When Jesus Christ sends His messengers into the world (Acts 1:8), His purpose is to call all men everywhere to repent (Act 17:30). At first, no one is particularly inclined to heed the call to change kingdom alliances. A deficient view of the One who is issuing the summons to come and submit to Him is a major obstacle Gospel heralds must overcome. Our task is to announce an invading King, who has established a competing kingdom. He shall reign forever, and His kingdom will have not end.
Most peoples’ worldviews do not include their being slaves to sin in the kingdom of darkness (Jn 8:34; Rom 6:6; Col 1:13). It does not register with most people that Satan is the god of this world, who is purposefully and effectively blinding them from seeing the kingdom of God (2 Cor 4:4). In the quest for more amusement, better toys, and good food, the meaning and purpose for why they were created never crosses most peoples’ minds. The human mantra in this fallen world has always been: “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” “Take hold of eternity” does not compare with “seize the day.”
The attributes of a kingdom are visible when the kingdom is visible. Our problem: the cosmic battle between warring, invisible kingdoms has made its way into our physical realm. Even the mention of this conflict of kingdoms will cause some to doubt this spiritual reality.
The Bible teaches us about these kingdoms in conflict. We learn the attributes of both by reading God’s Word. Of course, we must learn about the war over the Bible itself, too. The war for truth is the heart of the conflict.
The Bible has answers to our most important questions. The Bible believer takes on the worldview presented on the pages of Scripture. Reality, from the Bible’s perspective, is very different from the diverse opinions of reality formed in the futility of men’s minds. For example, people strive with one another to gain more of the world, and then they die. The Bible notes this vanity and shows us another way. Most remain blind to vanity (Eccl 1:2).
People are not convinced about the kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of Jesus Christ. People are not willing to switch allegiance at the mere proposition of it being the kingdom of God they are defecting to (Jn 1:12–13). Not only this, they are not able to do so in their own power, that is, to facilitate this transfer (Rom 8:7). In other words, people do not just decide to change kingdoms.
The prophets of Israel announced the coming kingdom of God. Jesus Messiah was sent to re-establish the kingdom of God on the earth, in the domain of enemy territory (Col 1:13). A spiritual embassy was established called, “the church.” King Jesus was murdered by the people of the god of this world, but to everyone’s surprise, He rose again from the dead (1 Cor 15). His enthronement in heaven came with the issuance of all power and authority over everything in heaven and on the earth (Mt 28:18).
God the Father and God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit to continue the work of building the embassy on earth (Jn 14:26; 15:26; Eph 2:20–22). The Spirit actually fills the people who make up the embassy. They are called, “living stones.” Their task is to cry out to all people everywhere with the announcement of the kingdom of Christ.
Whereas people in the kingdom of this world were content with the way it has always been, they are now disturbed by the heralds of a King, not of this world. Ambassadors for Christ announce to their neighbors the program for being reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:19–20). The program is called, “salvation,” and the message is called, “Gospel.”
Despite the promised benefits of peace with God, joy in the Holy Spirit, and right standing at the coming judgment, people went about their business. Most ignored the call, but some grew hostile. This is repeated in every generation around the earth. Why can’t people see the kingdom of God? Why do they resist good, in favor of evil? Why do they prefer being slaves to sin versus being slaves to Christ? How do some actually overcome and find themselves in the kingdom of God’s Beloved Son?
When a Christian heralds the good news of an invading kingdom, it is an affront to the kingdom of this world. It is countercultural. It is cosmic war. Men take up arms to war with one another in disputes over boundaries and resources. Christians war for the souls of people. A Christian is warring against principalities and powers in heavenly places. The poser, who is the angel of light, is the destroyer of men’s souls. His ancient warfare consists of lies and murder (Jn 8:44). He thinks nothing of killing his own subjects.
The weapon of our warfare is the Word of truth (Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12). It shines like light in the darkness. It is brought forth by the Spirit of truth sent from heaven (Jn 14:17; 16:13). “It is written” keeps God’s people grounded in the truth, which powerfully works in the hearts and minds of lost, elect souls. With the authority of, “Thus says the Lord,” Spirit-filled preachers proclaim the King of glory and His program of salvation before coming judgment.
