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Christ’s Rules His Kingdom from a Heavenly Throne
In Matthew 24:30, Jesus states:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the kindreds of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Most Christians believe this is referring to the Second Coming of Christ. But is it? Jesus is actually quoting directly from Daniel 7:13-14, which reads:
As I beheld in visions by night, behold, one like the son of man came in the clouds of heaven, and approached unto the Ancient of days, and they brought him before him. And he gave him dominion, and honor, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall never be taken away: and his dominion shall never be destroyed.
Clearly, this passage teaches that Jesus is going up in the clouds of heaven and not coming down to earth. He is going to God the Father, who will give him an everlasting Kingdom. It is true that Christ will one day return to earth (1 Thess. 4:16) and defeat his final enemy, which is death (1 Corinthians 15:25-26). But Matthew 24:30 is speaking of something quite different–something which has already occurred. I believe this because Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:34 that, "this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done." "All these things" include the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple as well as the inauguration of Christ’s Kingdom in AD 70.
Now let’s be honest with Scripture and with ourselves. A "generation" does not mean some distant generation in the future. Jesus means the generation he is speaking to! This was a major prophetic event with incredible implications for the Christian faith because Jesus was destroying the temple and its sacrificial system. He is the full and final sacrifice for our sins. Once the temple was destroyed, Christ’s Kingdom was fully inaugurated.
I’ve met some Christians who believe that Jesus cannot be our King or be on the throne because he must sit on a physical throne and rule from Israel. Let’s not demote Christ from His heavenly throne to an earthly throne. He currently rules over heaven AND earth. One of the clearest passages in the Bible to prove this point is found in Peter’s Sermon in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2:29-36:
Men and brethren, I may boldly speak unto you of the Patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher remaineth with us unto this day. Therefore, seeing he was a Prophet, and knew that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would raise up Christ concerning the flesh, to set him upon his throne. He knowing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul should not be left in grave, neither his flesh should see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Since then that he by the right hand of God hath been exalted, and hath received of his Father the promise of the holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into heaven, but he saith, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Therefore, let all the house of Israel know for a surety, that God hath made him both Lord, and Christ, this Jesus, I say, whom ye have crucified.
The fact that Jesus is our King and that His Kingdom has been established is inescapable. Let’s Worship our King and be faithful subjects in His Kingdom. Part of being faithful, of course, is recognizing His authority and Kingship and believing that His government is increasing. "The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:7)