Our greatest hope for this world is the culmination of the Kingdom of God.
During World War II, when allied forces successfully landed on the coast of France on D-Day, 1944, the French people knew it was only a matter of time when they would one day be free of Hitler and the Nazis. Hitler’s forces resisted strongly, and many brave allied soldiers paid with their lives, but the allied foothold held firm, and the territory under their control continued to grow.
Even before victory was complete, the French people were already thinking in terms of the coming victory. They saw it as an inevitable reality and waited for it with patient (and sometimes impatient) expectancy.
The Kingdom of God has already come into our midst with the birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary. Satan attempted to defeat Jesus at the cross, but Jesus rose again. With his resurrection, there is nothing to keep Jesus’ foothold from growing. Satan continues to fight on, costing the lives of many followers of Christ, but like Hitler, Satan’s ultimate defeat is sure.
As children of the Kingdom of God during this intermediate period, still engaged in spiritual conflict, we need to continually remind ourselves of the signs that the Kingdom of God is already among us. Two thousand years ago, the apostles saw beginning signs of the Kingdom in their midst, and we see those same signs today, spread over a widening territory. Among these signs are:
The presence of the Holy Spirit as God speaks to us, works in our lives and transforms us more into His likeness (John 14-17).
- The gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12-14; Galatians 5:22-23).
- The growth of the church in the spreading of the gospel and work of the Spirit among unreached peoples (Matthew 24:14).
- Miracles and deliverance from the power of Satan (Acts 2).
- Great awakenings, revivals and transformation of societies (larger outcome of Romans 8). Transformation of society may not be perfect, but it is genuine and often dramatic.
- The re-establishment of Israel (culmination of many prophecies).
- Suffering of God’s people as Christ suffered, and God’s redemption of our suffering (Romans 8).
Each of these different signs are worthy of its own book. But I briefly mention them to encourage you to go to your Bibles and see for yourselves.
Jesus said that these things happen quietly and are not noticed by the rest of the world. Even in this day of the internet, there is great ignorance and blindness to the work of God among people who refuse to see it. Unbelief and deliberate blindness still take place in those who do not have eyes to see nor ears to hear.
But a day is coming when the fullness of God’s Kingdom will be evident to all. Even as the allies marched publicly and triumphantly into Paris and Berlin, every eye will see Jesus Christ as He returns with His church to set up His Kingdom. We groan inside for its coming, even as Paul tells us in Romans 8.
Becoming aware of the present signs of the Kingdom of God should encourage each of us as we work for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Each of us has a part to play in God’s Kingdom as it moves toward its glorious culmination in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Let us encourage one another with these things.