The End is Near: Seeing the Kingdom that is near, here, within, and coming.

The Kingdom of Heaven is more than meets the eye: The Kingdom of Heaven has come near you, it is here, it is within you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is coming.

I was struck by an idea presented in a recent church service: The Kingdom of Heaven is more than meets the eye: The Kingdom of Heaven has come near you, it is here, it is within you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is coming. We tend to think the Kingdom of Heaven as something in the future that we’re all waiting for, and that’s partly true, but it also carries other profound dimensions.

The phrases Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God refer to the same thing. Jesus used both phrases one right after the other in Matthew 19:23-24, explaining to His disciples how difficult it was for people to enter the Kingdom of God/Heaven.

The End is Near

When Jesus sent out the disciples ahead of Him to the places He would soon visit, he told them, “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:8-9)

Jesus had been teaching His disciples about the kingdom of Heaven and now the disciples were preparing the people to hear about it, as well.

You and I are those people and God has sent out his disciples to reach us. Will we welcome his servants? Or, will we reject them and have it said against us,

Say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.Luke 10:10-11

Continue reading “The End is Near: Seeing the Kingdom that is near, here, within, and coming.”

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to one and all and may the light of the bright and morning star bless and keep you and yours.

Merry Christmas to one and all and may the light of the bright and morning star bless and keep you and yours.

1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet:  “I will send my messenger ahead of you,  who will prepare your way”
3 “a voice of one calling in the desert,  ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,  make straight paths for him.’ ”
4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of  repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and  he ate locusts and wild honey.
7 And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs  of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Mark 1:1-8

That man is Jesus Christ, God’s Son and yet one with God, who came to earth, was born of a virgin and whose birthday we celebrate this season.

The good news is simple. God has been telling us one thing for all history: Follow me.

16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16