When asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was coming, Jesus responded by saying the Kingdom was already among them (Luke 17:20-21). We have found that Jesus brought the Kingdom by modeling it in the way He lived, and by proclaiming and demonstrating it. But what does this have to do with us?
Where the Kingdom is Seen
Today the Reign of God is seen wherever we find people living in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as He was sent by the Father, so we have been sent to represent Him in everything we do.
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:19 – 22 NLT
This is why we must seek His rule as our number one priority, knowing that He will cause everything we need to be placed at our disposal.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV
We must live with the sense that we are His ambassadors no matter where we are or what we are engaged in.
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 NLT
Living this way will cause us to bring the Kingdom into the midst of our world as well.
Proclamation & Demonstration
Like the Lord Jesus, we too must proclaim the message of His Reign. We have been really good at preaching the forgiveness of sins (which is very important), but not so great a preaching the Kingdom. Jesus, however, said the good news of the Kingdom would be proclaimed before His return.
And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14 NLT
Fortunately the tide is beginning to turn. There is more being taught about the Kingdom of God today than there has been in several decades.
Jesus, however, not only sent His disciples to proclaim the Kingdom, but also to demonstrate it. Notice the commission of the Twelve in Luke 9:1 – 2.
One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. NLT
He later extended the authority to demonstrate the Kingdom to anyone who believed.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” John 14:12 NLT
Whenever we pray for those who are afflicted or tormented, we are opening the door for Jesus to demonstrate His Reign. When we respond to oppression and poverty with acts of justice and mercy, the Reign of God is seen. When we act as peacemakers in the midst of conflict, we are bringing the future into the present. We desperately need to couple our proclamation of the Kingdom with demonstrations of the Kingdom.
Modeling, proclaiming, and demonstrating the Kingdom of God is what will bring God’s reign to our world today. This will give people a taste of what it is to truly live in the Reign.