Jesus is coming back to set up the promised kingdom.
When is he coming back? Is it imminent? What will this event be like? It will be a momentous event that you can be sure of! God has been planning it for a long time. And a lot of things will happen during the run-up to the event, as well as during the event.
It is too much to cover in a single post but I will start with main points.
It is on Physical Earth
The kingdom of God is a real physical entity here on earth. Over time people have tended to spiritualize the kingdom as something in your heart. Abraham was taken to a mountain top and said as far as his eyes could see would be his inheritance.
In Dan 2 we learn about the huge statue that king Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed about. God gave Daniel the meaning of the dream.
The king is represented by the head of gold. But his kingdom would be followed by other successive kingdoms (empires).
“While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them … In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.
Not Based on Current Systems
The kingdom that Jesus will put together will not be based on the human government systems (Not cut by human hands). In fact he will put an end (crush) to the human governments.
That is God’s vision. A rock, Jesus, putting an end to the world’s governments and their institutions, and his government from Jerusalem growing to fill the earth.
When Jesus was on trial he was asked if he was a king. He confirmed that he was a king, that he born for that and he added ” my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36)
Are We Raptured?
Jesus said in John 14:2-4
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And 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.
It sounds bit like a real estate business! It is sometimes taken to mean that Jesus is in heaven and he will takes us there so that we can be with him forever in heaven. Many believe he comes back quietly and rapture up his followers, almost like a giant vacuum hoovering the people up into heaven.
But that is not what Jesus was talking about. For several years now he has been with them teaching them about what it would be like to be governing the world with him – and he is talking about dying and going away. Remember they had given up their careers to follow him. Recently Peter had been so concerned about this very thing:
“Look,” Peter replied, “we have left everything to follow You. What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus understood their concern and wanted to reassure them (the twelve and many other disciples who were there). so in his Father’s house i.e. his business, there are many positions. Jesus is not playing harp loafing around in heaven, no he is actively working to get ready for his return. He is putting his government together, preparing a position for each of us. When he is running the kingdom from Jerusalem – that’s where he will be – we will be there with him. The dying part that he had been telling them, does not change anything as far as what he had been teaching up until now. Being promoted to Father’s “right hand” was a necessary step to make the kingdom possible.
In the next post we examine what to look out for regarding this fascinating topic.