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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, September 14 2023

Jesus’ reign on earth - what it will be like?

Mankind has a wonderful future to look forward to—a world of peace, purpose and plenty under the loving rulership of God the Father through Jesus Christ. The Bible contains dozens of scriptures and prophecies about these events, which gives us great hope for the future.

Scott Ashley

When on trial for His life, and asked by the Roman governor if He were a king, Jesus Christ replied: “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world…” (John 18:37). Jesus plainly stated He was born to be a King and He will return to earth to reign over the entire earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16).

When Jesus came to earth the first time, He proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God and how we can be a part of it. When He returns at His second coming, He will come as the world’s all-powerful ruling King to establish His Kingdom over the entire earth and make that good news a reality. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him…. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’” (Matthew 25:31-34).

Those who are “blessed of My Father”— who have a close, loving, reverential relationship with God—will “inherit the kingdom prepared” for them. Jesus will be the King of this Kingdom. How we may become part of this Kingdom is a vital part of what Jesus came to announce. This was the heart of His message to “repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).

We also read about Jesus Christ’s mission to establish this Kingdom in a remarkable prophecy in Isaiah 9:6-7 (New Living Translation): “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.” Jesus the Messiah will establish God’s government forever, as King over all creation, and we can see from this description how He will reign.

Isaiah 2:3-4 also describes this wonderful time: “People from many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.”

After thousands of years of human history marked by war, violence and corruption, Jesus Christ will lead a massive reeducation effort to teach people God’s way of giving rather than getting, the only way that leads to true and lasting peace. Isaiah 11:9 tells us what the result of this worldwide reeducation effort will be: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” People who have never known the true God—who have been spiritually blinded by atheism and false religions that teach lies rather than God’s truth—will at last have their eyes and minds opened to learn about the one true God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus explained the difference between God’s government and all the governments and kingdoms that have gone before in a gentle rebuke to His own disciples who, knowing Jesus was destined to be a king, had been selfishly jockeying for positions of power and prestige: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles [the nations of the world] lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).

His disciples were well aware of the kind of abusive and corrupt rulership exercised by the governing Roman administrators and what human governments would be like down through the ages, with many using their positions to enrich themselves. Jesus made it clear that He and those who will rule with Him when God’s Kingdom is established on earth (Revelation 1:6) must follow a very different model of leadership. “It shall not be so among you,” He told them. The model for governing in God’s government will be grounded in God’s character of genuine love, which is outgoing concern for others rather than self-centeredness.

Jesus modeled this kind of giving, serving attitude throughout His ministry on earth. He fed the hungry. He healed the sick. He raised up the oppressed. He gave hope to the hopeless. He took on the role of a slave and washed His disciples’ feet, and suffered the ultimate sacrificial offering to die in our place, taking on Himself the punishment we deserved for our sins (John 13:12-15; Romans 5:6-8).

His rule will be marked with kindness and compassion, love being the foundation of God’s way of life and all of His laws (Matthew 22:37-40). This is not to say that He and those ruling with Him will not exercise firm power when necessary. At times it is required to prevent people from harming one another. But the key difference will be that all decisions will be based on righteous, perfect laws that benefit all those concerned. It will be a government for the good of the governed.

Beyond the horror and hardship of human government today, this is the wonderful future mankind has to look forward to—a world of peace, purpose and plenty under the loving rulership of God the Father through Jesus Christ. Join us in praying, “Your Kingdom come” and in striving to live those righteous qualities in your life now so you can be part of that Kingdom.