Lesson #12: God’s kingdom will be established and we need to be prepared.
“But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy. Jacob will possess his inheritance.” Obadiah 1:17
My current BSG Bible study focuses solely on Easter and the days leading up to Jesus’ death. The other day we were asked to read Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, and Luke 22:19-20. And if you do, you’ll find almost the same words written in each about Jesus’ instructions to the disciples in His final hours. As Christians, we should be very familiar with what took place – the breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine. What I love about actually studying the Bible is you see all the ancient links back and forth and the promises for the future, supported by those fulfilled promises.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Matthew 26:26-29
“When I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Jesus is drinking from the traditional third cup of the Passover meal – the one representing the blood of an animal sacrificed for sins to be “passed over.” He establishes not only himself as the sacrifice for all eternity for our sins but then gives us the promise of reuniting with us.
“The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15
You’ll notice throughout the Bible that we humans are warned of how we should behave, what the punishment will be, and in the end those who believe will receive great reward. In the prophesy of Obadiah, the people of Edom received their warning of destruction because of pride, gloating, treachery, thievery, and violence. Yet, they did not listen.
“Just as you drank on my holy hill, so all nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been.” Obadiah 1:16
Obadiah warns the people that what they sought for so richly would be turned against them with voracity. Imagine now our current world. And imagine all the sins turned against us two-fold. The killing of millions of unborn children alone must make God so angry. I can only imagine that we would be struck barren and childless in an instant. And therefore, unable to continue creating new generations.
Thank God gives us the warnings. And in heeding them we can then receive the glorious inheritance.
“Before we can pray, “Lord, Thy Kingdom come,” we must be willing to pray, “My Kingdom go.”Alan Redpath
Yes, our kingdoms. So many of us have built our own kingdoms on the hill – just like the people of Edom. We look down on our fellow man with a smugness that “we have it all under control.” Our bank accounts are satisfactory, our marriages are holding together, our homes protect us. And yet we are warned all this will be “stubble” (vs 18). How many of us live with the anticipation of “Thy Kingdom Come?”
Because it will come. You may be fortunate to be in a church where that is a focus of the teaching. Where you are tasked to constantly be in a mode of preparation. Where you are admonished to gather up as many people as possible for the kingdom. I have yet to be in such a church. And yet the entire Bible is a warning of the coming kingdom.
If this last year, during the great pandemic, has taught me anything is that our earthly time is limited and we are tasked with no more greater act than preparing our hearts and minds for the coming kingdom. Situations in which I find myself that are not godly become glaring reminders of the coming of Jesus.
Throughout this last year we kept hearing the teaching, “Faith over fear.” And yet fear held most of us captive. And fear of what? Death? If that was the case, as Christians we should have been at the front of the line shouting “hallelujah, our time has come!” The signs on our churches should have asked, “Are you ready?”
And what of that readiness and our own kingdoms?
The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “Lord, I cannot even begin to do it.” Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (Matthew 5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe that we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work. Oswald ChambersOswald Chambers
God has issued His warnings. Just like with the people of Edom, He has called us to prepare for the onslaught of His power and might. He has promised us the inheritance of the kingdom. Are you in constant training? Are you ready to be called up in an instant? Which side of the battle lines will you be on?