The Bible tells us that God has “put eternity into man’s heart,” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) so it’s not surprising that people wonder and worry about the future, especially as chaos increases in our cities, our respective countries and the world in general. The world always seems to be looking for a “savior” of some sort to fix our problems because we can’t imagine our kids or grandkids living in our increasingly unstable societies.
Our churches generally don’t help much in dealing with the future, other than speaking about a weak and nebulous “…do these things…and you’ll go to heaven.” Spending a future in a nondescript “heaven” doesn’t really excite most Christians, nor does it seem to gain much traction with those of other faiths, since all faiths have a version of “heaven.” Because of this, we generally don’t think deeply about the future or eternity and therefore we are a people who are weakened “for lack of knowledge,” referring to the prophet Hosea.
However, there’s some good news!
When Jesus the Messiah spoke with his disciples, much of what he discussed was regarding the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven—both phrases speaking of the same thing. In fact, after Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to the disciples “during forty days” and spoke to them “about the Kingdom of God.”
This Kingdom is spoken of throughout the whole Bible, and the New Testament scriptures speak of a time when the risen Jesus of Nazareth, who referred to himself 78 times as the “Son of Man,” will reign on earth. Even a very basic understanding of scripture tells us that when he refers to himself in this manner, Jesus is speaking of Daniel 7:13-14. Here is that passage:
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.“
This passage speaks of a future event when the Son of Man returns to receive a kingdom in which all peoples, nations and languages will serve him. The questions that most churches avoid asking are: “Who are these people and where will this kingdom exist?”
The prophet Zechariah wrote that in the coming Day of the LORD, the LORD himself will fight against those nations who have come up against Jerusalem and Judah. The Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem will see the LORD arrive, and will recognize that He is the same One “whom they have pierced.” The mourning will be tremendous, and will be accompanied by repentance.
But, what about those against whom the LORD fights? Apparently, according to Zechariah, there will be survivors! Because in Zechariah 14:16-17 (and to the end of the chapter), we see that the survivors will be required to go up to Jerusalem, year after year, to celebrate Sukkot, i.e. the Feast of Tabernacles.
What does this have to do with anything? The Bible speaks clearly that those whose faith has been place in the Risen Savior Jesus will reign forever with Him. And the location of this kingdom isn’t in some ethereal “heaven,” but on earth. An earth that is eternal and cleaned from the corruption and violence that has been happening since nearly the beginning. An earth where a child shall lead both the calf and lion in peace. Those who are the survivors will not reign, but will be ruled over.
When the angel Gabriel told Mary about the child she would carry, he told her that, “the LORD God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” This kingdom does not only describe some spiritual entity, it speaks directly about a physical kingdom. And this physical kingdom will be located here on earth!
Last week I visited Herodion, one of Herod’s strongholds. This location overlooks Tekoa (see Amos 1:1) and the fields where shepherds would have encountered the heavenly host, who praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” While standing at the top of the stronghold, it was easy to imagine that encounter when the angel told the shepherds that the Savior, the Messiah, was born just a hill away in Bethlehem.
The time is coming when Jesus—the Savior, Messiah and LORD—will return to take the kingdom and rule over it for eternity from Mount Zion. Are you one with whom he is pleased, who will reign with Jesus? If you don’t know the Savior today, if you haven’t made the Son of Man—the Messiah Jesus—to be the Lord of your life, please repent and believe in him today. He came the first time as the lamb of God; but he is coming again as the Lion of Judah.
Don’t think that you will be one of the unlikely “survivors of the nations” when He returns, as much of humanity will have been killed in the last days. Jesus himself said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” His kingdom will never end, and I want to be one of those “with whom he is well pleased,” when he returns to “judge the living and the dead,” to bring in true peace on earth. Finally, the apostle Paul tells us that “if we endure, we will also reign with Him.”
And that is an eternity to get excited about.