I am always amazed that so many who claim to be Christians and let the Bible govern their beliefs have completely missed John 18:36.
They have delved into Revelation; they have turned over every letter of Old Testament Apocalyptic prophecy; they have extrapolated Matthew 24. They have come up with all kinds of confusing arguments in order to claim Jesus came to establish an earthly kingdom but was foiled so we are waiting for it to come in a coming age.
Books have been written. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins have become rich off of it. Jack van Impe continues his news broadcasts about it. Hal Lindsey still sells old books on it. And people spend money buying it up left and right. It has surpassed the discussion of scriptural topics and become a money making industry all on its own.
This is sad, because for all the complicated arguments from the numerous difficult, figurative, and complex passages, they overlook a very simple passage like John 18:36.
My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.
There it is. A very clear, very pointed statement. Jesus never intended to establish a kingdom of this world. He did not intend to bring Rome into military subjection to His new nation. Had that been the case, then the rejection of the Jews wouldn’t have mattered. Those who followed Him would have fought and kept Jesus from being delivered.
That being the case, His death was not a rejection of the earthly kingdom. Therefore, we are not in some surprising gap while God gets plan B in order. We are not waiting for a Tribulation, a Rapture, or a new Kingdom. Jesus told His disciples that the kingdom would be established while some of them were still alive (Mark 9:1). Jesus did not fail. His heavenly kingdom was established and even as the New Testament was being written people were being added to it (Colossians 1:13). And as John began his writing of Revelation he admitted to already partaking in it along with his audience (Revelation 1:9).
Let’s quit making money off a very popular but very wrong idea. Instead, let’s just stick with the Bible message.
Keep the faith and keep reading,
P.S. What did you get out of today’s reading?