Forcefully Laying Hold of the Kingdom of Heaven

from Lynda Lindsey

I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.  Matthew 11:11-12

“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:1

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

All kings and kingdoms will eventually pass from history’s scene. Except one. God, the Sovereign ruler, will preside over His kingdom forever. God’s kingdom knows no physical boundaries nor is it political. Birth alone does not automatically confer citizenship in God’s kingdom. The only way to achieve citizenship in God’s kingdom? Respond by faith to God’s compelling invitation to open our life and heart to Jesus. To whom is the invitation addressed? Everyone! There’s room for rich or poor, slave or free, powerful or weak, respectable or vilest sinner. That is good news!

As with any invitation it’s useless unless acted upon. As citizens of a heavenly country our highest priority is to seek God passionately; learning to live aright in His kingdom becomes our all-consuming desire. Even our thoughts and actions must be taken captive to the obedience of Christ. Like John the Baptist we must be single minded, purposeful, more concerned with others and less concerned about our creature comforts in order to expand God’s kingdom. 

God, breaking a silence of more than four hundred years, spoke through the prophet John the Baptist; multitudes pressed in to hear John’s message. The kingdom of heaven is still forcefully advancing and forceful men and women still lay hold of it. God’s kingdom of light is forcefully advancing over the kingdom of darkness; press in close to Jesus. Eagerly, boldly advance the kingdom. Purposefully, courageously rush in. Forcefully lay hold of eternal truths. Persevere! Take hold and don’t let go! Have you ears? Hear!