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The Final Superpower: The Kingdom of God

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ... You saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold ... The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure. —Daniel 2:44-45

In God's love, He revealed what will happen in the coming years so that we may not be discouraged, but instead have hope. The beast power of Rome will persecute God's people and rule the world with iron cruelty.

Revelation pictures the end-time superpower as a woman dressed in purple and scarlet, riding a on a scarlet beast. John vividly writes that she appeared "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Revelation 17:3-6). So this great superpower will be responsible for the killing of some of Jesus' own disciples in the end time, as well as bringing great cataclysm on the world at large.

Jesus Christ established the Kingdom of God

It is a dire and bleak image, but Jesus Christ will intervene before mankind can fully destroy himself. He will come in power to break the oppressive reign of the end-time superpower. It is at this time that the fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 2:34-35 comes to pass: "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors;the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the earth."

A Kingdom of Peace to Replace an Empire of War

As mentioned earlier a mountain can symbolize a nation or kingdom. The stone cut without hands pictures God's Kingdom that is established when Jesus returns. That it strikes and destroys the statue of Nebuchadnezzar's vision is indicative that God's Kingdom supplants and replaces the series of world superpowers that have ruled the earth for the last several thousand years. "Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'" (Revelation 11:15).

Compare this with Daniel's prophecy of the same event: "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed;and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people;it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:44).

This scripture indicates that the Kingdom of God will exist as a literal, world-ruling government, just as the beast power that will precede it will exist as a literal, world-ruling superpower. There will be a tangible Kingdom on earth which will rule over the "kingdoms of this world!" Zechariah 14:16 and Isaiah 2:2-4 clearly picture the people who live through the tribulation until Christ's return traveling to Jerusalem, which will be the capital of God's government, in order to learn God's ways and to worship Christ:

"And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16).

"Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills;and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people;they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:2-4).

God Is Inviting You to Be in His Kingdom

The greatest aspect of God's Kingdom is that the world of peace it will rule over is open and available to all mankind. Jesus was speaking to all who would listen when He said we should "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). This message of God's Kingdom and your potential to enter it was the very heart and core of Jesus' gospel message.

When we hear and understand the gospel of the Kingdomof God, Jesus expects us to repent and believe the good news about this Kingdom (Mark 1:14-15).

Accepting Jesus' command to repent and believe this message, this good news, is the first step to being a part of His Kingdom. We can turn to God for forgiveness and reconciliation through Jesus Christ and begin to live by the laws of the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus Christ. Those who refuse to live God's holy way of life will be refused entrance into the Kingdom of God and eternal life (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ;Galatians 5:19-21 ;Ephesians 5:5).

Jesus warned of obstacles that can prevent our entrance into the Kingdom (Matthew 5:20 ;Matthew 19:23-25 ;Mark 9:47 ;Luke 18:17 ;John 3:5). To enter the Kingdom, we must gain a proper outlook—a humble, teachable, childlike attitude—accompanied by real repentance, baptism and the receiving of God's Holy Spirit (Matthew 18:3 ;John 3:3-5 ;Acts 2:38).

If you want to know more about baptism and how your life can change, please also read our free Bible study aid The Road to Eternal Life. This knowledge is vital to your entering the Kingdom of God.

Seeking God's Kingdom must become our highest priority, no matter what the difficulties. Paul said, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). Jesus encourages us to overcome these difficulties by keeping the Kingdom of God as our primary goal (Matthew 6:33). He urges us to pray for God's Kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).

When our lives are devoted to seeking God's Kingdom, our outlook will be like the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. Notice these inspiring words about their mindset: "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth … Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them" (Hebrews 11:13, Hebrews11:16). The patriarchs considered themselves "strangers and pilgrims" because they looked forward to the Kingdom of God. Their lives were centered on that Kingdom, not on their physical, material life.

God reveals His wonderful truth to those He is calling now (John 6:44). Jesus Christ said His message would be preached at the end time before His second coming. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14).

The United Church of God is committed to proclaiming this message and invites you to follow Jesus Christ's calling to believe and respond to it.

The message Jesus brought is called, appropriately, the good news—the gospel—of the Kingdom of God. And it really is good news. It's the most wonderful news imaginable to mankind. Jesus Christ is asking you to believe that good news and seek first His Kingdom. If you do, Jesus said in Luke 12:32, it will be God's pleasure to give you the Kingdom!

Conclusion

The Kingdom of God, not the beast of Revelation, will be the true "Last Superpower"—the final Empire that will ever rule over the people of the earth. As Daniel 2:44 said, it will "consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." Not only does this indicate that the Kingdom has not yet been established, but it also verifies that the Kingdom is a real government that will exist on the earth! It will be a time of unprecedented peace, prosperity and true justice. This Kingdom was the focal point of Christ's gospel ministry, and the United Church of Godis dedicated to carrying out His commission to spread that gospel. For additional resources that you can access right now to learn about the Kingdom of God, check out our free Bible study aid The Gospel of the Kingdom.

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