We Believe In Jesus: The King


Christ is Building His Kingdom: 1 Corinthians 15:24, 28

Scripture teaches that God plans to turn the entire world into his earthly kingdom, so that his rule on earth reflects his rule in heaven. We see this in places like Matthew 6:10, where Jesus taught us to pray that God’s kingdom would come, and that his will would be done on earth in the same way that it is already done in heaven. And we see it in the picture of the new heaven and new earth described in Revelation 21–22. So, broadly speaking, the goal of Jesus’ kingdom building is to turn the world into God’s earthly kingdom, fit for him to inhabit, and full of people who are completely loyal to him. 

But if the goal is for God to have an earthly kingdom, what role does Jesus play? Well, even though God is the supreme King over all creation, he has appointed Jesus to rule it in a more direct fashion, so that God’s kingdom is also rightly called Jesus’ kingdom. In this regard, God is like an ancient Near-Eastern suzerain, and Jesus is his vassal king. And because Jesus wants to please his suzerain, he has dedicated himself to accomplishing God’s goal. Consider how Paul described Jesus’ submission to God the Father in 1 Corinthians 15:24, 28:

Then the end will come, when [Christ] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power… When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:24, 28).

As God’s supreme vassal king, Jesus has authority over God’s kingdom, and even over creation. And he is using that authority to conquer everything that opposes God, and to subject everything to God, in order to accomplish God’s purposes for his creation. 

But what does this goal mean for us? How should modern Christians respond to the idea that Jesus’ goal is to turn the entire world into God’s kingdom? Well, the simple answer is that we should make God’s kingdom the main goal for our lives, too. Whatever other goals we have — making a living, providing for our families, staying healthy, getting an education — they should all be pursued in ways that further the kingdom of God. As Jesus taught in Matthew 6:33:

Seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).