“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it,” (Matthew 11:12)
God sent John to prepare the way. John came to testify about the need for the Chosen One who would save us all. In 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 5 we are told that sin and death entered the world through Adam. The account of how this happened is recorded in Genesis 3. But as there was a “first man” who ushered sin and death into the world, there is also a “last man” who vanquishes sin and death (and its author) from the world. Adam and Eve were given dominion over all creation, which remained in a state of perfect peace and harmony as long as man acknowledged God. But Adam was tricked, just as people are tricked today, into thinking that he could become like God. Satan is very clever; he always attempts to manipulate the appetites of man and make evil look appealing. By listening to Satan’s advice rather than heed God’s warning, Adam (and everyone who continues in Adam’s legacy) inadvertently gave Satan dominion over him –the servant became master and the master became slave. However, Satan’s dominion is coming to an end. There are three areas of life in which men have tried to be God separate from any accountability to God: 1) Dominion over economy, 2) Dominion over nature and 3) Dominion over the whole earth. A sad reality is that Adam already had dominion over all of these areas but lost this blessing when he believed Satan. However, the Chosen One has come, in the form of a man, to reestablish God’s dominion over the earth, as well as man’s dominion over the earth with God. When Jesus refuted each of Satan’s temptations, Satan must have known that his days were numbered; here was the “last man” who refused dominion over economy (bread), nature (miracles) and the earth (kingdoms of the world). Instead of accepting the lie behind the test that Adam failed, Jesus passed the test by asserting God’s rightful dominion over the earth, over man and over Himself. The Kingdom was forcefully coming. Jesus said in John 6:27: “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval." The people then asked, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Not a bad question. Don’t we also want to know the answer to that question? Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." Believing in Jesus in not just mental acknowledgment of what He has said as truth. True belief causes transformation. When we trust Jesus at His Word, we naturally do what He commands. And while we would like to think we have control over this world, or even our “own” world, either God does or Satan does. And our actions testify to what we really believe. If Jesus is Lord of “our” world, then we live like Jesus is Lord of our world. And the Kingdom forcefully grows when we believe Jesus –the lost are found and the found are well-founded. How will you prove today that God should be the Rightful Lord over this world –and you? God requires us to believe in the One who has His seal of approval: Jesus, the Last Adam. Let’s pass the test with Him and actively bring the world back to its Rightful Owner.
In Jesus’ love,