By Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
The story of Jesus does not end at the resurecction. It is actually the beginning. That is why when you talk about the resurrection, there is hope. The resurrection tells you that there is more. When you think of the Christian life, many are deceived into thinking that all will be well. They think their life will be problem-free. But that is not always the case. When you look at the resurrection, the saga continues. Read the Bible and look at the lives of Joseph, Daniel and David. Their lives were not always a bed of roses. Why? Because it is of the world. And this world is broken, after all. Keep your hopes up especially when you feel that you are not ok. There is more.
Many people do not know the history of the church. Why are you in church? When Jesus rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost. That was the birth of the church. In the New Testament, stories about the life of Jesus were collected. Signs, wonders and miracles were recorded. Christians were martyred too. You have no idea what it took for the gospel to reach you. Many people were tortured and killed. How precious is that thought? Though there were martyrs, the church flourished and grew.
After the age of martyrs, Constantine appreciated and revived the church. It became the universal church, which is known as Catholic. This was the Age of the Church Fathers who started writing. Apologists came out defending the faith. Church councils gathered and righted the wrongs of the Bible. Councils were confirming and approving what was already written, saying that the only way to heaven is Jesus, through faith, by the grace of God.
Different translations of the Bible came out - Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Also, amazing ministries like meditation and reflection were pioneered by the monks. This was the Age of the Christian Empire, so-called because it was embraced by the Romans, led by Constantine. The church then focused their organization on the popes, saying that they were ordained by God, thus, all they say are also ordained by Him. They became very powerful but they also became very abusive. They made themselves rich and the church had a great split. Every time the church becomes focused on men, the church splits. This time, it happened 1000 years after it was last united. It split into the Catholic Church with the pope as its leader and the Eastern Orthodox Church who denounced the pope and wants to go back to the word of God.
During the Middle Ages, there came the Crusades, who wanted to get back land from the Muslims to give back to the Holy Land. There came great wars which were all unsuccessful. So many people died. It was very shameful because Jesus came, not with a sword, but with the Word of God.
The Inquisitions came wherein universities and churches were built. Universities and churches laden with stained-glass mosaic windows were built to depict all of God’s wonderful creation. This was the Middle Ages. But a new movement started by Martin Luther King, called the Age of Reformation, founded a new denomination that was not of the pope. Reformists believe that God’s word, faith, grace, and Christ alone is for and to the glory of God. The church split again, and there came the Protestant Reformation. Today, there are over 45,000 Christian denominations. It was a united church that got even more divided because it became focused on man.
From there, there was an Enlightenment. Secularism said that the teachings of the church is old school and science is more important, giving way to a belief called Atheism. But even so, the Age of Great Revival came wherein a great awakening occurred. The Evangelicals tried to restore God to public life. The Age of Progress brought about industrialization. The church was doing its work in sharing the gospel to different lands. They used social service ministries like hospitals and orphanages. This was all pioneered by the church.
The the era of the wars came in during the Age of Ideology. New gods arose in the secular world; demigods like Nazism, Communism and Democracy. Where is God in all of this?
In the present time, these ideologies still exist. Because of secularism, the church and state were split. They cannot mingle in each other’s affairs. In the past, the king had prophets by their side and they worked as one. Now, the people were getting tired of the church’s views and wanted to make their own.
This is the Era of the Church. The truth is what they think is right. But a new era is coming. And it will come in your time. The church is really supposed to be a representation of the bride of Christ. But it is broken; that is why many do not come to God. But the church is moving forward.
Do you know what God did during the pandemic? The physical church disappeared. But God reminded you who the church really is. You are the church. So God was not supposed to get out of the picture even if the physical church was not functioning. Because the church is alive in your homes. Fathers are the pastors of their homes. It became man-centric again, looking at your pastors and bishops to speak to you about God. The Lord is shaking and rebuking you again. God is the one who puts leaders in your midst. Be united. Now is the time of the Kingdom it is the Kingdom Era. Luke 17:20-21 says, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” God’s kingdom is not of this world. That is why you pray the Lord’s prayer. There is a real King, and He does not have any color or race. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Kingdom of God is being established right now. He is shaking every church because He wants you to look at Him only.
What does the Kingdom of God look like? This is when you preach the gospel and they accept Him in their hearts. When souls are saved and lives are changed, everything else will fall into place.
What does the Kingdom Culture look like in the Kindom Era? You are the sons and daughters of God. You represent the King. You have a personal responsibility in spreading the gospel. You move like royalty because you are a prince and a princess. You have strong work ethics. You are the best example and model because you are of the Kingdom. You know how to honor authority. You lift up others and do not put anybody down. There is order in your family too. When you have the Kingdom Culture, the Kingdom People will have compassion for the weak, the sick, the suffering and the lost. They do not turn their backs on them but face storms head on. You can command them to go away. All authority has been given to you. Go to the world and share the gospel to the ends of the earth. Use the power God gave you.
Globalization is now taking place. Because of the digital world, there are open standards. These things push for a one world government. It seems like you cannot solve the problems of the world so the world is solving its problems on its own. Matthew 24:5-8 says, “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” This may all be happening, but the Holy SPirit is moving too. Acts 2:17-18 says, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” It is Kingdom Era in this season.
When the move of the Holy Spirit is felt, it means the gospel will be expanding. Why do you need to share the gospel? Because God said so. There will be massive evangelism. The number of people across the globe is 7.9 billion. How many have declared that they are Christians? 2.6 billion - 1/2 of the population. You have a lot of work to do. Some are only sitting pretty in church every Sunday. God wants you to participate in the mission of sharing the gospel to the ends of the earth. You do not know where God will bring you but your “yes” is important to Him.
What does the Kingdom Era look like? It is preparing the bride, the Body of Christ, and lifting up only one name, the name of Jesus Christ only. He is returning as the bridegroom. Revelations 19:7-9 says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Get ready. Prepare yourself., Body of Christ. This is not about any church. Now is the time for the King to return and you are invited. If you are a child of God, you are invited to the wedding feast of the lamb. How will you wear the white linen? Do good deeds as God’s holy people.
Why is this important? Because you are important to God. 1Peter 1:13 says, “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” God is calling you to prepare, not only your body, but your mind as well. Exercise self-control. The King is coming.
His resurrection gives hope for His return. Be excited because God is coming. Revelations 21:1-3 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.” A whole new earth comes down from heaven and God lives with His people.
The song “All Things New” comes from Revelation 21. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” With God, all things are new. You will have glorified bodies when He returns. Revelation 21:6-7 says, “And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.” He is giving you new life. You will never thirst again because there is a spring of water of life. You will come and inherit the land. That is His promise and He will make all things new.
Choose Jesus because He is coming. Some are still choosing the world. It is all or nothing. Choose Him all the time. Advance the kingdom while you wait.Share the gospel. Heal the sick. Cast out demons. Raise the dead. That is your advancement of the kingdom while you wait for the Lord. There is a great assignment waiting. Keep your hope alive. No matter how difficult your circumstance, be hopeful. Jesus is coming soon.