The Fullness of the Kingdom
Open Your Bible
Psalm 46:1-11, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Revelation 22:1-21
BY Kara Gause
Jesus’s return will usher in a spiritual and physical reality in which the heavens and earth are fully renewed, where He reigns as faithful King with His redeemed people forever.
Throughout my elementary school years, I managed to milk Albert Einstein for all he was worth. Year after year, I’d recycle my “research” for the annual biography project (subject: always Einstein). I really loved the art portion of the assignments, getting to draw his wild, unruly hair and cheeky twinkle in the eye, perhaps that tongue he used to wag at the camera. Today, photographs of him reveal more wariness than my youth was trained to see. Life grows complicated, as the scientist certainly knew.
Well-acquainted with scientific research himself, Einstein is often credited with this little ditty: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Now, to my knowledge, Einstein didn’t give much credence to religion of any sort—only God Himself knows his heart. Still, Einstein’s point applies to spiritual life in general, doesn’t it? The tangible “stuff” we look to accumulate on this side of eternity may be counted and stacked, displayed and gazed upon with self-admiration, but we can’t take it with us to the other side of eternity. That stuff does not translate there, doesn’t travel well, so to speak.
The things that really do count and matter most are not so easily quantified. I cannot take a photograph of the countless conversations that have drawn me closer to Jesus. Those who’ve prayed for me in earnest may have nothing tangible to show for it. Messy and imperfect though it may be, the Christian community I’ve experienced through deep comfort and gentle rebuke bears no trophy for the faithful. Their wisdom and kindness, their care and casseroles, their tears—the world gives no prizes for these. But not so in God’s kingdom!
God’s kingdom may not be seen or accounted for in the ways this world asks of it, but kingdom things can still be felt and experienced, can’t they? They are discerned and perceived through the lenses of humility and wonder. They are realized in the way we love one another and the world, the way we long for gospel truth to be known. This is how we practice and experience the presence of our King and the fullness of His kingdom today.
We can know as much about this physical world as Einstein, but miss the Designer for the design. What are we missing as we strive to accumulate accolades and wealth that we cannot take with us and do not advance God’s purposes?
We are meant for so much more. He “has made us a kingdom and priests to our God, and [we] will reign on earth” one day (Revelation 5:10). We have yet to experience the immeasurable fullness of God’s kingdom, but the fullness of God Himself and His love are already ours (Ephesian 3:17–19). He has come and will come again in grandeur—we will see Him face to face! (1Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 22:4). For now, His kingdom has come in us. May it be on earth as it is heaven. Amen.