The Kingdom of God is Here

Happy New Year

At the beginning of a new year, it is natural to evaluate what happened over the last year. Have we accomplished what we had hoped? My Pastor asked, “What did you learn in 2019?” which naturally leads us to “What are my goals for 2020?”. But first, think about this. We are two decades into the twenty-first century and seventy-two years from the re-establishing of Israel as the Jewish state. If you are in your twenties and reading this, you haven’t quite recognized decades yet and Israel has always been a nation. Some of you though, are in your eighties and maybe thought the turn of the century, the year 2000, was the end of your life and yet, here you are. The point is that what we expect to happen in 2020 is only based on our experience. God has a bigger plan and as we look toward the new year, He asks us to 1 Chronicles 16:15 (KJV) “Be ye mindful always of his covenant; The word which he commanded to a thousand generations”. This covenant will unfold according to God’s timeline and we are all affected by it.

God’s plan, God’s timeline, is written in the Bible and much of it has already been accomplished. Jesus, the light of the world, has come. Jesus preached in Mark 1:15 (KJV): “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel”. Salvation, the ability to come directly into God’s presence, is ours today yet there is coming a final day when Jesus Christ will return in glory. God doesn’t tell us when Jesus will return, he says in Mark 13:32 (KJV) “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father”. What we do know is that there are signs for us in Matthew 24:32–33 (KJV) “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors”. He will come and we will see Him in Matthew 24:30 (KJV) “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”.

Jesus also though, said in Matthew 24:12 (KJV) “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold”. We are in a world that seems to be spinning ever faster. Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes 1:18 (KJV) “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow”. While knowledge is increasing, there is still poverty and pollution and fear. What are we to do as the world seems to be spiraling out of control? Many Christians are setting themselves to fast and pray to hear God’s direction for the coming year. And, before he began his work, Jesus was led by the spirit to fast. During this time, Jesus passed by every offer that would require him to bow down and serve the devil. After this, Jesus announced to the world in Luke 4:18–19 (KJV) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel … 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord”.

Jesus then went on to demonstrate the power and will of God in Acts 10:38 (KJV) “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him”. Crowds of people followed after him Matthew 14:14 (KJV) “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick”. The crowds increased, and Luke 9:1–2 (KJV) “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority … 2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” and then in Luke 10:1–2 (KJV) “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them … 2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest”.

And how much more important is this as we have become a post-Christian society that looks ahead to a world without God. So, hear what the will of God is for 2020 in Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV) “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you … to give you an expected end”. God’s plan is based on the power of the Holy Spirit so Isaiah 60:1–2 (KJV) Arise, shine; … 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And gross darkness the people: But the Lord shall arise upon thee”. This is the time to declare the works of the Lord. Today is the day of someone’s salvation. This year, Hebrews 3:13 (KJV) “exhort one another daily”, be living examples, stand with us and 2 Timothy 4:2 (KJV) “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” because Psalm 118:24 (KJV) “This is the day which the Lord hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it”.