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Daily Devotional | No God Like You - A Study of 1 Kings | Dark blue night sky with fire swirl coming down.

Practical Theology | A Kingdom from Above

  • May 2023 Issue
Practical Theology

“Christ’s kingdom will not come as a result of the ballot box. Neither will it be established or preserved by force of arms. God’s kingdom is from above, and only He can bring it to pass!”

They say there are three things you should never talk about with others: money, religion, and politics. Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to talk about one without mentioning the other. Politics has become a flashpoint even for Christians.

The book of 1 Kings is a sobering reminder that even when God’s people have held the reins of government, their record is far from perfect. Even King David, whose reign anticipated the coming of Christ, was known for scandal and intrigue.

Believers have a long history of interest and involvement in government. But Jesus’ words to Pontius Pilate are a warning that we should not expect our efforts to bring about the kingdom of God. “Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place’” (John 18:36).

When the disciples asked about this timetable, Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7–8). Christ’s kingdom will not come as a result of the ballot box. Neither will it be established or preserved by force of arms. God’s kingdom is from above, and only He can bring it to pass!

Jesus describes His kingdom as “from another place” or “not of this world.” Not only is it the kingdom of heaven because it reflects the values of heaven, but it is also a kingdom that comes from heaven and cannot be established by human effort.

The gospel is the church’s primary weapon in its struggle against earthly kingdoms that oppose God. The church cannot usher in Christ’s kingdom by sheer effort, but we can offer the world a glimpse of its power. We set the stage for the coming of the King by bearing witness to Christ and displaying the power of His grace through our changed lives. Every believer is both an ambassador and an outpost for the kingdom of Christ.

For Further Study

To learn more, read City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era by Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner (Moody Publishers).

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

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