Exhortations

The Kingdom-At Hand

The kingdom of God is at hand – Where is it?

While respecting the beliefs and sensitivities of all, we must first clearly affirm our faith in Christ, the one Savior of humanity, a faith we have received as a gift from on high, not as a result of any merit of our own. We say with Paul, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith” (Rom 1:16). Christian martyrs of all times – including our own – have given and continue to give their lives to bear witness to this faith, in the conviction that every human being needs Jesus Christ, who has conquered sin and death and reconciled humanity to God.

It is God, who is rich in mercy that Jesus Christ has revealed to us as the Father’s saving grace. On the way to the cross, the Son had been insulted and humiliated. On the cross, they hung him almost barely naked and stabbed him with a sharp-pointed sphere, and through the wound that was created came out the water of salvation, and his blood flowed through his body, giving us a new life with the Father.  Jesus, the Son of God, shows Christ is the revelation and incarnation of the Father’s mercy.

Salvation is the reward for those who acknowledge the mystery of the Father, and his love for humanity was manifested through the Spirit freely given by the death of Jesus on the cross. The death and resurrection of Christ made way for the kingdom of God to be fulfilled, delivered, and proclaimed on hand to all the recipients of the church. The church is the body of Christ within which God built the kingdom. It works perfectly and definitively as part of the plan the Father and the Son created. The cornerstone is that the kingdom will not be at hand without him.

God, the Creator and Father of humanity carried out His loving plan and formed humanity for himself through one man; he cared for and provided him everything he needed, including a company called Woman. As humanity populated the earth, God extended His blessings to them. Genesis 12:3-ESV: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse (punish), and in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” God established a covenant with all humanity, as recorded in Genesis 9 after the deluge; He promised Noah, his descendants, and all earth creatures never to destroy all creations with a flood again—Genesis 9:1-17. God wants to continue life on earth. He said, “Be fruitful and multiply; increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”

God’s plan is for the kingdom to come into existence, and it can only happen with a human’s pure heart. So why does God keep giving humans a new beginning instead of wiping it out from the face of the earth? Humans, though, are sinners. God wants us to know that He loves and cares for us and sent His only begotten Son, who gave his life for our sins. What more must we prove that we must draw back to Him before the final time is over?

The church is still at work, and many still cannot get it; what more is the kingdom? Jesus taught about the kingdom at hand and about the Father, but many religious leaders during Jesus’ time on earth were in conflict and wanted him to perish.   These were the people that sent him to be nailed on the cross. Those people already had the mindset to get him because Jesus speaks in parables.

The disciples asked him, ‘Why do you speak to the people in parables?’ He replied, ‘Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.’ Matthew 13:10-11.

Jesus used parables to illustrate God’s Kingdom, and all people from all backgrounds are welcomed into the kingdom. These illustrations alone signify that Jesus Christ’s word is addressed universally, not just in one region or exclusively for one race. As described in the illustrations, all we need is faith, even as small as the mustard seed, which is more than enough to open the kingdom’s gate. The idea is to have a seed to begin the Kingdom of God to grow. Start small in the lives of believers until it grows and ask to be watered with the Word of God.

The kingdom’s presence among believers, as Jesus taught, would be a time of peace and blessing on earth. Evil would be defeated and judged for wickedness, and suffering would cease.

Many Christians today believe that the Kingdom of God is at hand, and Jesus said it during his time on earth. It is present within us, and we will witness the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Those who believe that the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God is still to come when  Jesus returns. They did not understand the meaning of what Jesus said: when he left, we would not see him anymore, but the Holy Spirit, whom he asked the Father to send, would be in his place.

God is all in all!

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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