The Importance of the Kingdom

Proposition 1 from George Peters' The Theocratic Kingdom gives some basic facts on how important the Kingdom of God should be in a Christian's life and perspective. We all would do well to take these thoughts to heart and see how our own ideas compare.

To start with, "The Scripture cannot be rightly comprehended without a due knowledge of this kingdom." What an awesome thought.  How we view God's Kingdom will determine if we are rightly understanding what the Bible says. For instance, if you do not believe that there is a literal reign of Christ upon this earth then you must spiritulize away Scriptures like Revelation 20. Thus passages of Scripture become allegories, stories or fables to invent meaning out of them as we see fit. Inspiration is questioned and like so many we start thinking of God's Word as just another book.

In his Christian Dogmatics, Van Oosterzee rightly says; (vol. i. p. 65) "The dogmatic theology which understands its vocation will be neither more nor less than a theology of the kingdom of God in all the force of the word." Again he says (p. 168) "The idea of the kingdom of God is the golden thread which runs through all and of this kingdom the Bible is the document." And how could it be any less? The Kingdom is certainly the ultimate attainment that any man could reach, to rule and reign with Jesus Christ Himself for one thousand years! But the Bible says this is a prize and not a gift. If you do not comprehend this fact then your theology is quite askew to the truth. Far too many times have I heard Christian brothers and sisters so piously claim "I'm not interested in rewards, I will be happy just spending eternity in heaven." Yet Lord Jesus says even what they do have will be taken away from them ( Matthew 25:24-30; Luke 19:11-26) and there shall be great misery over lost rewards among other things.

Mr. Peters listed items that show that the importance can be estimated by thinking on these points, and the Proposition (chapter) numbers that correspond to that particular point in the subject:

1. The kingdom is the object designed by the oath-bound covenant (Prop. 49).
2. It is the great theme, the burden of prophecy (Props. 33-35, etc).
3. It is a subject which embraces a larger proportion of Revelation than all other subjects combined ; thus indicating the estimation in which it is held by God. Dr. Pye Smith, Bickersteth, and others have well observed and commented on this peculiarity—viz., that inspired writers say more respecting the kingdom of Christ than they do concerning all other things treated or discussed in the Word.
4. It was the leading subject of the preaching of John the Baptist, Christ, the disciples and apostles (Props. 38-74).
5. It was a cherished subject of preaching in the primitive Church (Props. 75-77).
6. It is the foundation of a correct scriptural preaching, for the Gospel itself is " the gospel of the kingdom."
7. To promote its establishment Jesus appears, suffers, and dies (Props. 50, 181), and to manifest it He will come again (Props. 66, 68, 130, etc.).
8. Jesus Christ Himself, must be deeply interested in it, since it is a distinguishing blessing and honor given to Him by the Father (Prop. 84), and belongs to Him as His inheritance (Props. 82, 116, etc.).
9. We are invited, as the most precious of privileges, to inherit this kingdom (Prop. 96).
10. It is the constantly presented object of faith and hope, which should influence us to prayer, duty, and watchfulness (Prop. 183).
11. It is the result of the preparatory dispensations, enabling us to appreciate the means employed to attain this end.
12. It embraces within itself perfect completed redemption; for in it all the promises of God will be verified and realized.
13. It exhibits in an outward form the pleasure of the Divine will in the salvation of the race and the deliverance of creation (Props. 149, 145, etc.).
14. It brings the Divine utterances into unity of design (Props. 174, 175), exhibits manifested unity (Prop. 173), and vindicates the inspiration of Holy Writ (Prop. 182), including the Apocalypse (Prop. 176).
15. It enforces not only the humanity (Props. 82, 89) of Christ, but also His Divinity (Props. 85 and 183), with the strongest reasoning.
16. It exhibits to us the majesty and glory of Jesus, " The Christ," as Theocratic King (Props. 88, 89, 132, 184, etc.), and the preeminent position of "the first-born" who are co-heirs with Him (Props. 118, 119, 127, etc.).

There are many other points that could be thought of if you just take a moment and consider it.

If we exalt Christ as our King then that importance must be reflected in giving to the Kingdom it's due place. The greater importance goes to Christ, the Theocratic King who establishes the Kingdom. As Peters, I try to exalt the Kingdom because of the vital union existing between the King and Kingdom which is His inheritance. Then we glorify Christ by showing the greatness of the result of His work. When finally finished He will have the central place from His throne in Jerusalem ruling the universe.

Peters also says "The kingdom embraces so much, both in preparation and in actual realization, that, in view of its extant, the doctrine exceeds all others in magnitude, enfolding in itself nearly all doctrine." The Theocratic Kingdom does embrace so many areas of a Christian life it's amazing Christians can put it on the back shelf and place so many insignificant things ahead of it. If you even only think about Salvation, it is the end result and we should consider ourselves, as with Hudson Taylor, that we are only half-saved as long as we are still on this earth (Union and Communion, appendix).

If anyone received an inheritance on this earth, would not that person find out all they could about it and how to get it? If you are truly a joint-heir with Christ should it not have the premier position in your thoughts and life? Should it not be a goal, as with Paul, that "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead" (Philippians 3:11) and that's what our whole being should strive for?