Gary discusses how Paul and the apostles approached promised persecution and tribulation during their own lifetimes and ministries.
The kingdom of God does not advance by military power. Though power-directed, the kingdom’s power comes from above and works on the heart of man: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezek. 36:26–27). Self-government, wherein God subdues the heart to teachableness, leads to godly family, church, and civil governments under God (1 Tim. 3:1–13).
Implements of war can subdue a people, but they cannot regenerate those dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). God’s Word, on the other hand, “is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
The supernatural power which energizes God’s kingdom is never bound by political rhetoric: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power” (1 Cor. 4:20). The battle against the kingdoms of this world is waged through the awesome power inherent in God’s Word, energized by His Spirit: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Cor. 10:3–4). It’s the power of regeneration, not revolution, that advances the kingdom.
As Christians, “we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). This is kingdom living in the power of God’s Spirit. The kingdom of God advances by changing the heart and mind of those who oppose Jesus Christ and His Word. The kingdoms of this world are at war with the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and it is the duty of all Christians to be involved in that war until the gates of Hades no longer stand (Matt. 16:18).
Restoration begins by realizing that we live in the midst of God’s kingdom. God’s pattern for godly living is established in heaven. In the Lord’s Prayer we petition God, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths
The rejection of any type of ‘this-worldly’ application of the Bible has resulted in the proliferation of man-centered worldviews that have steadily drained the life out of our world and left behind a spiritual vacuum. Will the church of Jesus Christ be prepared with biblical answers for the millions who will be ready to follow the light of the gospel as the folly of humanism and Islam is made manifest (2 Tim. 3:9)? Now is the time to make the necessary theological preparations.Buy Now
Gary discusses how Paul and the apostles approached promised persecution and tribulation during their own lifetimes and ministries. Paul was told that chains awaited him in Jerusalem, yet he went anyway. Persecution may await us as well, but we are called to daily obedience and to preach and live the Gospel regardless of the political or cultural situation. Just as Caleb was not dissuaded by the giants living in the Promised Land, neither should we.