When is God’s Kingdom attainable?

The inquiry into accessing God’s Kingdom arose while Jesus was still present in His physical form. Those who asked were mindful of the urgency and significance of God’s Kingdom to humanity. The question remains as pressing today as it was back then. Yet, once Jesus provided the answer, now preserved in the gospel accounts, the question should be regarded as no longer relevant. The challenges that once troubled the hopeful are now quelled, when meticulously following Jesus’ teachings.

Instructing His disciples on prayer, Jesus emphasized the need to petition for God’s Kingdom to manifest: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 NKJV). This directive was intended to ensure God’s Kingdom’s influence in their lives, essential for fulfilling their Christian duties. For contemporary Christians, the situation remains unchanged; God’s Kingdom continues to hold sway.

Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so, will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

“In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise, the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night there will be two men in one bed: one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Luke 27:20-37 NKJV).

Delving into the aforementioned Scripture reveals the core significance of Christianity. The aspiration to be part of God’s Kingdom inspires many Christians to desire steadfastly following their faith. However, this can sometimes result in deception when one does not personally verify teachings against Jesus’ words. Interpretations of this text vary, often influenced by diverse perspectives. Concern over these varying interpretations is unnecessary given the clarity of the Bible’s teachings.

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It’s important to recognize that a Kingdom suggests the presence of a sovereign ruler. This ruler possesses all within the defined realm. Within this realm, the ruler’s authority to acquire what he desires is unchallengeable. A kingdom’s governance extends to all individuals within its borders. The Pharisees posed a critical question to Jesus about the arrival of God’s Kingdom. Jesus enlightened them that God’s Kingdom resides within.

Considering the acerbic Pharisees’ interactions with Jesus, it seems unlikely they grasped his teachings. The nuances in Jesus’ answer are crucial to dissect for those intent on dedicating themselves to Jesus. Every individual, created in God’s likeness, holds the potential to return to God’s Kingdom dominion. It is up to each person to decide whether to be a part of God’s Kingdom or avoid being one.

Human beings often grapple with the duality of good and evil. Some individuals may exhibit more goodness than evil, while others exhibit the opposite. Yet, the essence of Godliness, within most people, struggles to thrive amidst the turmoil where good and evil coexist. Those who have embraced the Holy Spirit are considered part of God’s Kingdom, referring to God as their Father, in the same manner that Jesus referred to God as His Father.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-21 NKJV).

The common people persist in their struggle, entangling good with evil in their pursuits of survival in a corrupt world. Jesus provided a comprehensive discourse on the state of humanity, covering the time leading up to His return. Ultimately, He speaks metaphorically of vultures that circle a dying or dead animal, symbolizing a decaying church.

The saying, “the darkest hour is just before the dawn,” applies to faithful Christians as well. The Church of God gradually falls prey to the world’s growing corruption. The faithful risk succumbing to this plight unless they stay alert. Heeding God’s call can be very difficult when sucked into worldly conditions. As with the five unprepared virgins, being cast into utter darkness is a dire prospect. Jesus likens this to vultures descending on the faltering state of God’s Church.

And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” Revelation 18:2-5 NKJV).

The pronoun, “her” in question, refers to a Church that has fallen into worldliness. Those who are committed to Christ are not swayed by the Babylonian condition. In a deceptive world, God’s people may find themselves subtly drawn to Babylonian ways. Babylon symbolizes defiance against God, evident in those who embrace corrupt lifestyles. This reprehensible way of life becomes more pronounced as the end times approach, and even God’s people may be lured by what seems like a means of survival.

Jesus proclaimed God’s Kingdom before His crucifixion, which was followed by His resurrection. The proclamation of God’s Kingdom would be continued by His disciples, who entered into God’s Kingdom when they received the Holy Spirit. They laid down the foundation for the Kingdom that is still being structured to this day. Throughout history, God’s Church has encountered the Babylonian conditions, one way or the other, subjecting God’s people to an experience akin to that of the end times.

When becoming comfortable for God’s people, the Babylon condition would be affecting the church. When the general condition of humanity deteriorates to levels of unprecedented decadence, more vigilance would be called for, among God’s people. Physical humans are naturally conditioned to dread pain and suffering. Anything that brings comfort ought to be suspect, to those heeding Jesus’ aforewarning. Christians are instructed to feel happier when subjected to persecution, rather than when comfort prevails.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV).

The words of Jesus are not designed to instil physical comfort to God’s Children. Jesus portrays discomfort as suggesting confirmation of being on the Lord’s side. The disciples faced similar circumstances, having rejoiced after going through that experience. They became assured of attaining God’s Kingdom. This was after a religious Scholar; named Gamaliel had advised the Jews against killing those apostles.

And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ (Acts 5:40-42 NKJV).

The apostles felt honoured to endure disgrace for the sake of Jesus’ name, a sentiment distinct from commonly rejoicing in fair treatment. The compromised state of God’s Church is evident when physical blessings are celebrated, instead. While God’s people may indeed experience temporary blessings, scepticism is advisable. It is preferable to be cautious about such blessings, which are commonly influenced by a corrupt environment.

In worldly terms, a prostitute may praise God for providing a paying client, or a criminal may thank God for successful misdeeds. Similarly, a corruptly gained promotion at the workplace might lead one to extol God. Often, people express gratitude for God’s love upon receiving perceived blessings, even when it may not be warranted, where corruption is involved. This reflects the Babylonian state of existence, incomprehensible without the guidance of Jesus’ teachings.

While God’s Kingdom will be established during the millennium, its complete realization will not yet be achieved. God’s Kingdom is not to be equated with earthly conditions. The full manifestation of God’s Kingdom will occur only after all has been fulfilled. There are processes in place to honour those who overcome the Babylonian system. Many will be welcomed into the fold during the millennium as Jesus reigns from David’s throne.

Nevertheless, not all humans will acknowledge Jesus’ sovereignty. According to the prophecy in Revelation, some will be influenced by Satan after the millennium. Humanity embodies both virtue and vice. The vibrancy of life can activate our inherent sinful tendencies. Often, cowardice arises from the desire to evade discomfort.

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this, we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:12-19 NKJV).

Fear is often seen as a sign that one is not yet anointed as a child of God. The anointing process involves enduring trials and tribulations, after which a person is welcomed as a child of God. The ability to withstand all discomforts, even the most severe trials, shows a deep dedication to God. This dedication is what qualifies a person for entry into God’s Kingdom. Humans should value their distinctiveness from humanoids.

Being made in God’s image, humans are fundamentally similar to God. The courageous are willing to abandon worldly ways to become children of God. A fundamental truth that has sustained humanity is the human condition of mixing good and evil. The symbolic fruit eaten by Adam illustrates this duality, casting humanity into ongoing uncertainty. Renouncing all worldly connections may lead to unity with the Divine. For a determined Christian, no barrier can prevent access to the Kingdom of God.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

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