When Jesus started His ministry on earth 2,000 years ago, he said,
“repent and believe the gospel, for the kingdom of heaven is near”
(Mark 1:15). Jesus spoke much about the kingdom of God. In Old
Testament times we see glimpses of the kingdom of heaven shining
through, when God spoke through prophets, when the Spirit
anointed prophets and people repented of their sins, and when great
miracles occurred and people were healed through the ministry of
Elijah and Elisha. The Holy Spirit was undoubtedly at work
throughout the history of the world, but at a lower ebb than before
Jesus came. When Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit the
kingdom broke through as never before. People were healed,
demons cast out, the blind received their sight, the deaf were healed
and the dead raised to life! As Jesus said, “but if it is by the Spirit of
God, that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come
upon you” (Matthew 12:28 ESV).
Jesus said, unless a man is born again, born from above, born of the
Holy Spirit, he cannot see nor enter the kingdom of God (Read John
3:3-7). The kingdom of God does not come with outward
appearance, but it starts within the heart (See Luke 17:21). The
kingdom of God does not come through military might, nor as a
result of economic empowerment and technological advancement.
All these things may be outward manifestations of God’s providence
and his provision, but the kingdom of God, is a spiritual thing in its
embryo form. Jesus said the Spirit moves where it wills, and one
cannot observe this: he is like the wind. The Spirit’s work is
immeasurable, as is the advance of the kingdom of God. His is an
eternal kingdom, a kingdom that cannot be destroyed, because God
cannot be destroyed! Of the increase of the government of the
Prince of peace there will be no end (See Isaiah 9:6-8).
The Spirit of God cannot be contained, controlled, counseled or
directed: one must simply submit to Him! And the Spirit of God is the
One who encourages us to evangelize and preach the gospel! It is
when there is a revival of preaching and praying that the kingdom of
God breaks through! The kingdom of God is near when the word is
preached, “faith comes by hearing the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
We evangelize and pray and make it our aim to share the gospel so
that God’s kingdom advances. He will always call people to
evangelize and preach the gospel across the world because it is the
means by which his kingdom grows.
The kingdom of God refers to the reign of God in the human heart
and mind. It refers to the spaces and places where people submit to
the Lordship and rule of Christ. The kingdom of God breaks through
where there is humility and confession of sins and where the peace
of God comes into a human soul! In short, it arrives and breaks
through when Christ is honored and believed in and where people
pursue righteousness. If you want to see what the kingdom of God
looks like, look at Jesus. Look at his life. Consider his attitudes and
affections. Take note of his work and look at the cross. Look at his
perfect obedience to the law. Look at His mercy on sinners such as
you and me. The great Samuel Rutherford said of our Lord: “Christ is
a well of life, but who knoweth how deep it is to the bottom?” This is
the Lord whose kingdom we speak of, and we are blessed to belong
““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven… Blessed are those who are persecuted for
righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 5:3, 10 ESV)
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking
but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
(Romans 14:17 ESV)
The kingdom of God started to break through significantly in this
world at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit broke through in power.
The kingdom of God advanced extraordinarily during that time; and
throughout the twenty intervening centuries, it has been advancing
more and more across the world. We hear of revivals in history and
we know that God is working in many places at the same time. But
there is more to come of the kingdom. There is more to experience
of God! The curse still has its devastating effects in the world. Flesh
and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50-58). Death
has not finally been destroyed. We are waiting for more; we are
waiting for the kingdom to be consummated and for Christ to hand
over the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor 15:22-28). We can hardly wait
as believers for God’s glory to destroy all sinfulness in the saints. We
are living at the beginning of spring. The buds are showing, new life is
emerging, but there is more to come.
We evangelize because without the regeneration of unbelievers no-
one is going to experience the kingdom of God! Without faith in
Christ, repentance of sins, or gospel proclamation going on in
thousands of different ways, the kingdom will not advance. When we
pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”, we must put on the
shoes of readiness of the gospel of peace. Praying is not enough.
One’s good deeds are not enough. Living a holy life to adorn the
gospel is not enough. Open your mouth and speak the words!
Confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord, that Jesus is Savior; that
He is the only Savior! We don’t share the gospel by doing good
deeds. The only way the kingdom will advance is when the Holy Spirit
uses our words and convicts and converts sinners!
Oh, may God grant us boldness and love to give out gospel literature,
to pray and to evangelize the lost! There is no other hope for them
but in the gospel! Go and find an unbeliever and tell them the old,
old story of Jesus and His love! Go and find many, go and find
crowds; go and tell it on the mountain; on the beachfront; in the
inner city, in the schools and prisons and hospitals.
Go! Go! Go!
Cross borders, cross the sea, cross your culture and ethnic group.
Forget your level of education, your gender and age group; go and
tell people, tell them of the love of the Savior who died for sinners!
Go and cross language barriers! Tell those who have never heard!
The kingdom of Christ will advance through the obedience of those
who lay down their lives for Christ and the gospel!
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those
invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite
to the wedding feast as many as you find.’” (Matthew 22:8-9 ESV)