On the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?” From this single sentence, many bible teachers and pastors have theorized that […]
Prophets in the Old Testament spoke of a coming Kingdom that would endure forever and grow until it filled the earth (see 1 Chron. 17:12; Dan. 2:44) this was contrary to the thinking of all the ancient kingdoms, such as the Persian, Greek, or Roman, where people fatalistically believed that kingdoms rise and fall.
Jesus walked the streets of Israel declaring, “The kingdom of God is at hand”— which meant that the reign of God in the earth had begun. In several parables Jesus explained how the Kingdom of God is growing like seeds in the earth: first they sprout, then they develop roots, then they push upward, and finally they develop into mature plants (see Mark 4:2- 8; 26-29). In another parable He explained how the Kingdom of God continually growing in the earth like seeds in soil or yeast in dough. They believed the Kingdom of God would grow as the Church grows until it fills the whole earth.
Christianity Unshackled, Harold Eberle p.129-130
(see also Eberle and Trench, Victorious Eschatology, World Cast Publishing 2006)
The most paradoxical and at the same time the most unique and characteristic claim made by Christianity is that in the Resurrection of Christ the Lord from the dead, man has completely conquered death, and that “in Christ” the dead will rise again to enjoy eternal life, in spiritualized and transfigured bodies and in a totally new creation. This new life in the Kingdom of God is to be not merely a possibly received inheritance but in some sense the fruit of our agony and labor, love, and prayers in union with the Holy Spirit. Such a fantastic and humanly impossible belief has generally been left in the background by liberal Christianity of the 19th and early 20th centuries, but anyone who reads the New Testament objectively must admit that this is the doctrine of the first Christians.
Thomas Merton, The New Man, 1961