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The Gap

“May He also rule from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.” Psalm 72:8

The psalmist evoked the above blessing prophetically over the messianic King of Israel, whom we now know to be Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is large and in charge, so why don’t we see more evidence of His glorious rule and reign on the earth?

The prophet Daniel said that he was looking in a night vision,

“And behold, with the clouds of heaven,

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.”

Daniel 7:13-14 NASB

Jesus claims that the authority of this Kingdom has already been given to Him.

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”

Matthew 28:18 NASB

So, again, why don’t we see it? Why is the world still commonly such a rough place to live?

In Daniel’s vision, He sees not only the Messiah’s reign but also the reign of the Messiah’s people, which was the intent of God from the beginning of creation. God said to mankind, “Be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth.” (Genesis 1:28). After Daniel’s glorious vision of the Messiah’s royal establishment, he goes on to describe the people of God’s share in this establishment:

“But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.”

Daniel 7:18

And again, in verse 22,

“Judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.”

And again in verse 27:

“Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey Him.”

The reign of the Messiah, which has already begun according to Jesus’ own confession, is a shared reign with the people of God. The gap that we see between the victory of God in Jesus and the manifestation of righteousness, peace, and joy in the whole earth is designed to be filled by the church, empowered by the Holy Spirit. This rule of God’s people through the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit is the “mystery” Paul speaks about, “which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:9-10).

The wisdom of God, or the wise rule and reign of the creator God, is made manifest through the people of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. This responsibility and calling of the church is why Jesus said, “Go!” immediately after saying, “All authority in heaven and earth is given to me.”

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you;”

Matthew 28:18-20 NASB

The sanctification of the Church is not a matter of trying to win favor with God,

to make Him like or love us. God already loves us. “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8. The sanctification of the church is for the salvation of the entire earth because God designed the world to be the dominion of His people, and it will never be right until His people rule it in His wisdom and love.

“The heavens are the heavens of the Lord but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” Psalm 115:16 NASB

Unless the Church rules in God’s wisdom and love, the earth cannot be filled with peace. For this reason, God calls us to personal holiness, sanctification, and obedience. How can we bring order to the world if we can't bring order to our individual lives? How can the rescuers rescue if they need saving? “First, get the log out of your own eye,” Jesus said, “then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5).

Holiness is freedom, obedience brings joy, and revival comes through repentance. If we want to save America or whatever nation we inhabit, we must begin with personal repentance and work our way outward. “Judgment begins with the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17).


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