The truth about the kingdom of God is one that demands a response – an individual, wholehearted, life-changing and radical response. We are considering this subject at length because it’s a truth that demands a response. So much so that the Lord God Himself timed the return of His son and the end of the world to ensure the teaching of this truth reaches all nations. Furthermore, the depth of our understanding of the truth of the kingdom of God will powerfully impact how effectively we live our lives here on earth and, consequently, how much we get rewarded in heaven.
The Lord Jesus said that His return will only happen once every nation had a chance to hear and respond to it lest they say they never knew or heard –
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
In 2 Peter 3:9 the apostle Peter tells us that the apparent and perceived “delay” in the return of the Lord is due to nothing else but the Father’s compassion: The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
But in order for people to respond in faith this truth has to be presented to them, they have to be made aware. Otherwise, how can they respond? Romans 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
The gospel of the kingdom is preached throughout the whole world in order to give people the opportunity to respond – be it wisely or otherwise. Not responding is not an option for it is a response in itself; it represents or communicates one’s desire to remain in one’s state – under the judgment, wrath and condemnation of God, in the domain of darkness and dead in one’s trespasses.
John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
The unbeliever and the one who chooses not to respond but remain in his/her current state is already in a state of condemnation by virtue of his/her fallen human nature and in which he/she has effectively chosen to remain.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
There is no escape route from the domain of darkness, from the power/control of the evil one other than that provided by God through His Son Jesus Christ. Let us not get this wrong or be deceived, there is only One escape route, One way out and that is The Way provided by God:
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself — a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.
John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 5:24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.
It is there in black and white, spoken by Christ Himself and confirmed by the apostles – this is the gospel of the kingdom that needs to be preached to all nations before Christ returns and this is the mandate of the church, the representation of that kingdom on earth, to preach this gospel making disciples of all nations.