Two Kingdoms, One King

Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching from Acts 8:9-25. What jumps out of that passage is the idea of two kingdoms: The kingdom of man and the kingdom of God. And they are most definitely at odds with one another (aka they don’t coexist, my friends). A man named Simon is saying he “is the power of God” (because of his incredible magical feats) and is calling himself somebody great and has led the people in the city of Samaria to call him “Great“. But when people hear the good news from Phillip “about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ,” they believe and are baptized. What is true here? That one kingdom is greater than the other, despite, the so-called “greatness” of the lesser kingdom. And there is one king. His name is Jesus. And His greatness is determined by His ability to be the solution for our greatest need. You see, the people of Samaria, although amazed by the magical powers and prowess of Simon, could not be rescued, forgiven, and delivered by his powers and prowess. Only Jesus and His gospel could accomplish that within the lives of these people. They knew this.

Every single day, we are presented with two kingdoms (three if you count the kingdom of darkness – “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” Col 1:13). We also every single day have the option to submit ourselves to either kingdom.

  • The one kingdom (the kingdom of man) is where we are the king and is where our idols are the source, object, and application of our worship.
  • The other kingdom (the kingdom of God) is where Jesus is KING, and where he is the source, object, and application of our worship.

This morning, Ashlee and I were doing our normal Monday morning sync up, where we read Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” and then pray for each other, and a wonderful thing happened. What we read spoke directly to this issue. Of course Spurgeon says it a whole lot better than I can, so here you go.

 

“I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.”
Ecclesiastes 10:7
Upstarts frequently usurp the highest places, while the truly great pine in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence whose solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it is so common a fact, that none of us should murmur if it should fall to our own lot. When our Lord was upon earth, although he is the Prince of the kings of the earth, yet he walked the footpath of weariness and service as the Servant of servants: what wonder is it if his followers, who are princes of the blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and contemptible persons? The world is upside down, and therefore, the first are last and the last first. See how the servile sons of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while Jezebel is boasting in the palace; yet who would wish to take the places of the proud rebels? and who, on the other hand, might not envy the despised saints? When the wheel turns, those who are lowest rise, and the highest sink. Patience, then, believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time.
Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves order, and he therefore sets our powers and faculties in due rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may keep under our body and bring it into subjection. We were not new created to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Allow Jesus to define what greatness is. As Spurgeon said, “Patience, then, believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time.”

Allow Jesus to rule and reign over your life today, no matter how “not-so-great” you may feel.

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