How Jesus Sees His Kingdom
The third and largest sphere in our diagram is God’s Kingdom.
Without question, Jesus Christ is the rightful, exalted King of God’s Kingdom.
God’s Kingdom is the context through which He is advancing His purposes through humanity here on earth.
That context includes God’s work around the world and down of all ages through emperors, kings, prime ministers, presidents, governors, mayors, and other government officials, whether or not they believe in God yet.
You see, God can use anyone to advance His purposes here on earth (Daniel 2, 4, 6 and Romans 13:1-7). If God could use ancient Pharaohs, and kings Xerxes, Cyrus, and Nebuchadnezzar, and ancient Caesars from Julius to Augustus to Nero, God can use anyone.
We see this in Revelation 21:24, where the apostle John records that fact that “The nations will walk by [God’s] light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.” Then look down two verses to Revelation 21:26, where we read: “The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into” the eternal city of God.
Then look down three more verses to Revelation 22, verses 2 and 3: “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations.”
So, in the last two chapters of the Bible, we see God’s Church, God’s Family, and God’s Kingdom each in focus.
How Jesus Wants Us to See Others
So what’s the take-away value of looking at God’s Kingdom in light of eternity?
It puts a whole new perspective on everything in this life—as we look back through history, as we look at the 21st century so far, and as we look ahead to what may be coming.
It doesn’t matter what happens in China, Russia, the Middle East, Brazil, and America. It doesn’t matter how bad or good things get on Wall Street. It doesn’t matter who is in the White House. No matter what, God’s Kingdom is advancing His purposes through humanity here on earth.
It grieves me when we look at someone who is different from us, economically or politically or socially, and assume that God can’t use that individual to advance His purposes on earth. God not only can use anyone to advance His purposes, but God often uses them as a means of drawing these individuals into His Family.
The reality is, the more opposed someone is when God starts using them, the more likely that the one true Lord God will draw them to faith in Him. It sounds counterintuitive, but we see this over and over in Scripture, in Church history, in modern biography, and in contemporary experience.
The best example of this is the Syrian military commander Namaan, the archenemy of the kingdom of Israel during the days of Elisha the prophet. The second best example is Manasseh, the most wicked tyrant in the kingdom of Judah’s history. The third best example is Saul, whom Jesus confronted on the road to Damascus. In their day they each qualified as the worst of sinners. Yet God!
Let’s make a distinction, however, between “servant” and “citizen.” Not all “servants” in God’s Kingdom are “citizens” yet. Citizens are going to spend eternity with God. Servants may or may not. Heaven and hell are both real. God’s desire, of course, is that none perish, but that all come to repentance (1 Timothy 2:3-4 and 2 Peter 3:9).
How Jesus Wants Us to Pray for Others
Who is Jesus using in your hometown, in national politics, on Wall Street, in the sports world, in the entertainment world? Who comes to mind? Have you ever thought of them as God’s servants? Have you ever prayed for God to use them? Have you ever wanted to see Jesus transform their lives?
We need to pray for new eyes to see people as the Lord sees them. And then offer them hope. Hope because of who Jesus is, because of what Jesus is doing, and because of what Jesus envisions and wants to be true for all eternity.
Many in God’s Kingdom are His, many are not, and many are on the way.
More are on the way than we would ever guess.
Lord, please help me see others as You do!
David Sanford’s book and Bible projects have been published by Zondervan, Tyndale House, Thomas Nelson, Doubleday, Barbour, and Amazon. His speaking engagements have ranged everywhere from UC Berkeley (CA) to The Billy Graham Center at the Cove (NC).