God Calls You to Further His Kingdom

I don’t know how He’s going to do that for you, or what part God will want you to play; but call you He will…

Way back in antiquity, the earthly reflection of God’s kingdom was in tatters:

The Lord saw that the wickedness (depravity) of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination or intent of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually. Gn. 6:5 AMP

God’s initial thought was to wipe the earth clean of His wayward creations, and have a do-over. Yet God loved them so much that He decided to scan the planet to see if He could find anyone who might help Him further His kingdom. He still does this today:

God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Ps. 53:2 NKJV

Fortuitously for us, He found one:

Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (lived) [in habitual fellowship] with God. Gn. 6:9 AMP

This would infer that it helps us to be prepared for and active in our walk with God to be available for advancing His kingdom. Thank God, that Noah was available, giving God a vehicle (through Noah’s obedience) to give mankind a second chance to populate that same kingdom.

God called on Noah to build an ark to house him, his wife, his three sons and their wives, and a male and female of every living species of animal. Why? Because God said He’s going to flood the earth – an event that wouldn’t happen for another 120 years!

The inhabitants of the earth at that time had never witnessed such a phenomenon. Can you imagine the ridicule Noah and his family must have had thrust upon them by anyone who had met them during this construction period? In explaining their actions, they would have responded by effectively preaching the word of God – even if the hearers rejected it. How did Noah respond?

By faith [with confidence in God and His word] Noah, being warned by God about events not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his family. By this [act of obedience] he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness which comes by faith. Heb. 11:7 AMP

So, we also see that having faith in God, is necessary for us to be candidates for furthering His kingdom. The fact that you and I are here, is testimony of Noah’s right preparation and actions in advancing God’s purpose.

Ten generations after Noah, God called upon Abraham to enlarge His kingdom:

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing…and in you all of the families will be blessed.” Gn. 12:1 – 3. ESV

This is an enormous test of faith. God is telling Abraham to take his wife, his nephew and a few of his servants, and leave all that he’s ever known – to make a 1500-mile trek to Canaan, a land that he’s never seen, to be part of God’s seminal nation, to propagate it. Mind you, he and his wife were in their 70’s, but Abraham takes God at His word, i.e. exercising more of that kingdom-advancing faith.

Abraham, who is considered the biblical paragon of faith, did waiver in his faith a few times, but he always got back on track. This should give us encouragement, knowing that God will strengthen our faith (if we ask Him to) so that we can transcend our shortcomings.

There was also the matter of Abraham’s promised child. He waited 25 years for that promise to be fulfilled. Like Abraham, we too need to keep faith in that God is using our efforts to promote His plan, knowing that we have no idea when we will see the fruits of our labor.

Now, let’s consider Moses. He had escaped Egypt to flee the wrath of Pharaoh, settling into a new life as a sheepherder in what is now modern-day Saudi Arabia.  As you know, one day Moses is out tending his sheep when God manifests Himself to him as a burning bush; and He charges him with the task of freeing His children from the Pharaoh’s oppression and leading them to the Promised Land.

Moses immediately lets fear lead him to resist God’s imperative. He wails about what He should do if the people don’t believe that he is representing God. God in turn displays miracles for Moses to convince him of His power, as a demonstration of what He will do through Moses, to convince His children.

Unconvinced, Moses pleads with God to send someone else because he is not a good public speaker. God tells Moses that He will teach him how to be. Moses still doubts, and God grants him a slight concession by sending Moses’ older brother Aaron to speak for Him.

What is God doing? He is equipping Moses with the skills and power to accomplish His purpose. God takes this frightened sheepherder and transforms him into a leader, who, through God, frees His children, performs a plethora of miracles while leading them to the Promised Land, and Holy Spirit-inspires Moses to write the first five books of the Bible.

God worked all of this through someone who was deathly afraid of answering God’s call. There are several other examples of this in the Bible, but I believe we have a good picture by now. The question is, ‘Will you answer God when He calls?’

We’ve seen that God can use anyone, at any age, with whatever fears they may have, to accomplish His kingdom purposes. One reason that is possible is that God has already equipped us to do so:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:10 NKJV

We are all part of God’s plan. He makes sure that we are up to whatever task He assigns to us. Still, to best serve God, we must prepare our awareness, so that we can hear His summons. We do that by becoming intimately related with Him through His word:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16, 17. NKJV

God would never ask you to walk a path (your part in His plan) that you could not traverse to attain His end goal. He will supply the faith that you need through His Son (Heb. 12:2); and through Christ, He will give you every skill and power to make it happen. (Phil. 4:13).

God will call each and every one of us. It may be at a time or in such a way as we never would have guessed; it may be a task that seems overwhelming, or what appears to be simple yet vital for the completion of the kingdom of God. And if we keep our spiritual eyes and ears open, we can be ready when He calls…

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther. 4:14 NKJV

Goodnight and God bless.

What Does God Say About Your Heaven?

The universe as it exists in time is finite. The life you live in this universe is the same. Then what? What happens next? This question has plagued mankind since it was aware enough to ponder it. But, it is only the children of God who possess the truth of the matter. Why? Because the Creator of this universe and all that is in it, the Author of truth and truth personified, has revealed it to them.

