Repent for the Kingdom is at Hand

The kingdom of heaven is Jesus’ message. Miracles are the expression of and demonstration of the reality of his kingdom message.

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”” (Matthew 4:17, ESV)

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.” (Matthew 4:23, ESV)

Some people think that the kingdom of heaven is a future reality that we won’t experience until Jesus returns. But Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The term “at hand” refers to space not time. It means near, or to approach, or to draw near. The kingdom of heaven is not far away. It’s not inaccessible. The kingdom of heaven is a reality that you can access and experience. This is good news! It is the gospel of the kingdom.

In Genesis 1:26 God declared his plan.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:26, ESV)

Image and Likeness reveals that God wants a father/child relationships with us. This is about our identity. Dominion refers to the delegated authority over the earth that God gave to Adam. Humans were designed by God to live connected to God as our Father and as our source and from that place of connection, we were designed to be in charge of the planet. This hasn’t changed at all. From the beginning it has been true that a human, rightly connected to God as source, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is by design in charge of things on the earth.

In Genesis 3 mankind disconnected from God as source. This is called sin. Sin manifests individually and generationally through every kind of brokenness, deeply effecting both humanity and creation as a whole. Since Genesis 3 there had not been a single human on the planet in right relationship with God. As a result, rightful authority on earth was abdicated to the serpent, the god of this world, the god of this age.

Until Jesus.

Jesus, the eternally begotten Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, became incarnate. God became a man. For the first time since Genesis 3, there was a human in right relationship with God as source and empowered by the Spirit. By design, that man was in charge of things on planet earth. From the moment of his baptism, when Jesus the man (though still fully God) received the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, Jesus stepped into his vocation as Messiah.

For the first time since Eden, there was a man on the planet rightly connected to God as source and empowered by the Spirit. By design, by default, this man has heaven’s delegated authority to exercise God’s dominion.

The kingdom of heaven is at hand. The authority of God in the heavenly realm is now accessible and being expressed upon the earth through Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is a man rightly connected to God as source and empowered by the Spirit.

What is the appropriate response to this good news? Repent.

Repentance is not a change of behavior. Repentance is a change of mind. To repent is to shift your fundamental assumptions about reality. The good news that in and through Jesus God’s authority in the heavenly realm is now accessible and being expressed on the earth results in a total shift in how we think about everything.

God created Adam and Eve and gave them dominion on earth. The will and nature of God was to find expression on the earth through their stewardship of that authority flowing out of the intimacy of their connection with God. They disconnected from God as source and great brokenness was the result. Death, sickness, poverty and lack, selfishness, toxic relationships, violence and destruction and loss of every sort flowed from that place of disconnection.

What would it look like if, in the midst of all that brokenness, someone emerged who was aligned with God’s original design and plan? What would happen if a man in right relationship to God as source stepped onto the scene? What would it look like if the kingdom of heaven came near?

He would raise the dead.

He would heal the sick.

He would set captives free.

He would calm storms.

He would multiply resources.

You see, miracles are not abnormalities, irregular events where a far-away heaven breaks the rules of natural cause and effect. No. Miracles are what happens when God’s design is in action. Miracles are normal when God acts in alignment with his original design to express his nature through man in right relationship with God in the midst of a broken world.

Jesus died so that you could be fully restored to right relationship to God as your source and receive the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. This is a gift you receive by faith.

This also means that you’re in Christ and that, in Christ, you’re in charge of the planet. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent. Change the way you think about reality. You, rightly connected to the Father, in the name of Jesus, are a representative of the kingdom of heaven, a steward of heaven’s authority on the earth.

The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent and believe this good news.

2016-10-17T10:29:24-06:00

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