Kingdom of Heaven: Was Balian of Ibelin a Reformed? (7)
For the final analysis, I think it is fitting to present here the summary of what is given by Anthony Hoekema in his article, “Amillennialism: Part III – A Brief Sketch of Amillennial Eschatology“.
- The kingdom of God is both present and future. That kingdom was predicted and prepared for in Old Testament times, was established on earth by Jesus Christ, was extended and expanded both in New Testament times, is operative in history now, and is destined to be revealed in its fullness in the life to come.
- That the kingdom was already present during Jesus’ earthly ministry is seen for example from these: “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Mt. 12:28, NIV) and “… behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Lk. 17:20-21) and “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col. 1:13-14) .
- That the kingdom of God was still future is seen for example from these: “… many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 8:11) and “The Lord … will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18) .
- The kingdom of God is the reign of God dynamically active in human history through Jesus Christ. History is not meaningless but meaningful. We know what the ultimate outcome of history will be. All of history must be seen as the working out of God’s eternal purpose: the glorification of his name, the ultimate triumph of his kingdom.
- The kingdom’s purpose is to redeem God’s people from sin and from demonic powers, and finally to establish the new heavens and the new earth. We eagerly look forward to the eternal dwelling together of God and his redeemed people on the new earth and heaven.
- The kingdom of God means nothing less than the reign of God in Christ over his entire created universe. “There is not a thumb-breadth of the universe about which Christ does not say, ‘It is mine.'” (Abraham Kuyper, renowned Dutch theologian and statesman)
- The kingdom of God demands of us all total commitment to Christ and his cause. Culture (art, science, etc.), reflecting as they do the glory of God, are to be pursued for his praise. All vocations are from God, and all that we do in everyday life is to be done to God’s praise, whether this be study, teaching, preaching, business, industry, or housework.
to be continued …
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- June 6, 2005 / 11:22