“See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven. At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken- that is, things that have been made- in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:25-29)
God’s words leap off this page of Hebrews: “We are receiving a kingdom!”
We do not have to wait until we die. We do not have to wait for Judgment Day. We can be receiving the Kingdom of God now!
This is not what we hear in most churches, is it? Dr. Myles Munroe offers an excellent explanation: most churches preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not the gospel Jesus Christ preached.
Jesus preached, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) “The Kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matthew 12:28) “The Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness….” (Matthew 6:33)
Jesus declared, “The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world….” (Matthew 24:14) During the forty days between His resurrection and His ascension, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the Kingdom, and He then sent them out in power as witnesses to that Kingdom. (Acts 1:3, 8; Revelations 1:7)
The Kingdom of God is the wise, benevolent, grace-full rule of a loving God over those who trust, obey, and depend on Him. Paul also preached this Kingdom. (Acts 28:31) And for Paul as for Jesus, the Kingdom was not just talk but power. (1 Corinthians 4:20) The King of this kingdom has all authority in heaven and earth, and He delegates His authority to those who fully submit to His rule and represent Him in the earth. (Matthew 28:18; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 16:15-20) The Kingdom of God is the kingdom of light in the darkness, and darkness cannot stand against it. (Isaiah 60:1-3; Colossians 1:12-13; Acts 5:12-16))
Life in this Kingdom while still in this broken world is far from trouble-free, but it is a life of righteousness, peace, and joy in the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit. (John 16:23; Romans 14:17) We are to continually pray for it, live it, and offer it to others. (Matthew 6:10; 1 Peter 2:9)
So, how do we receive this Kingdom? It helps to understand the Greek word our English bibles translate as “we are receiving”. “Paralambano” is an aggressive word, not a passive word. “Lambano” means to take, grasp, seize or acquire. “Para” indicates “alongside” or “in the presence of”. Put together, “paralambano” means to seize and take to oneself, or to take over an office, assignment, or position.
My friends, if we want to receive the Kingdom of God, we must actively take our position in that Kingdom. We must embrace our identity in Christ and our abilities and responsibilities as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father, indwelled by God the Holy Spirit. We are a royal priesthood of disciples called to set self-centered agendas aside and follow our King, humbly loving and serving people while boldly standing against evil.
Hebrews 12 speaks of a divine shaking of both earth and the heavenlies. This shaking started years ago, and it is intensifying. I do not know how long it will last, how much more it will intensify, or whether it is the last one. But I know it will not stop until God has accomplished His purposes through it.
The Church is being shaken early and vigorously because the Lord needs a faithful, righteous Body of Christ to represent His Kingdom in this hour. Those in the Church who are not receiving the Kingdom will be shaken out because only those things which belong to the Kingdom will remain. Cultural Christianity and empty ritual will not survive. (Matthew 16:15-18)
After reading this column, I urge you, both as individuals and congregations, to read these scriptures, pray, search your hearts, and earnestly take your position in the Kingdom of God.
“Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!” (Psalm 24:7)
God bless you and God bless our community.