people to recoil into fortresses of pretended orthodoxy.
Indeed, these are difficult questions on par with questions asked of the Church in the sixteenth century. On par with questions asked of those monarchs who set themselves up as bishops of the so-called English Church. On par with questions asked of the apocalyptics of our own time.
If we truly believe that the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ we must not fear to read the Scriptures once again in the context of their original intent and audience.
It was from this sort of honesty with the text that those “Reformers” demanded that even a ploughboy could and should grasp the Word of God. It was from this sort of honesty with the text that Bible readers all over the world have and continue to reject the concept of Apostolic Succession. It was from this sort of honesty with the text that people even to this day proclaim their liberty and right to hold to Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), not needing anyone (even preachers) to point them to Christ ONCE they have been regenerated.
And it is this sort of honesty with the text we ask our brothers and sisters to once again embrace as brothers and sisters.
We truly believe that the kingdoms of this world ARE ever becoming the Kingdom of Christ through liberty and honesty which will shine a light on all the darkness of those kingdoms it consumes. The truth of God’s Word will be evident to all as they are free to hold it in their own hands, in their own minds, in their own hearts without the filtration of Pope, council, creed, pastor or pretended church (Indeed the REAL Church is alive and well as the married Wife of Christ, no longer simply the bride strolling down the eschatological aisle with bridesmaids in tow).
Praise God! the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.