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“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mt. 3:2


his is not the church. Oh please, everyone who is up to their elbows in dishwater with Martha, please listen to John the baptizer. This is not the church, at least not the church as we know it. It is not a call to come to Sunday School Picnics, cake walks, or AWANA meetings where you can trade in your points for some trinket made in China. The kingdom of heaven, I am sure, is not church ladies gossiping while they are cutting out un-needed tea towels to send off to some missionary in Africa. The kingdom John was proclaiming while dressed in coarse garments of camel hair, was as far above the local church as heaven is above the earth. One group of church ladies taught that the kingdom was something after the church age where they would be flying around from planet to planet having tea parties. Give me a break! Jesus did not die on the cross so we could have tea with the Vicar.

History is littered with kingdoms. One is piled upon the bones of another. Sometimes called dynasties, they go on today. There was Summer, and Babylon, Persia and Egypt. There was Greece, and Rome, and the Phoenicians, to say nothing of the Aztecs, Mayan, and Ming dynasties. Each rose on a sea of war and blood, and politics. The kingdom that was being announced by John was not one that had anything to do with killing the Romans, or purging the Supreme Court of Saducees. It was a government unlike any the world had ever seen. Isaiah said of Immanuel, “the government shall be upon his shoulders.” As Alexander’s armies marched to within sight of lesser kings, each bowed their heads in submission. Jesus needs no army. He comes, we repent and we bow before Him. Then the Kingdom of heaven is not only “at hand,” my soul, it is here.