Is Christ really King of the earth – right now?

Jesus talked of “My kingdom” in John 18:36, to a man who understood perfectly what he meant too. That man was Pontius Pilate, who knew all about kingdoms all right, because he represented Rome, the greatest kingdom on earth.

Pilate’s reply to Jesus wasn’t surprising, therefore: “You are a king, then?” verse 37. It may have been said sarcastically, but the point was being established that, yes, Jesus was a king. And Jesus answered Pilate’s question in no uncertain terms too: “You are right in saying I am a king, In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world.” Jesus doesn’t back down one bit. He’s saying to the power of Rome, “I’m a king too.” It’s a face-off between the greatest pagan power and the kingdom of God, and Jesus knows he wins, because in a few days time his claim of “I am a king” will be verified by his resurrection from the dead.

So, when did Jesus’ kingdom actually begin? Ephesians 1:20-21 – it began “when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the PRESENT AGE but also in the one to come.” So Christ has been king over everything and everybody ever since his resurrection, including our “present age” RIGHT NOW.

But if Christ really is King of the earth right now, why is the earth such a mess still? Shouldn’t he be knocking heads together and putting an end to violence, poverty, disease and all the other problems we’ve got in this present age? But that’s not how his kingdom began, or how it’s being established. It began when Christ “humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross,” and then God “exalted him to the highest place,” Philippians 2:8-9. Jesus’ kingdom began with, and is being built on, suffering and death, not power and violence like pagan kingdoms.

And that legacy continues through his church, 2 Corinthians 4:11 – “For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.” It’s through our suffering now that Jesus’ kingdom is being built and established, as we now take the troubles of the world to heart, just as he did.

But “if indeed we share in his sufferings,” Romans 8:17, it’s “in order that we may also share in his glory.” That’s the ultimate proof that Christ is king of the earth, when those who built his kingdom HIS way are exalted with him.

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The Father gave up one son, but no more

The Father gave up his only begotten Son, so he wouldn’t have to give up any more sons. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all,” Romans 8:32. Jesus’ death covers everybody. That’s why Paul asked in verse 34, “Who is he that condemns?” Who out there actually dares condemn a fellow human to being lost or given up to eternal death forever, when the Father of us all gave up his Son to save the whole world, not condemn it (John 3:17)?

Jesus died because God has no intention of any more of his children dying. “He died for all,” 2 Corinthians 5:15. HIS death, therefore, was the only death needed to prevent the death of everyone else. Jesus died so that no one else would need to die. He was the only son that needed to die. No other son has to.

If that wasn’t true and instead some of God’s children will be lost forever, it begs the question, “How could God call himself ‘Father'”? God calls himself “God the Father,” because that’s what he does; he fathers. He’s always fathered. For eternity he has fathered the Son without losing him because that’s who he is and what he does, he’s a father who loves his Son with a love that never dies. And nothing can “separate US from the love of God” either, Romans 8:39, so God now eternally fathers US with his Father’s love too.

So how could he give ANY of us up to eternal death or eternal torture? It’s not in his title or in his nature to do such a thing. Being “the Father” he can only eternally love his children. Oh, he can get very angry at us but only because we continually condemn ourselves to misery because we don’t believe who he says he is, or what he did to prove it (John 3:18). He proved he’s our eternally loving FATHER by sending Jesus to die so we wouldn’t have to live in misery. And Jesus wholeheartedly agreed to that plan because of his eternal Son’s love for his Father. And we now have his love for his Father in us. Nothing can separate us from it. Some think hell separates us from the Father’s love for us, or from the Son’s love in us, but Paul says that nothing – not angels, demons, heights or depths, or “any powers,” verse 38 – can make the Father give us up, or make the Son stop living his Son’s love for his Father in us.

So when the Father gave up one Son, it was to make sure he would never have to give up another.

Marriage is not forever

In Matthew 22:30 Jesus drops a bombshell for all those celebrating Valentine’s Day that “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”

So marriage is not forever. Perhaps male and female won’t be forever, either, because marriage between male and female exists in part to create children. But if marriage for the purpose of producing children is no longer needed, then nor is the need for male and female.

I wonder how that affects the thinking of a man and woman romantically attracted to each other, who want to marry and spend buckets of money on a wedding, knowing that their marriage is only temporary. It’s not “forever and always,” or “happily ever after,” or expressing their undying love for eternity. Their wedding day isn’t the first day of an unending relationship, it’s the first day of a relationship made possible in this life only, to produce children, provide a “help meet” for a man (Genesis 2:18), and to experience how two people can operate as one and feel like another person is part of them (Genesis 2:23). And then at death it ends.

But why would God create such a relationship in the first place that gets us thinking it will last forever, when it doesn’t? And why create a love so strong between male and female that when one mate dies the surviving mate is left pining or incapable of functioning alone? It seems so cruel that male and female fall in love, spend years together learning from and about each other, sharing lots of lovely memories, only to have it all fizzle out into nothing, and not be married for eternity.

And for some couples marriage isn’t that good before it ends, either. Marriage is fraught with all sorts of problems like jealousy, infidelity, unrealistic expectations, personality differences, aloofness, boredom, boneheaded selfishness, depression, and the list goes on. I imagine for some people they’re glad that marriage isn’t forever; it’s painful. Some couples may even spend a lifetime together and be none the wiser at the end of it as to what life and love are all about.

And yet Christ chose marriage as the relationship he wishes to have with us forever. He calls us his bride (Revelations 21:9). It certainly explains why he gave us the desire to love someone forever, and made us think that marriage is forever and always, because what we dream of and hope for in marriage is exactly what he has in mind too, a marriage with humanity that really IS forever and always, and we really DO live happily together ever after.