His kingdom and peace will increase
June 2, 2021
Cheer up, believer. You have reason for optimism regarding both the present and the future, yes, even if the return of Christ is delayed. In time and history, the promise is that the gates of hell shall not overcome what he is building.
It boils down to a question of which preacher you’re going to listen to. I tell the folks who are willing to hear me that the preaching doesn’t stop once church is over. We are being preached to, or preached at, as the expression goes, in a constant bombardment.
Like ancient Israel on the first trip to the border of the promised land, you have a decision to make. Which witnesses will you believe?
The doomsayers are everywhere and their name is Legion, for they are many. They are prominent in every form of media, and maybe even in the pulpit of your church. We lose, they say. We’re supposed to lose. That’s how God wants it. The straight and narrow path is an avenue to increasing defeat, oppression, and suffering. It’s like the medicine that tastes so bad you’d rather stay sick than choke it down. But let’s choke it down, they say, to the glory of God.
However, there are a few witnesses with an opposite message. (Numbers 13:25 - 14:10) As faithful Caleb pleaded: We can take these guys! Yes, their cities are walled up to the sky, and they are big and strong, but with God on our side, we will eat them up like a slice of bread (14:9). You Bible scholars know how that went.
I realize it isn’t Christmas, but bear with me. Isaiah predicted the coming of Christ this way: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
In the very next verse, it specifies that this Messiah’s government would increase without end.
Once more, for those in the back, this isn’t saying that his kingdom will never be utterly destroyed. It’s saying that this kingdom will never stop growing. The only defeat to be found here is the implied defeat of all his enemies.
OK, pastor, but doesn’t that kingdom only begin after Christ returns? No. When he comes back, then we’ll see the fullest expression of the kingdom, but the repeated witness of both testaments is that he started ruling over everything way back then. (Psalm 2; Psalm 110:1; Eph 1:20-21; Col 2:10, etc.) The King of kings brought the kingdom with him, as a single read through any of the Gospels will confirm; and, it therefore must continue to increase.
This doesn’t mean the arrow on the chart is a straight line headed up. We suffer some setbacks. We lose some battles. Times get dark, but the overall shape of the graph is trending higher and higher. What started out as a belief only held by a handful of timid people is now the dominant and fastest growing faith in the world.
The Lord left us with his Gospel of peace and his Spirit. These have always been enough to win the whole contest. Cheer up, believer.
Gordan Runyan is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tucumcari. Contact him at: