CHURCH CORNER: Happy birthday, be born again

Dear Jesus,

I pray that your kingdom comes. Let your will be done in this world, in me and in my life the same as it is done in your kingdom in heaven.

What an incredible time in history we live in! All of us are witnesses to signs, marvels and wonders that have never before been seen or done on earth. Some are exciting and awesome and some are down right spooky. We see mind-blowing technologies, natural disasters, military and nuclear tensions, economic volatility, political positioning and an eroding moral standard, all of which seem to be climactic in nature. It is as though the nations of this world are heading down a path with an inevitable end, yet no one is sounding the alarm.

Have you ever wondered when God is going to establish his everlasting kingdom on Earth and reign as the king of kings forever? What will it look like and when will this take place? If you’ve wondered this before, you’re not alone. The believers who followed Jesus asked him these same questions, as did some of the Jewish religious leaders of that time. Luke 17: 20 tell us the Pharisees demanded from Jesus to know when the kingdom of God should come. They were referring to the everlasting kingdom of God spoken of throughout the Bible, which has been prepared for us from the foundation of the world. Daniel 2:44 reads, “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will endure forever.” Many of the same prophecies, written thousands of years ago about the events and times we are living in right now also speak of a coming king who will establish his kingdom here on earth and reign over his people forever.

So when? When will this all go down? Jesus answered this question much differently than you might expect, but he answered it certainly. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, and people won’t say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is, because the kingdom of God is within you.”

Uh…say what?

When Jesus Christ, who is the king of all kings, came to earth he began establishing his kingdom…the place where he reigns forever and his will is done. It is not of this world and is not bound by borders, oceans, mountain ranges, race or color. His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom being established right now in the hearts of believers everywhere through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s happening wherever the gospel is being preached through the new birth experience. Whenever you believe in Jesus Christ, confess him with your mouth and ask him into your heart, Jesus comes in and becomes your king! The believer is transformed from death to life and from this world into God’s kingdom forever. Christ comes in and becomes your righteousness and your king for all eternity. This is called being born again.

John 3:3-5 says that unless a man is born again he can’t even see the kingdom of God and certainly can’t enter it. By being baptized in water we take part in Christ’s death and crucifixion and by receiving the Holy Spirit we take part in his life and resurrection. We are literally born all over again…this time into the kingdom of God where we have no more sin, guilt, shame or judgment. In fact, we have perfect peace with our God and our king. Hallelujah!

Eventually all kingdoms crumble and every government, power and dominion fall. The Bible states it clearly; that any nation divided against itself cannot stand.

Quoting Aesop, George Washington said of our fledgling nation…united we stand but divided we fall. The United States was aptly named to reflect the strength of being one indivisible nation under the mighty protection of God. Today our nation stands, but divided. We cannot stand forever and will fall along with every other kingdom of this world. But Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” and that we are not of this world if we have been born into his kingdom. Christ will soon return for his people and break through the clouds fulfilling every last prophecy and destroying all enemies. In that day, Christ will be found to be already in the hearts of every believer and every believer will be found in Christ.

The kingdom of God is here and it is even in your mouth. Have you confessed Christ as your king and been born again into his kingdom? Today could be your new birthday!