Unless the Reader is very familiar with Pre-Trib, what we present here will be SHOCKING! All through Christ's ministry He spoke many times about the "Kingdom of God" also calling it the "Kingdom of Heaven." At the beginning of His Ministry, Jesus said things indication that that Kingdom was at hand; words that implied it was going to happen while He was doing His ministry here on earth. Pre-Trib has a Doctrine stating that God's Kingdom is not for the Church, but is ONLY for the Jews. The ONLY purpose for the Kingdom of God, according to Pre-Trib, is to fulfill an Old Testament Promise made to the Jews to some day rule the nations. Pre-Trib says the Church will be Raptured to Heaven, leaving Planet Earth for the Jew's Tribulation and then their Millennial Kingdom.
Hot Potato - No One Wants?
History is clear that, when Jesus came the first time, the Jews did not want Him to be their King.
He was too humble and gentle. They rejected Him and killed Him! They wanted a Military Kingdom that dominated the rest of the World, not a Humble King that wanted them to spread the Gospel of Salvation to the rest of the world through kindness. Military Dominance was not God's plan when Jesus came 2000 years ago. Is Pre-Trib making the same error that the Jews made 2000 years ago? They are ABSOLUTELY, on two counts:
1 - Pre-Trib is proclaiming that the Jews, during the Millennium, will inherit the Kingdom that was denied them 2000 years ago. They wanted to be the Dominant Nation; the Boss over the whole World. Jesus, however, wanted them to spread the Gospel of Salvation. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told them how they were to do this.
2 - The Church also refused to use the methods Jesus presented in the Sermon on the Mount. During the Dark Ages the Church tried to use Dominance to force the rest of the World into Christianity. Millions were killed by the "Church" simply because they refused join the "Church!"
"The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand"
Words from Jesus and John the Baptist seem to say that, during His ministry, Jesus offered the Jews an earthly Kingdom. Was this Kingdom available to them immediately, at the beginning of Jesus' ministry? This may be one of those unknowable things we'll not understand until we're in the Kingdom. Discovering the answers to these mysteries may be one of the many things we will do during the 1000 years in Heaven.
Could it Be?
Let’s look at a possibility. Underscore possibility, because we will be looking at a, "What if" situation. Much, maybe even most, Bible prophecies are conditional. Pretty much all prophecies that depend on human decisions and actions are conditional. Sadly we humans produce "worsed case scenarios" when it's left up to us.
The Kingdom of Heaven is AT HAND!
John the Baptist said, "Repent; for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matt.3:2).
"Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand" (Mk.1:14-15). "From that time Jesus began to preach and say, Repent; for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matt.4:17). Jesus sent Disciples two by two into Israel ONLY, telling them, "And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Mt.10:6-7).
He sent 70 Disciples, again, only to Israel, telling them to declare, "The Kingdom of God is nigh unto you" (Lk.10:11).
Was it NIGH Unto them? Was it AT HAND? Jesus said it was, so it must've been!
What Went Wrong?
Instead of embracing their opportunity, the Jews killed Jesus, shouting, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him" (Lk.23:21). "Let His blood be upon us and our children" (Matt.27:25). Was the action of the Jews that day the reason no Kingdom occurred while Jesus was here? Again, maybe that's one of those things we'll never know till we are in Heaven.
So, a full one third of our planet’s history has come and gone since Jesus said, "The Kingdom is at hand." Could it be that Christ's prophecy was conditional?
This rejection of Jesus brought about a very serious change in the Gospel of the Kingdom. Instead of there being an Earthly Kingdom from which the Jews could preach salvation to the rest of the world, Jesus began introducing a change. He told the Jews their chance was slipping away. "And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven; But the children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt.8:11-12).
At the end of His ministry, Jesus gave His Disciples another message: "So also when ye see these things come to pass, [the Tribulation] know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand" (Lk.21:31). "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached into all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt.24:14).
The Disciples didn’t understand. Three years earlier, Jesus sent His Disciples out in groups of two and told them to tell everyone that the Kingdom is at hand, but now He's telling them He’s going back to Heaven. He said, "Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God believe also in Me. In My Father’s house [Heaven, New Jerusalem, a City 1364 miles across and 1364 miles high] are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also" (Jn.14:1-3).
"My Kingdom is NOT of This World"
The very next day after telling His Disciples the above, Jesus told Pilate, "My Kingdom is NOT of this world (planet) … My Kingdom is NOT from here" (Jn.18:36).
He'd already told the chief priests and elders, "Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it" (Matt.21:43). What Nation did He give the Kingdom to?
What Nation was the Kingdom Given To?
Peter told us. Writing to The Church, he said, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an Holy Nation, a peculiar people (a people of His own)... Who in times past were not a people, but are now the People of God" (1Pet.2:9-10).
Kingdom Given to The Church!
Is the Church, rejecting the Kingdom of God just as the Jews did? It's well on its way because of a popular Theory being proclaimed within the Church! It says the Kingdom of God is NOT for the Church but for a future generation of Jews after the Church has been "Raptured."
2000 Years and Waiting!
The Disciples and Paul expected Jesus to return in their lifetime. There are two reasons we still wait. See Why Jesus Waits.
First, Jesus said all nations must "witness" the "Gospel of the Kingdom" in us. See our link The New Covenant. Instead of witnessing to the nations, we've stumbled and fumbled around for 2000 years!
Second, we've got to stop inventing Doctrines and Theories removing the Church from the New Covenant and the Kingdom of God. No more demonic doctrines like, "Grace Frees us to Disobey God's Law." And no more distracting doctrines declaring the New Covenant is not for the Church but for a future generation of Jews.
What Went Wrong? WE Went Wrong!
God offers us the power to be overcomers so that we can, "Inherit the Kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world" (Matt.25:34).
"Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart" (Jer.29:13).
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me, even as I overcame and am set down with My Father on His throne" (Rev.3:21).
"We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us" (Phil.4:13).
Why Does NO One Want God's Kingdom?
It does seem that the Kingdom of God is a Hot Potato! The Jews rejected it and rejected Jesus. Could it be that Christianity is making the same mistake with the Doctrine that says the Kingdom of God is NOT for them, but rather for a Future Generation of Jews that will be "Left Behind" after Christians have been "Snatched (Raptured) Away?" Could it be that the Powers of Darkness have succeeded in distracting and confusing the very people God intends His Kingdom for? If so, what are we doing about it? Let's join forces with the Holy Spirit in spreading the Truth!!
Thank you SO MUCH, Dear Reader for your time and interest. Let's continue Praying for God's Spirit to, "Guide us into all truth...and show us THINGS to COME" (Jn.16:13)! He promised He would! Let's claim that promise!!
Your Brother in Christ
Walter C. Martin Jr.
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