Every time we open our eyes lately it seems as though we are hearing of another shooting or violent racism related things on the news. Anger and rage, hatred and horror seem to be on the rise around us.
But as a Christian and as someone who has been transferred into the Kingdom of Light, you do have a choice.
Have you ever met a person who no matter what, always seems to have bad news from the world? It's like they wait for the 5pm news each night and take notes of all the wickedness in the world. I would bet that many of these same people are also those who claim to be children of God and members of His spiritual Kingdom now.
The truth is that yes violence exists. Hate exists. But it always has.
I am sure most of us who are reading this right now have "ok" lives. We have what we need for the most part and we eat everyday. For the most part most of the people that we know, are not persecuted daily. They are not being tortured and killed. Most of the people we know are doing ok. However, if you were to go back even a few centuries and all the way back to biblical times and even before, things were not always as good. Life was hard. The sufferings of those days were often too much to survive through. Leaders and tyrants killed at will. Wars were rampant. Your freedom, if you could call it that, was limited to say the least. The point is, considering the fact of how many BILLIONS of humans now exist, it could be much worse. We are just unfortunate enough to have to have it plastered in our faces morning noon and night in the age of technology where people hear about events before they even occur. The media pushes their own agenda on us from all angles. We hear what they want us to hear.
But I want to look at a quick passage and an important word in that passage regarding the Coming of the Lord to bring His Kingdom and open it up forever. The passage is...
"Then we who are alive and remain (first century thessalonian church members) will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."
1 Thess 4:17
The word that I want to focus on is the word "meet". They were going to be "caught up" to "MEET" the Lord in the air. Then from there they would always be with the Lord.
The word for "meet" is G529- "Apantesis"
It's main meaning in the scriptures as well as in the ancient world was to speak of a king or royal dignitary that was making a visit to a given city. As he got closer to the city for his coming (his "Parousia") the citizens of that city, being watchful for him, would, when his entourage was in sight, leave their city and go out to “Meet” (Apantesis) him. They would then escort him back to their city. They wouldn't leave the city but rather they would reside in the city with the king who had arrived.
The point is that this wasn't Christ taking living saints out of the world, it was Him coming to be with those saints IN THE WORLD. His indwelling presence would be with them. The relationship between God and man, or heaven and earth, would be restored. The temple of God would now be with men. (Rev 21:3) Jesus Himself, when praying to the Father said... "I do not ask that you take them out of the world" (John 17:15)
The Coming of the Lord was to raise the dead out of Hades, to change the living remnant to immortal, and to open up the Kingdom forever. He would gather together both the righteous dead and the righteous living into ONE Kingdom and they would "forever be with the Lord". They would be "caught up" or "gathered" together into an everlasting Kingdom. If you have been born of Him, He is with you now and will be forever.
Since His Coming, the Kingdom has been here on earth and God's true people continue to come into that Kingdom and dwell with Him. We read this about the Kingdom that is ours....
"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken," Hebrews 12:28
"Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom" Isaiah 9:7
The apostles prayed "THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN"
When the Kingdom would come, it would allow God's will to not only be done in heaven, but also done on earth through His saints.
Now I know that there are many places in the world today where people, including and sometimes exclusively Christians, are being persecuted and are suffering. But remember, if you are IN Him, you can bank on at least 3 things in this life....
1) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. " Matthew 15:18-19
2) "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" Matthew 15:20
3)"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
If you are IN Him and IN His Kingdom, you can expect possible persecution from the world but you already have overcome the "world". G2889- kosmos (literally meaning the entire world)
I would be willing to bet that if the same people who are struggling to eat and make ends meet in foreign parts of the world or right here at home, if they are truly members of the Kingdom, they have unexplainable peace and joy. It surpasses understanding. Why? Because it comes from above. It's the joy and peace that being in the Kingdom gives. Look what Paul said about the Kingdom....
"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
Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. That's what the Kingdom IS. Do you have that?
Are you full of joy and is your heart at peace? Do you desire righteousness through the midst of your struggles? If not, then why?
Are you bound under the weight of a religious system that prevents the full manifestation of that peace and pure joy? Unfortunately they exist everywhere. We need to be careful that we aren't stifling what the Lord promised would be part of our inheritance as part of His Kingdom. That is His peace, joy, and righteousness.
When you get up each day you have two options.....
1) Put your Kingdom glasses on
2) Put your World glasses on
If you are looking for the bad in the world and that's where your focus is, chances are that is all you'll see. You'll miss the entire Kingdom which is "in your midst" and "within you"(Luke 17:20-21)
If you make a choice to recognize that you are a member of His eternal unshakeable Kingdom, and that the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead lives in you, you will live life in peace. You will have joy. You will be covered in His righteousness.
Next time you want to dwell on the wickedness in the world, remind yourself of two things....
1) You've already overcome the world
2) Put your eyes back on the Kingdom wherein righteousness, joy, and peace exist.
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