HOUSMAIL HM#062 - WHEN WILL THE KINGDOM COME?                 20 August 2000 __________________________________________________________________________

"But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Mark 13:32)

"So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:6-8)

When asked WHEN the kingdom would come, Jesus told His disciples that He did not know! Not even the angels knew! Only God Himself knew the precise time.
(In passing, we note the careful distinction that Jesus drew here between Himself and His Father. The Father knows something that Jesus does not know! Jesus is NOT omniscient! Nor may we PRESUME to know what the Father has not revealed, and Jesus does not know!)

But Jesus did not stop there. His answer contained something else far more important than the mere timing of the restoration of the Kingdom. The disciples were to wait in Jerusalem until they received the POWER which would come upon them when they received the Holy Spirit. After that they were to bear witness to what they had seen and heard during their time with Jesus. Before the Kingdom could be restored, there was to be a time of PREPARATION.

The HEIRS of the Kingdom had to be called together from out of the world. They had to be TRAINED for their roles in the Kingdom. (Matt 28:19-20) Only after that work is completed ..... when the last disciple has been made, and taught to obey all the commandments of Jesus ..... only THEN can the Kingdom come!

It has been common in all ages for "would be prophets" to spend a great deal of effort in Bible Studies which look for the SIGNS of the coming of the Kingdom. But if we hear Jesus in the passages quoted above, the REAL priority is to first discover what this POWER is that Jesus refers to ..... and the secret of receiving THE POWER ..... and then after that, to bear witness to Jesus in our generation.

We must learn not to waste the energies of heart and mind and strength on endless speculation about all those "interesting" Bible topics, beloved by the Pharisees.

Instead we must learn to devote ourselves to the all consuming passion that is required to: "Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Eph 4:22-24)

It won't be difficult to know WHEN Jesus is back! We will hear a trumpet call which wakes the dead!

But for some, it will be difficult in the extreme, to explain why they lack the power that changes lives to make disciples who love and obey Jesus!