Jesus has completed his ministry on earth. His work is finished (John 19:30). He has some everything he had to do and could to establish the Kingdom.
Jesus death and resurrection earned him authority over heaven and earth.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matt 28:18).
He now reigns as king of heaven and earth, so he does not need to Return to establish his Kingdom.
Jesus gave authority over the earth to all his disciples him and commissioned them to go forth and receive his kingdom (Matt 28:19-20).
The Church does not build the Kingdom. We receive the Kingdom, as the Holy Spirit works
The Holy Spirit has all the fullness of God. The devil is a fallen angel who is constrained by time and can only be in one place at time. Only one third of the angels fell from grace, so two thirds of the angels are still working for Jesus. The spiritual forces working for Jesus far outnumber those working for evil.
The Devil was totally defeated by the cross.
Jesus can accomplish far more in the present age through the Holy Spirit, than he ever could by returning to Jerusalem. Whereas Jesus is confined by place and time, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent and omnipresent. That is why Jesus said it was better for him to go away, so the Holy Spirit could come (John 16:7). Working through the Spirit, Jesus can extend his power and influence throughout the entire earth.
The Holy Spirit is the kingdom builder. He will work in the church to bring all things into submission to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit hears what Jesus is saying and reveals it to his people. When most of the people on earth obey the voice of the Spirit, they will be doing Jesus will. God's will would be being done on earth, so his kingdom would have come.
Sin is an obstacle to the Kingdom, but the Spirit is able to convict the world of sin and teach people to obey Jesus (John 16:8).
The Holy Spirit has not yet given Kingdom building his best shot, because he is restrained until the Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24).
The last obstacles to the Kingdom will be removed during a Season of Distress.
The second-last obstacle to the kingdom that must be removed is faith in human government. For the last few centuries, political leaders have promised to solve every problem on earth. The people of the world have fallen for these false promises and put their faith in human government.
Human government has reached a climax in the emergence of democratic nationalism, but this will prove to be a false hope.
During the Season of Distress, human government will collapse and political rulers will flee and hide. Faith in human government will be destroyed forever, opening the way for the government of God.
The last obstacle to the Kingdom will be removed by the Calling of the Jews. During the Times of the Gentiles, Satan has authority to hassle and hound the Jewish people. Whenever he wants to work evil on earth, he stirs up people against the Jews and then he has power to do evil. Hitler is one example.
The state of Israel has been a humanistic project, founded on political manipulation and military power. Many Christians have fallen for the clever propaganda that surrounds it. The rottenness at the heart of the nation will be exposed during the Season of Distress.
The Season of Distress will really get underway, when violent men in Israel take actions to fulfil a despicable vision for their nation. They will fail badly (Dan 11:14). Most Christians will be disillusioned with Israel, and the nations will turn against it with a vengeance, which will culminate in Palestine being invaded by the United States.
The next big event on earth is the Calling of the Jews. The people of Israel will come to faith in Jesus by having their spiritual eyes opened, not by Jesus returning to Jerusalem.
When the nation of Israel reaches rock bottom and confidence in military power is broken in fulfilment of judgement, the nation will be rescued by Christian prophets announcing judgement against the nations that have attacked it out of spite. This event will trigger the worldwide collapse of human government.
The Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of the Jewish people during the climatic time to produce a create flood of repentance. He will remove the blindness that has hardened their hearts to Jesus. A Christian remnant will preach the gospel with love and boldness, and most of Israel will come to faith in a very short season.
With the last obstacles removed, the Holy Spirit will be free to advance the Kingdom powerfully. The knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
The Kingdom of God is a voluntary kingdom that is totally different from the kingdoms of the world. Coercion and force have no place in it (Matt 26:53). Jesus established the Kingdom by submitting to the political powers and freely dying on the cross, a totally different way of doing kingdom. It will not be established by military power and political coercion, but by suffering and service.
Jesus rules in a totally different way from other kings. No threats! No shouting! No Fear! No detailed regulations! No coercion! No force! No security services seeking out opposition! No torture for opponents of the Kingdom!
Jesus whispers in our ears through the voice of the Spirit. He does not force us to do things that we hate to do, so obeying his voice is freedom and joy. Jesus Kingdom comes when most people in earth obey that voice, because they love Jesus.
God is not stingy. He will not be satisfied with getting a couple of billion people into heaven. It would be an insult to his grace. God's mercy and the enormous sacrifice of Jesus deserve a hundred billion people in heaven.
To get hundreds of billions of people into the kingdom, life on earth will have to go on for a good many more generations yet. God promised at least five times that he is faithful to a thousand generation (Deut 7:9, 1 Chron 16:15, Ps 105:8). Some numbers in scriptures are used figuratively, but if any number deserves to be taken literally, surely it is this one. For God is to keep this promise covenant, a thousand generations of people would have to live on earth subsequent to his promise. A new generation is born on earth about every twenty years, so we have had about 500 generations since the time of Abraham. This means that we could have another 500 generations on earth, or 10,000 years, to fulfil God's promise. That would be just about right to get the full number of people that God wants into the kingdom.
When Jesus returns at the consumption of all things, he will receive the kingdom that has been prepared for him by his church and the Holy Spirit(1 Cor 15:25). He will hand it over to Father, who will be all in all (1 Cor 15:24).