The urgency of that revelation was instilled in the identical messages of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ as each began their ministries:

Repent (change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mt. 4:17 AMP (see also 3:2)

The coming of this same kingdom was prophesied 600 years prior by the prophet Daniel:

…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed… Dn. 2:44 NKJV

The ‘kingdom of heaven’ is biblically interchangeable with the ‘kingdom of God.’ It is a spiritual kingdom, an inner kingdom that can only be entered through one’s change of heart (through earnest repentance and by choosing Christ for salvation) – a spiritual state to be lived out on this earth and shared with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a kingdom on earth composed of God’s children: a family dedicated to forwarding that kingdom by lovingly attempting to gather as many others into that family as possible.

Yet it is also a kingdom that we aspire to spend eternity in, when we transition from our life on this present earth to our heavenly destiny.

And this kingdom is personified in Christ.

So, the kingdom is here now and at the same time it is coming in its full eternal manifestation:

For the outward form of this world (the present world order) is passing away. 1 Cor. 7:31 AMP

But the end and culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for [the practice of] prayer. 1 Pt. 4:7 AMP

Don’t panic! This transition is going to be a good thing!

For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off. Pr. 23:18 NKJV

A good name is better than a good ointment, and the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Eccl. 7:1 NASB

In fact, Jesus Himself has already prepared for your arrival:

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Jn. 14:2, 3. NASB

Jesus also forewarned us of the urgency to get right with God now because if we don’t do that before we take our last breath or if Christ returns first (and we don’t know the date and time of either) we will have lost our chance to do so:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Mt. 24:36 & 44. NKJV

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Lk. 21:34, 35. ESV

When we get right with God, (repent and receive Christ and do our best to live by His word) the coming of the ‘Day of the Lord’ will hold no terror:

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 Jn. 2:17 ESV

“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” Jn. 8:51 NKJV

…a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Mal. 3:17 NASB

…since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. Rm. 6:22, 23. AMP

…having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Rm. 5:9 NASB

God will pour out His wrath in that last Day; yet His wrath is not like the mindless vengeance of a rabid dog. It is instead a ‘sifting’ that comes from the tender love of a merciful Father – that He must apply after having given a multitude of chances to His creations: a profusion of pleas to return to His love. God can only save those who come to Him through Christ:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” Mt. 23:27, 28. NASB

Before this world as we know it comes to an end, tumultuous events will transpire because of the continual spiritual degradation of the inhabitants in it:

…in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. 2 Tim. 3:1 – 5. ESV

Thus, we see the cesspool that the majority of earthlings will become. God has told us that bad things will come against those who rebel against Him; and as usual, God does not leave us guessing. He reveals them to us in sequence:

The first thing we learn is that many of the churches will have lost their way. (Rv. 2:1 – 3:21.) The second is that tribulation (the wrath of God / Day of the Lord) strikes the earth. The Bible strongly suggests that those who have already chosen Christ as their salvation and took on a godly life will be spared from these events. (1 Th. 4:16, 17 & 5:9; Rv. 3:10.)

The tribulations begin with the coming of the Antichrist, Israel being invaded by an ‘army of the north,’ (which God Himself thwarts) and a series of partial disasters set upon the earth to try to motivate the rebellious to return to their Creator – consisting of a burning of a portion of the earth, pollution of a third of both the seas and the fresh waters, darkening of a third of the sun, moon and stars and demonic mental and physical torment. (Rv. 8, 9 & 11:15 – 19.)

Following these ‘plagues, an ‘army from the east’ marches towards Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon, killing 1/3 of mankind during that journey. (Rv. 9:13 – 18.) These are the last warnings the strays will get. There will be no salvation available for those who have not come to Christ by this point of the tribulation period.

The devil then wages war against those who did choose to become children of God during the first half of the tribulations. He acts through the Antichrist (who was aligned with a ‘church’ of false religion but then destroys it) who claims to be God and has a false religion built around him by Satan’s ‘false prophet.’ And yes, the rebellious worship him – all of whom will be cursed to damnation. (Rv. 12:10 – 12; 13:3 – 8 & 11 – 18; 14:9 – 11.)

During the second half of the tribulations, God gathers up all of His children who accepted their salvation, to keep them safe from His ‘final judgments’ that He unleashes upon the earth against those who have kept their hearts hardened against Him. (Rv. 14:14 – 19 & 15:1 – 3.) Thank God we don’t have to experience the plagues against the flesh, the loss of fresh water and all amphibious life, severe earthquakes and other topographic destruction. (Rv. 16)

On the last day of the tribulations, Christ leads His saints into battle against Satan’s armies at Armageddon and He vanquishes them with the word of God. Afterwards, He imprisons Satan for 1000 years. (Rv. 19:11 – 21; 20:1 – 3.)

Jesus then sets up His kingdom with His saints on a new earth and reigns for a thousand years with all of the resurrected children of God. (If there are any unbelieving people who survive the tribulations, they too will inhabit this new paradise and propagate over this millennium.)

At the end of that time, Satan is released once more to try to convince those who will listen to follow him and gather for war against the saints. Yet just as they begin to pounce, God takes the devil and his followers out of the picture forever – lining up all who followed Satan since the beginning of time in front of the judgment seat of Christ to receive their eternal condemnation. (Rv. 20:7 – 15.)

But that’s not what’s waiting for the children of God is it? No…

Next time.
Goodnight and God bless.