Revelation 11:15 – Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
Can you read the above verse without having a performance of “The Messiah” run through your head? Over the Christmas season, we hear at least snippets of Handel’s masterpiece, including the “Hallelujah Chorus,” which itself inspired an earthly king to stand in reverence and awe. But, I wonder, do we really consider what it means that the Lord reigns and will reign, that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.
What must be true if Jesus is King? What must be true if Jesus will reign? How does this fact impact the way that we talk to others about the Savior? How might it change our evangelism and our social media discourse? How should it change the impressions of others as they consider Christian claims?
Think with me. Jesus is King. He will reign forever and ever. The kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of is Christ. What does this mean?
One thing this all has to mean is that God will have his way. God has the right to tell us what to do, what to feel, and how to think. He has every right to define for us our personhood, our values, and our standards. God, not man, is ultimate. God is ruler. God’s standards are right and authoritative, regardless of what people think of as the progressive course of history.
When we share Jesus with others, do we let our words indicate his authority? So often, the Christian message is presented as a pleading, wheedling, weepy, begging that others might consider what we offer them, maybe, pretty please, if they might just try it for a moment. And, of course, our message should be presented with compassion, passion, and urgency. We do implore others to be reconciled to God as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:20. But this was not in any way to compromise the fact that Jesus is the King to whom we need to be reconciled. He is the Lord over all. His reign is neither strengthened nor lessened by our responses to him. He will rule. He will not violate righteousness and right standards in order to make his kingdom more palatable to us. Grace is glorious. God’s mercy is wonderful. God is loving toward us and offers us life. But, we ought not confuse ourselves by pretending that God’s offered mercy puts us in charge and makes him our subject.
How should the world see the call of Christ? Again, we often try to persuade the world that we are especially nice, likeable, cool, with-it people who are just like them except that we have some extra hope in our faith. And, it is indeed true that Christians have been responsible for tremendous good in the world from neighborhood events to drilling wells in the third world, from adoption culture to baby-sitting, from rescuing the trafficked to keeping somebody’s puppy, from building hospitals to caring for the homeless—Christians have done good in the world and try to do more. But, our good actions in the world are not the end-all of our call upon the world. We are not just like the rest of the world with this genuine exception: we are sinners like the rest of the world. However, we have, under God’s power, surrendered ourselves to his lordship and found salvation by grace through faith in Christ. We are different than the world. We call the world to obey the commands of the Lord as found in Scripture, and this is a 180 degree turn from the direction of the culture around us. We believe that God has commands for what we do with our lives, our families, our bodies, our gender, our sexuality, our unborn children, our everything. We are to submit to him as the King.
I offer to all people the opportunity to be made right with God. Our Lord has made a way for you to be forgiven, rescued, and adopted into his family. He offers you peace, hope, love, joy, and eternal life. But, understand that he is and will be King. He does not bend to you, you and I bow to him. Yet, there is no source of greater joy than to kneel before our King, because he has made us for that purpose and we will find our greatest fulfillment when we do what we were created to do. So, I urge you, be reconciled to God as your King and find yourself under his grace.
To all who are believers, I remind us that Jesus reigns. He is not a little weakling just wishing people would come to him and give him a little nod of acceptance. He is mighty. He is Lord. He reigns. He will reign. He is the conquering King who will return on a war horse with a sword in his teeth and blood on his robes. He is not a wimp. He does not change his standards of righteousness just because our culture feels something is a better idea. He is God, and we bow before him.
May we humbly bow and find the joy in the truth that Jesus is King. He shall reign forever and ever! Nothing will change that fact. May we then yield to our Lord and have peace in his rule.