My Dad is my favorite preacher. He’s been increasingly invited to preach this sermon, and I think it’s more relevant today than it’s ever been. Great reminder of whose Kingdom we truly belong to while we traverse this earth….
40 years ago I preached a sermon titled “Violence” foretelling escalating violence in the world. That sermon is probably truer today than it was in when I first preached it in 1975!
For those of us old enough to remember, we thought the end of the Cold War would bring a time of peace to the world. In reality, the post-Cold War world is many times more dangerous than anything that has ever confronted us.
So many countries and international networks are using physical violence to spark revolution.
World Trade Center on 9/11
Attack on the mall in Nairobi
In addition to real physical threats, there is even more danger in the ubiquity of technology and its ability to quickly multiply destruction via well-connected terrorist organizations.
Isn’t it ironic that economists, sociologists, and nuclear physicists proffer more predictions about the world’s future than preachers? But we know that violence will continue to increase worldwide. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible has made it clear that matters on earth will denigrate and there is no continuing future for the systems of this world.
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and it was full of violence. And God saw how corrupt the earth had become. For all of the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So, God said to Noah, I’m going to put an end to all people for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. ~Gen 6:11-13
With a mighty voice, he shouted fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. He has become a dwelling for demons, a haunt for every impure spirit. A haunt for every unclean bird; a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. ~ Rev 18:2
To look forward at our future, we must first go back to a place called Babylon where man decided he did not need God. He decided his system was sufficient, not only for his survival but that society was so advanced, he could build a tower to God’s heaven itself.
That rebellious spirit was such an abomination in God’s sight that He scattered the people.
Today we give it different names—like secular humanism or atheism. But it is the same rebellious spirit that began at Babylon declaring, “We do not need you God”.
The Bible leaves no doubt that the current travail of our present world is a result of the longtime dominion of the prince of the power of the air, fueled by this rebellious spirit.
In the end times, God’s ancient prophets foresaw and foretold that our present earth will roll up like a scroll. But in the here and now, God’s Kingdom is available to all of those who are in Christ Jesus.
How are we to live in our present times?
We must start by understanding three things:
Where did I come from?
Where am I going?
Why am I here?
Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany once quizzed his schoolchildren on kingdom order to test their knowledge. One little girl identified an orange belonging to the vegetable kingdom, a piece of gold to mineral, but when the Kaiser asked the question that faces all humanity—which kingdom he belonged to—her reply caught him off guard.
“To the Kingdom of Heaven” she replied.
Sometimes we get confused about heaven thanks to semantics. We often think of heaven in light of geography. But the Kingdom of God is not a place.
The Kingdom of God actually begins when one enters into relationship with Christ Jesus.
The moment I confessed my faith in Christ was the moment my citizenship switched from earth with its doomed-to-failure systems to God’s everlasting eternal Kingdom. Understanding this removes all fear of life and death here on earth.
We should not be surprised when hatred comes to us out of the world system. Jesus foretold that while we live in this world, we will experience tribulation. Satan will use all of his evil powers against the true citizens of God’s Kingdom.
But if you know which Kingdom you belong to, you have no fear of death. What can the world do to me? Starve me? Shoot me, stab me, torture me, kill me? What is death to a child of God anyway?
This world is not my home. I’m just a-passing through.
American Christians have a very pagan attitude about death. We are always praying for people NOT to die, when going to heaven should be the ultimate goal of our lives! Death for the child of God is nothing more or less than stepping from one dimension of the Kingdom to which we belong into another dimension of the same Kingdom we are already a part of.
Many of us get so wrapped up and swept away with this world and this world’s system that we forget who we really are. Do you know why you are here on this earth? Jesus did!
I have only one reason to be here. My Father sent me. The work that I do is the work of the Father who sent me. His One reason was to do the work the Father had entrusted to him, and to finish that work. As the Father sent me, so send I you. (John 17)
I understand why I am in this world that Jesus said I do not belong to. I know why I’m here, living in a system that has no hope of survival.
I am here because God has ordained me with the divine mission.
This is the bottom line: if you are in Christ Jesus, you are not of this world. You have been translated out of the Kingdom of darkness—Satan’s Kingdom—into the Kingdom of light—God’s Kingdom.
The reason you are here is to dedicate your time, your energy, and your resources, your talent, your blood, and your life to complete the task that brought us here. That task is that the whole world will know the saving message of Jesus Christ and his love. That is it.
God has not promised to salvage one thing off this planet. Nothing. Not one building, not one stock certificate, not one gram of gold, not one inch of property. God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth. The only thing that God has promised to salvage from this whole world are the souls of men.
It would be foolish for us who have been translated out of the Kingdom of the world into the Kingdom of God to spend our lives on this planet working for anything besides those things that are eternal.
Understand the Kingdom to which you belong. Give priority in your thought and in your work, in your profession, in your business, and in your finances; give priority to God’s task of salvaging the lost on this planet. No wonder the Bible says he that he that winneth souls is wise.
May you never forget who you are.
May you not forget why we are here.
Always remember to which Kingdom you belong.
- Visions from thunderclouds
- Teaching the next generation to lead with influence by John C Maxwell
- The Bible–an indestructible seed