The Nearness of God’s Kingdom

from Lynda Lindsey

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”  Luke 10:8-9

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20

Jesus trained his followers, then empowered them and sent them out to proclaim the nearness of God’s Kingdom. God’s kingdom is not one bought by military or political might and strength, rather it is the rule and reign of God in our hearts and lives. We are invited, not coerced into citizenship. Just as earthly kings demand total allegiance, Jesus, our heavenly king, commands our total devotion. There’s no place in kingdom work for determining the minimum amount of service we can offer! Jesus warns that once we’ve begun, we should never look back. 

Once begun, if we look back we’ll be useless, unfit for service, just as once we’ve begun to plow a field, if we look back while continuing to plow, our rows will be crooked and uneven. The cost of discipleship is high. Serving Jesus must take precedence over everything else, even over all other relationships. The harvest is plentiful, laborers few, and the terrain we pass through is dangerous. We must travel lightly, not allowing anything to distract us while we proclaim the Good News of the Gospel honestly, urgently, and lovingly.  

Much is at stake. People must be offered truth and healing, encouraged to repent, be set free from bondages that enslave and ensnare, and be instructed in sound doctrine. There was great rejoicing when Jesus’ followers returned. There will be even more rejoicing in the future, for there is a “not yet” part of God’s kingdom still to be realized. The kingdom of God has arrived and is already present, and God’s kingdom will also arrive at the end of the age when Jesus comes again to gather His church. Keep a forward focus and rejoice! God’s kingdom is near…and day by day it is coming nearer!