The task of the herald is simply to repeat what has been revealed and explain it to those who do not understand the meaning of the announcement. Hence, I am writing to you, today. This is an explanation of the Bible’s revelation of two cosmic kingdoms in conflict. One is darkness. One is light. One is a world of lies. One is truth. One is a culture of death. One is life. One is the way of destruction. One is the way to heaven. The subjects of one kingdom are at enmity with God. The others are at peace with Him.
If you recognize you are in the wrong kingdom, then this is your call to come out of the kingdom of whorish Babylon (Rev 18), which is the figurative name given to Satan’s world system of rebellion against Almighty God. Do you love this world? Do you love the things of this world? Then you probably belong to the kingdom of this world.
It is said, “actions speak louder than words.” Ok, check your actions. Are your thoughts impure? Are your words filled with curses? Are your deeds done for selfish gain? Do you masquerade in front of others to suggest you are not who you really are? Or are your thoughts of Christ? Are your conversations seasoned with the name, “Jesus”? Are your works done in gladness for the benefit of His fame? Are you relieved to tell others you are the chief of sinners? Suddenly, the invisible kingdoms are manifest with the answers to these questions.
If you are unwilling to come into the kingdom of God, leaving this kingdom of sin, then Christ Jesus can make you willing (Ps 110:3). If you are unable to break the chains that bind you to your sins and addictions in this world, He is able. If you are tired of the vanity and meaninglessness of your existence, then He is delighted to give your meaning and significance. He is calling to you (Mt 11:28), will you call back (Joel 2:32; Rom 10:13)?
Prayer and the study of God’s Word, the Bible, are your tickets of transfer. Ask and you shall receive a kingdom. The reality of the kingdom of God is spiritual (1 Cor 2:15). You cannot see it, until you are born into it (Jn 3:1–8). It is a spiritual birth. Birth can be painful; but hold on, it is worth the wait.
God is working reconnaissance to recapture what was stolen from Him by the devil. The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19), and He knows where every one of His lost sheep is currently wandering in the domain of darkness, the dominion of Satan (Acts 26:18). Are you lost? Cry out and He will hear you (think Zacchaeus). The Deliverer is coming. Do not waver. Do not continue to wander. Come to King Jesus. Behold, He is coming quickly (Rev 22:7).
It is God’s delight to give you His kingdom (Lk 12:32). He calls you to receive all the spiritual blessings of heaven (Eph 1:3). They are yours in Christ Jesus. The key to the kingdom of God is the knowledge of the truth. Pick up your Bible, today, and open the testimony of God’s inheritance bestowed upon adopted sons and daughters (Rom 8:15, 23). Heirs do not work for the benefits (Rom 4:5); but rather, they receive them with such joy that others around them hear about the unfathomable riches of Christ and His kingdom.
It is His Spirit speaking to you, today. Do not harden your heart. Receive the kingdom by faith in the promises found in the Bible. Take hold of God’s eternal kingdom. Forsake the fleeting kingdom of this world. Receive the Holy Spirit. Enjoy the gifts He has given to you, including the measure of faith afforded to you (Rom 12:3).
If you have received this kingdom already, then be found faithful with what God has given to you. Do everything as unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Labor in love for Him who bought you for a price (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23). Use the mammon of unrighteousness to further His kingdom (Lk 16:9; 1 Jn 3:17). Live by faith, trusting in His provision, and not in hoarded resources. Your life is but a vapor (Jas 4:14), but your future is eternal bliss. Store up your treasures in heaven (Mt 6:20). He is not unjust to forget your works or the love you have shown toward His name (Heb 6:10).
His name is your name. Your name is intimately linked to either worldliness or godliness. Examine yourself. Repent. Believe again. Live the kingdom for the whole world to see. This is what you have been called for and it is what you have been called to. Again, I say, “Learn the kingdom, and live the kingdom.” Do it all for the glory of Christ, whose kingdom has no end. Praise be to the King of kings (1 Tim 6:15) and may the glory of His kingdom shine bright until the day of its coming fullness (Jn 5:28–29; 1 Thess 4:13–5:11; Rev 19:11–21).
David E. Norczyk
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 11, 2021