(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
The Increase of His Government
29th December 2007
Every Christmas, churches tend to read a number of Bible passages that talk about the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I'm sure we believe most them, but there's one well-known "Christmas" reading which I'm not sure many of us do believe, really. It's this one:
If, like me, you're a fairly middle-of-the-road evangelical Christian, then you're absolutely convinced about the first line. Jesus was born for us, He came to Earth as a child, and now He reigns on high, Lord of Lords and King of Kings - see Revelation 17v14 and 19v16 (excuse me while I say HALLELUJAH! as I write this). The government is certainly on His shoulders.
And, for every Christian, it's easy to see that Jesus Christ is, indeed, our Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace (although calling Jesus "Father" may cause us to think a little deeper about our understanding of the Trinity).
But the next line...
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
I get the impression that, on the whole, most of the church has given up even thinking this might be true. But it's as much a part of scripture as the rest. It's as much a part of scripture as Matthew and Luke. Can you - will you - dare to believe it?
The church in my country is on the defensive at the moment. Christianity seems to be the only religion that people feel free to insult (perhaps because we don't threaten to murder those who do so). We're often held up to ridicule in our own society. But Christianity is the fastest-growing religion in the world! And, according to Isaiah 9v7, it always will be! God has decreed it! Listen:
Even in my country, the tide will turn again; God will visit us again in blessing. We are to pray for His revival power, and to expect it!
Earlier, I mentioned Revelation 17v14. It says:
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings ó and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.
In fact, when you consider the authority and power of God, it is inconceivable that He will not reign victorious in human history. God is achieving this victory gradually, as Jesus said He would. But He's doing it, and He will continue to do it.
Why can we be confident of the ever-increasing influence of the gospel throughout the world? Let's go back to Isaiah 9:
God's continuing victory on Earth will continue to happen because He is the King and His zeal will accomplish this! Rest assured, dear Christian: Our Lord, the Eternal God, has infinite power and absolute authority. And He will make it happen!
May I me ask you to read Psalm 2 again, and let the truth of it go deep into your heart as you seek to serve the King of Kings through 2008 and - fellow Christian soldier - rejoice that you're on the winning side!
Jesus Christ - the King of Kings - will continue to rule Heaven and Earth, and His government and His peace will continue to increase. No-one and nothing can stop Him!