The Kingdom is Yet to be Perfected
As we continue to look into the things of the kingdom of God I believe it necessary to equip you with this thought, “The devil still operates with great cunning even in the Kingdom.”
Before we get into some New Testament scripture, let’s consider this from an Old Testament perspective. Genesis is the book of beginnings and it has been said that virtually every biblical truth may be found in seed-form right here. Genesis chapters 1 &2 tell us of a world created in perfection by God. However in Genesis chapter 3 we find there is a problem IN paradise, there is a serpent that doesn’t belong! This is satan in beautiful disguise. The devil who may at times appear as an angel of light. The wolf in sheep’s clothing. You know the rest of the story…
As we move into Exodus and the rest of the books of Moses we see the representation of a kingdom people in what has become the Nation of Israel. What we see is the worship of a golden calf while Moses is up on the mountain getting the 10 Commandments. What we see is a rebellious people who are forced by God to wonder in a wilderness for nearly 40 years.
As we move into the period of the kings of Israel, we see again heathen worship among portions of the kingdom people throughout their history. We see civil wars from the very beginning in David vs. the House of Saul, David vs. Absalom, the northern and southern tribes as they split off, the prophets taking a stand agains wicked king and queens of which Ahab and Jezebel are most recognized.
You can plainly see through these OT examples that there was always trouble IN the kingdom. But didn’t that all change in the New Testament? Didn’t that all change after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? Is not satan now a defeated foe? The answer is yes ultimately, yet no concerning his ability to still frustrate the will of God in the intermediary. As in the garden, the serpent still looks for willing vessels to deceive and use for his purposes. The answer is yes in that now spiritually everything is set in the blood of Jesus for the believer. Our salvation is secure and our destiny is set, the perfected kingdom of God will be our home for ever and ever. The devil is defeated. His ultimate fate will be being cast into the eternal lake of fire on that last Great Day! Praise God…I get Holy Spirit goose bumps just meditating upon that as I write!
Now let’s look at a NT passage from the lips of Jesus. A kingdom parable found in Matthew 13:24–30 (NASB95)
24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25 “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.
26 “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
27 “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’
29 “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.
30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
This is a kingdom parable and it is applicable to our day and time. The truth is evident, the devil still operates within the Kingdom of God. He is ultimately defeated and his works will ultimately be overcome, but in the mean time we must deal with tares (weedy people/the workings of the devil) even in the golden harvest (God’s true people/the fruit of kingdom labor.)
There are two reasons I show you this today:
- To warn you to never to let your guard down along the kingdom path. The devil is no longer in control but he still works in darkness and seeks to ambush the people of God. Be vigilant, not fearful, just aware that the enemy still comes to steal, kill, and destroy…
- To encourage you along this kingdom journey as well. Just because you’re having some difficulties doesn’t mean you aren’t on the right path. The promises of God were given us to believe and use to get us through those difficult times. Jesus said I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly!
Lastly, look at the end of the parable…no worries. God’s not up in heaven wringing His hands over all this. He’s telling us, grow, grow, grow in the things of the kingdom and let Him deal with the tares when it’s time.