Article 9 | The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

Scripture

  • Genesis 1:1 >> God rules over all things because He created all things
  • Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6 >> Prophets foretold of the coming Messiah who would rule over God’s kingdom for all eternity.
  • Matthew 3:2 >> John the Baptist declared that the Kingdom of God was coming with greater fullness because Jesus was about to start His ministry.
  • Matthew 4:23 >> The Kingdom of God was made manifest through individuals being healed & delivered from physical sickness & pain.
  • Matthew 13:1-52 >> The Kingdom of God was not revealed to everyone.  Instead, Jesus only revealed it to those whose hearts had been prepared by the Spirit to receive the Word.  They gave evidence to this reality as they responded in faith & obedience.
  • Matthew 25:31-46 >> All human beings will stand before Jesus one day & be divided into two groups: those who believed in Jesus & entered into the Kingdom & those who rejected Jesus & remained in their sin. Their eternal destination is determined by their earthly response.
  • Mark 1:14-15 >> At the start of His ministry, Jesus declared that the Kingdom of God was at hand with His presence.
  • Mark 9:1 >> The full redemptive power of the Kingdom was something that would be unleashed as Jesus died on the Cross & rose from the dead three days later.
  • Luke 4:43; 8:1 >> The Kingdom of God is Good News that calls people to respond & should be preached to all.
  • Luke 12:31-32 >> God delights in revealing & extending His Kingdom to His children
  • Luke 17:20-21; John 18:36 >> The Kingdom manifests itself spiritually (within the hearts & minds of the people).  Therefore, it is not something that you can point to in a physical, geographical sense.  Rather, as people submit each area of their lives to God’s will, the Kingdom is seen physically in the midst of God’s people.
  • John 3:3 >> Spiritual rebirth is necessary before you can be a part of the Kingdom of God
  • Acts 1:6-7 >> The full restoration of the Kingdom is fixed in the future by God’s sovereign authority.
  • Acts 17:22-31 >> The Kingdom of God is the all-encompassing dominion of God where all creation, creatures, & kingdoms of this world exist for the glory of their Creator.  One day He will judge all for their faithful or unfaithful stewardship of the life, authority, & resources that were given.
  • Romans 5:17 >> Death came into the Kingdom of God through Adam, but life has been restored through Jesus Christ.
  • Romans 8:19 >> Creation is an active participant in longing for the full restoration of the Kingdom of God
  • 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 >> Jesus initiated the restoration of the Kingdom of God in His ministry, but the full restoration will come when He returns in judgment to destroy the final enemy of death & then God will be all in all.
  • Colossians 1:13 >> Those who trust in Christ are delivered from the withering kingdom of Satan & transferred into the Kingdom of God.
  • Hebrews 12:28 >> There is no contest for the Kingdom of God.  No one can oppose it & it cannot be disturbed or overthrown.
  • 1 Peter 2:4-10 >> As the church increases, the Kingdom increases.  We are living stones in God’s Kingdom, offering our lives as an act of worship to our Father who has made us His children & so much more.
  • 1 Peter 4:13 >> Before the Kingdom comes it is fullness, there will be great suffering by God’s people who remain here physically.  Our path of life through this suffering is to keep our hearts & minds fixed upon the One who suffering for us, to deliver us from death into life.
  • Revelation 5:10 >> For all eternity, the people of God will praise His great name for making them into a Kingdom of eternal life & glory.
  • Revelation 11:15 >> Through a series of judgments on this earth, all creation & all creatures will be brought into submission to God the Father, until the Kingdom of the world becomes the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
  • Revelation 21-22 >> The consummation of the Kingdom of God will be marked by the creation of the universe & the earth as an eternal dwelling place for the children of God.  This new creation is beyond comparison & is marked by the complete unity of the physical & the spiritual, so that every day for all eternity is spent in the glory of the presence of God.

Article 10 | Last Things

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

Scripture

  • Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 19:28; 25:31-46; Acts 17:31 >> In the end, Jesus will be the Supreme Judge over all nations & will bring them into submission to the Father’s will.
  • Isaiah 11:9 >> The unhindered experience of God’s glory will be what characterizes God’s new creation.
  • Matthew 16:27; 26:64; Luke 21:27-28; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; Colossians 3:4 >> The event that will signal the start of the final act of recreation will be the return of Jesus Christ in the glory of His Father & then comes judgment.
  • Matthew 24:27,30; Luke17:22-37; 2 Peter 3:7-10 >> When Jesus returns, it will be for all to see. For those who have not trusted Him, this will bring great fear as He is seen in great power & glory in the sky.
  • Matthew 24:36,44; Luke 12:40; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5; Hebrews 9:27-28 >> No one knows when Jesus will return, but when He does it will be too late.  Therefore, repentance is the urgent call of the church of Jesus Christ to a lost & dying world.
  • Mark 8:38 >> An earthly confession of faith in Jesus that results in a transformed life is the best evidence of the presence of eternal life in human beings.
  • Luke16:19-26 >> Earthly life is the only place in which human beings can repent & trust Christ.  There is no such thing as postmortem salvation.  Once they are judged by Christ, they will either be sent to heaven or to hell.  Heaven is a place of God’s loving presence which brings eternal bliss. Hell is a place of God’s burning anger which brings eternal wrath.
  • John 14:1-3 >> The new heavens & the new earth will be a place where we exist in the fullness of the presence of God, which Jesus compares to living in His house.
  • Acts 1:11 >> Just as Jesus left, ascending into the sky in glory, He will also return.
  • Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10 >> All believers will stand before the judgment seat (or mercy seat) to see how they faithfully they used the life & resources God gave them.  Their eternal reward is based upon this earthly faithfulness.
  • 1 Corinthians 4:5 >> Everything that has ever been done, both good & bad, will be exposed at the judgment seat of Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:24-49; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2 >> At the return of Christ, He will judge & destroy all His enemies.  Then He will give to each of His children their Resurrection Body, which is an imperishable & ageless body, perfect both physically & spiritually.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 >> When Christ returns, believers, both living & dead, will be physically removed from this earth & brought to heaven.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 >> The gathering of God’s people at the return of Christ will also mark the beginning of the judgment of those who have rejected Him.  This “flaming fire..[of] vengeance” will be the first step towards “the punishment of eternal destruction” for unbelievers.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2 >> Before Christ returns, the spirit of rebellion against God will be at an unprecedented intensity.  Persecution & suffering will be rampant, brought on largely by a figure known as the “man of lawlessness.”  This individual will personify hostility towards God & will be demonically-gifted with persuasive powers of deception & “pseudo-miracles” that will cause many to be deceived.
  • 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; James 5:8; 1 John 2:28; Revelation 3:11 >> Our call is to follow the Lord faithfully until Jesus appears.
  • Revelation 1:18 >> Jesus alone holds the keys to eternal life & eternal punishment.  How all individuals respond to Him is the standard for salvation.
  • Revelation 20:1-22:13 >> Defeat of evil, judgment of sinners, recreation of Heaven & earth, followed by the full restoration of God’s dominion & the consummation Jesus’ unity with His people are what God’s people look forward to, proclaim to the lost, & will celebrate for all eternity.

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