God’s Story—Our Story: The Reign of Christ—Now and Forever
Sermon by Chuck Foreman, Teaching/Missions Pastor
First Christian Church—November 11, 2012
Scriptures: Revelation 1-5; 19-22; Romans 8; 1 Thessalonians 4-5;
I Peter 2:9-17; 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Heaven can wait, Government can save us…
SALVATION & POLITICS
We’ve bought into an idea about “salvation” that is more like fire insurance than Biblical teaching. “Just give me that ticket out of hell and into heaven, and we’re good.” That kind of thinking doesn’t cause us to do anything about the combustible material in our lives that will probably burn our house down.
We think we’re heaven bound, but that we’re still trapped in an ugly, fallen world, in which we have to scrape and claw to get what WE want. We think all we really need is a government that will make it all happen for us.
Unfortunately when we think like that, there’s nothing about us or our ideas that ever changes anything or makes a difference in this world.
Our idea of heaven is more like an Escape Route or a Safe House, not a place where Christ reigns and gives us hope for restoring God’s will & reign on earth. And we think that government ought to make things better, and we hope that it will, so we whine & moan when it doesn’t, instead of rolling up our own sleeves.
The symbol for “King” in Chinese
What if we’ve missed something? What if what God really wants to do is to accomplish something revolutionary in us, thru us, among us—here, now— as we establish His Kingdom here, while we wait for the return of our King?
Illustration: Chinese character—“King” 3 horizontal lines representing heaven, man and earth, connected by a vertical line representing the one vested w/ power between heaven and earth to rule uprightly over man.
God’s Story is Our Story: Let’s review what he’s been up to and where he’s taking us…
Creation (Genesis 1-2)
The Fall of Man (Genesis 3)
A New Nation—Israel—The People of God (Genesis 12:2-3)
Israel’s Failure—Matthew 23:37-38
The Messiah—Immanuel (“God with us”—Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)
The New Israel—The Church—The New People of God (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:42-48)
The transformation of the politics of Paul, James and Peter…
Galatians 3:28-29 (Revolutionary for Paul!)
Acts 15:16-18 (James quotes Amos 9:11-12)
Ephesians 2:10; 3:6-11, 14, 21 (God’s mystery made known thru the Church as we do the good works we were re-created to do!)
I Timothy 2:1-4 (Pray for kings so we can live peaceful, quiet, godly, holy lives—this is ultimately what will influence people to be saved.)
I Peter 2:9-17 (The New Order)
Revelation 1-5: Message to the 7 Churches of Asia Minor—God is going to restore all things to the way they were. You’re in on it—it matters how you live! So get your act together!
Revelation 6-18: The Cosmic Battle between God and Satan over the Church
Revelation 19: Victory! The Defeat of the Beast/Babylon/The Prostitute (Rome), The Wedding of the Lamb
Revelation 20: Satan’s Doom & the Judgment of Mankind
Revelation 21-22: The Final Act—The Reign of Christ Fully, Finally Realized
Revelation 21:1-5 God with us—Out with the old, in with the new!
(This is where we place our hope, not in the White House, not in the Stock Market!)
Revelation 21:9-10 The New Jerusalem, The Church coming down from heaven
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Let’s go meet our King!
Revelation 22:1-3a Eden Restored
Romans 8:18-25 The Redemption of Creation
Revelation 22:3b-5 We will reign with him forever!
Jesus is Coming—perhaps soon.
Listen to his final words: Revelation 22:7 Revelation 22:12
Jesus is coming someday. On that day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that he is Lord. Are you ready? You’ll either do it willingly or not, but you will bow. Are you ready?
The question is not, Is Jesus King?. He’s King alright. The question is, Is he king of your life?
You can make him King of your life today. There’s a lot of joyful work to do in His Kingdom, as we eagerly, patiently prepare for his will to ultimately be done and his kingdom to finally come “on earth—as it is in heaven.”