Many are concerned about the future of our nation. Political strife, the virus, economic issues, general unrest… is America doomed? If history repeats itself, the answer is yes. Over the course of history, every world empires has eventually fallen. The Portuguese, Ottoman, Ethiopian, and Roman empires all came to an end.
What if we could live in a stable, enduring kingdom? One where our leader kept all his promises and there were no divisive political parties. A place where social and economic classes ceased to exist, and prejudice was a thing of the past. What if pain, suffering, and even death didn’t exist there? Would you want to be a part of that kingdom? It sounds too good to be true, but such a kingdom once existed.
Before the rise-and-fall of manmade empires began, God Himself set up a perfect kingdom and put humanity in charge. The time is coming when God will do this once more. In fact, the process has already begun. Let’s look at the kingdom we lost, and how and when it will be restored.
A Kingdom Lost
Our planet was born pristine from the hand of God. Man was given dominion “over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26). Adam and his bride ruled from the home “the Lord God planted” (Genesis 2:8). Abundant provision was made for man and animal alike. The Tree of Life sustained human life perpetually. The ecosystem was perfectly balanced. No taint of pollution existed. Death had yet to touch plant, animal, or human. God Himself walked with man in the garden (Genesis 3:8). This kingdom, where all “was very good” (Genesis 1:31), was meant to last forever. Wouldn’t you like to live in a place like this?
We don’t know how long our planet existed in this blissful state. But we do know that early on the parents of our race violated the one prohibition given them: they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Dominion was forfeited, the serpent rejoiced, and death laid claim to each of us. Jesus willingly offered Himself to be the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
Claiming rulership of Earth, Satan walked “to and fro” and “back and forth on it” (Job 1:7).
A Promise Made
Centuries later, God said to Abraham, “Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you” (Genesis 13:17). Essentially, he was being told to walk “to and fro” and “back and forth” symbolically reclaiming the earth. Man’s dominion over the earth was to be restored. God promised he would be “the heir of the world” (Romans 4:13) when God “swallows up death forever” (Isaiah 25:8).
The promises to Abraham apply to us today. “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).
The Price Paid
The salvation of humanity and the restoration of God’s kingdom was not an afterthought. The Son of God was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20) to shed His blood for our redemption. Compelled by love, Christ came to save our wayward world.
When Jesus died on the cross, our redemption was paid in full. Satan’s destruction and earth’s renewal was guaranteed. Christ, the “heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2) will soon return for His “purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:14). He says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
Have you fully surrendered your life to Christ? Do you know today that you are His? (See Q&A sidebar if you’re unsure of your status in God’s kingdom.)
A Kingdom Prophesied
God gave Daniel a prophecy that precisely foretold the rise and fall of world empires. This prophecy tells of a “stone cut out without hands” (Daniel 2:34) that would demolish all earthly kingdoms and “set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44).
At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). Was Jesus announcing the establishment of the eternal kingdom Daniel foretold? It certainly doesn’t appear that we are now living in God’s eternal kingdom.
So, what did Christ mean? Just this: He came to establish God’s kingdom in the hearts and lives of His followers so that we would be prepared to live in His eternal, heavenly kingdom.
Jesus demonstrated the foundational principles of God’s kingdom in His life of self-sacrificing service. He also taught us how to become a part of it. “Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15) Jesus said. Then we will be “born again,” (John 3:3) and “the kingdom of God [will be] within you” (Luke 17:21). This miracle of the new birth initiates the Kingdom of God in each of our lives.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed” (Matthew 13:31) and it has been growing since Christ’s day.
The Kingdom Restored
What will this kingdom be like when it is full grown?
Someday very soon, the Creator will “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). He “will wipe away every tear… there shall be no more death, nor sorrow… There shall be no more pain” (Revelation 21:4). There will be neither prey nor predator. “The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox” (Isaiah 65:25 NASB). We will “build houses” and “plant vineyards” (Isaiah 65:21) and “long enjoy the work of our hands” (Isaiah 65:22). Nothing will grow old or decay. “Neither moth nor rust” (Matthew 6:20) will destroy.
We will drink of the “river of the water of life” (Revelation 22:1) and again eat of the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:2). There will be no more sin or death (1 Corinthians 15:26). Immortality will be restored, and God will walk among us. As in Eden, we “shall see His face” (Revelation 22:4). We will “inherit the kingdom prepared for [us] from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
The capital of this very real kingdom will be the New Jerusalem. Jerusalem means “city of peace.” Unlike the earthly Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem will live up to its name. Made of “pure gold,” (Revelation 21:18) the city will reflect the character of its inhabitants. Every inhabitant of the New Earth will keep God’s commandments (Revelation 22:14) and there will be peace among all people.
This peace will permeate everything. Our bodies and minds will function perfectly. Stress, depression, and anxiety will not exist. Neither will diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. There will be no broken people or broken relationships. Friendships will last forever.
The Son of God cries out as He did in the original Garden of Eden, “Where are you” (Genesis 3:9)? There’s a place for you in His perfect kingdom. Have you accepted His invitation?
“In [His] presence is fullness of joy; At [His] right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalms 16:11).
“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love” (The Great Controversy, Ellen G. White, p. 678).
I hope to see you there.