03 Jul The Fourth of July: Celebrating the Kingdom
America will celebrate 243 years of independence from Great Britain on July 4th of this year. Although we celebrate as one nation, we continue to struggle with our cultural and religious differences. What it means to be an American and who is worthy enough to receive citizenship depend upon who you talk to. With that said and at this point in human history, America is still the best country in the world in which to live. But as we transition from human history, governed by man, to the coming kingdom, governed by Christ, we find that the best is yet to come.
The question that follows that statement is, what is yet to come? We begin to find our answer in the Book of Revelation. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,” Rev 1:1 NIV. Many Christians shy away from studying the Book of Revelation, because they incorrectly believe all the signs and symbols make the book too difficult or even impossible to understand. However, God would not play such a cruel trick on His children – send us a message about what is to come and then make it too difficult to understand. In fact, God added an incentive of spiritual prosperity for anyone who reads aloud and adheres to the book’s words of prophecy. “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy aloud, and blessed are those who hear and obey the things written in it, because the time is near!” Rev 1:3 NET2. In fact, this is the first of seven beatitudes included in the book of Revelation.
God wants us to know what’s next and he tells us in verse seven. “Look! He is returning with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the tribes on the earth will mourn because of him. This will certainly come to pass! Amen.” Rev 1:7 NET2. The book of Revelation reveals the last seven years of human history. It concludes with the return of Christ and the beginning of His reign. And guess who has been appointed to serve in this new kingdom. Yes, “those who he loves and has set free from our sins at the cost of his own blood.” And not only has he set us free from our sins, he has also “appointed us as a kingdom, as priests serving his God and Father.” (Rev 1:4-6)
Sin that began in Genesis, comes to an end in Revelation. Man’s government, which began in Genesis at the Tower of Babel, comes to an end with the return of Christ as revealed in Revelation. His return will be a time of mourning for the nations that denied him. Finally, all nations will realize the One who originally came as savior, has returned as Judge.
And those of us who believe, inherit a kingdom not made by the hands of man. The things that once separated us are no more. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:26-28 NET2. That my friend is a kingdom worth celebrating.
When we all get to heaven – What a day of rejoicing that will be – When we all see Jesus – We’ll sing and shout the victory…
Written by Henry Hopson, Jr.