Kingdom Parables

Jesus taught several parables about the kingdom of God, its unexpected ways of expansion, and its status in the world - Mark 4:21-34 .  The gospel of Mark provides only a few examples of the many parables taught by Jesus, his primary method of teaching (“ Apart from a parable he did not speak to the crowds ”). The dominant theme in them is the kingdom, the reign of God that commenced in Christ’s ministry and has continued since as the gospel is proclaimed - [ Hay harvest p hoto  by Luca on Unsplash ].

Day of Christ

The return of Jesus will be the “Day of the Lord” when the dead are raised, the wicked are judged, and death will cease . The coming of Jesus is not a major topic in Paul's letters to the church in Corinth. But he does touch on several key aspects of his return, including its identification with the “ Day of the Lord ,” the consummation of God’s kingdom, the resurrection and examination of believers, and the cessation of death - [ Photo by  Axi Aimee  on Unsplash ].

Hastening THAT Day

In the interim between Christ’s ascension and return, God has granted humanity the opportunity to repent .  In his second epistle, Peter explains the apparent “delay” in the return of Jesus from heaven. God is characterized by mercy and has no desire for anyone to perish. But the apostle even contends that the conduct of the church may “ hasten ” that day’s arrival. The relationship of men with God is dynamic, not static, and He responds eagerly to repentance - [ Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash ].

Witness to All Nations

Jesus declared that the “end” will not come until this gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed to all nations .  When the future return of Jesus is discussed, the question naturally arises - What “signs” will precede it? Will wars, earthquakes, and other catastrophes mark the nearness of that day? Fortunately, Jesus provided a definitive answer to this question - The completion of the church’s mission to testify to the whole earth   - [ Preaching the Gospel - Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash ].

Mission of the Church

The mission of the church between now and the return of Jesus is to announce the Good News of his Kingdom to all men   –   Matthew 24:14 .  Jesus tasked his church with announcing his gospel to all nations. The New Testament summarizes his message as the “ good news of the Kingdom of God .” In him, God’s rule over the earth is being established, though often in unexpected and paradoxical ways. By the time Christ returns, he will have established total sovereignty over the nations and subjugated all His “ enemies ,” especially the “ last enemy ,” death - [ World in Hand photo by  Jake Weirick  on Unsplash ].

Kingdom of God

The political order inaugurated by Jesus is the “Kingdom of God,” and it bears little resemblance to the political systems of this world .  When Jesus first appeared in Galilee, he began to proclaim the “ Kingdom of God ” – “ Repent, for the kingdom is at hand .” In his ministry, the reign of God began to invade the earth. However, his realm was of an entirely different nature than the political systems of the present age, and on more than one occasion, Christ refused that kind of political power, especially when it was offered by Satan - [ Colosseum - Photo by Hank Paul on Unsplash ].