Who is best equipped to bring in the Kingdom of God?
b. The Holy Spirit
How long will the Kingdom of God last?
a. Thousand Years
b. Thousand Generations
What is Israel's role in the Kingdom?
a. The centre from which the Kingdom is established
b. An obstacle to the Kingdom until the Holy Spirit opens their eyes.
Jesus report card?
a. Jesus must return and finish a half done job.
b. Jesus has finished his work
How will the world come to salvation?
a. Seeing Jesus when he returns
b. The Holy Spirit drawing people to Jesus.
The answer to all of these questions is b.
Jesus will not return as soon as Christians expect. The stream of teaching that spreads this view has been wrong over and over again for more than 200 years. The almost universal belief that second coming is close at hand makes Christians pessimistic about the Kingdom of God.
Jesus Big Prophecy does not give signs of the second coming. Matt 24:1-35, Mark 13:1-31, Luke 21:5-36 describe events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem. These events have already taken place. Jesus was answering the disciples question about when the temple would be smashed. When Jesus goes onto the second question about signs of his parousia, he states clearly that there will be no signs.
The Book of Revelation is not a description of the lead up to the second coming. It describes the removal of the last two obstacles to the Kingdom: the calling of the Jews and the collapse of human government.
The Last Days are finished. Most Christian find this hard to accept, because they confuse the last days (plural) of the Jewish nation with the last day (singular) when Jesus will return. The last days refer to the period of time between the ministry of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Looking for a Rapture has made Christians escapist.
The doctrine that Jesus will return to establish the Kingdom is Satan's best lie. He has used this lie to cripple the church, by fooling us into believing that the church will not come during this season. He has fooled us into believing that we can sit back and wait, because Jesus will come and so it for us. Unfortunately, that is a false hope.
The Millennium is not a future event. This number 1000 is used to indicate that God's people are to reign throughout the present age, from Pentecost to the Parousia. The use of such a large number also indicates that this age will go on for a long time.
The Binding of Satan is not a future event, because he was destroyed by the cross. The reason Satan still seems to be so active is that the church has failed to realise the full extent of what Christ has achieved. The church has the police power to enforce Jesus judicial victory over Satan, so he will continue to act up until the church forces him to recognise the sentence that was passed against him. He will not be bound in some future event, but when the church begins using the authority that Jesus has given us.
The last of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel came after the 69th week as would be expected, which means that the prophecy was totally fulfilled between the birth of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem. We do not need to insert a huge unbiblical gap to twist this passage into giving Satan authority for a seven-year tribulation (ditto for the Abomination of Desolation).
The Tribulation is not the next big event. The world still has to go through a Season of Distress, but the "greatest tribulation" occurred, when Jerusalem was besieged and destroyed by the Roman armies in AD 70. Jesus said that the desolation would be unequalled ever (Matt 24:20-22). On the other hand, tribulation is actually a normal part of the Christian life (John 16:33, Acts 14:22).
The Antichrist is not a future ruler of the world sets himself up to rule the world from a throne in the temple in Jerusalem. The word antichrist is only used four times in the whole Bible, and each time in the letters of John. He writes that many antichrists have already come and explains that the title refers to any person who spreads false belief about Jesus.
The Beast of Revelation is not a person. It is a nation that dominates the world, just as Rome, Greece, Persia, Babylon, Egypt and Assyria did in the past. Giving the name "Antichrist" to the Beast of Revelation and Daniel has no basis in the scriptures. Their beasts are nations that dominate huge empires. Renaming the Beast turns a nation into a person, which is misleading and wrong.
Most Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is a failure, and that Jesus will have to Return to do the job that the Holy Spirit could not get done.
Jesus return cannot achieve anything spiritual that would break the forces of evil. Seeing Jesus will not be enough to cause the people of the world to repent and obey him. Many people saw Jesus when he lived on earth, but continued to reject him.
The Kingdom of God will not be established by force. The popular idea of Jesus sitting in Jerusalem and using an "iron fist" to crush all opposition is repulsive and contrary to the gospel. What is more, it would not work. Jesus would not be able to eliminate evil by sitting on a throne in Jerusalem. He could control those in the immediate vicinity, but those further abroad would escape his power. His followers could track evil people down and "zap" them, but that would just increase their hostility to Jesus. He might be able to gain control of the world, but it would not be very pleasant place to live.
For Jesus to rule the earth from Jerusalem, the church would have to become a giant bureaucracy. The saints would take orders from Jerusalem so there would not place for initiative and exercise their talents. Being a cog in a giant bureaucracy does not sound like the hope to which we were called. In a bureaucratic age, this idea appeals to men who do not wish to take responsibility, but God would prefer men to be responsible, and exercise authority in obedience to the Word and the Spirit. Unfortunately, Christians still have the yearning for a messiah with a rocket launcher who will "blow away" their enemies.
Israel is redundant, except as a place to live and serve God. In the Old Testament, the activity of the Holy Spirit was sporadic, so God used special places and special people. The Cross and Pentecost changed everything.
God no longer has special people. The Holy Spirit has been poured out on all flesh. Everyone who is called by his name can hear him speak. Every believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, so we do not need to go to a special place to meet with him. We can meet with our Comforter in a shopping mall in New Orleans just as easily as in a church in Jerusalem. God he does not need a temple as his dwelling place.
Jesus sacrifice on the cross was perfect and complete. God does not want sacrifices re-instituted in Jerusalem, whether exemplary or memorial.
We are kingdom of priests, so God does not to re-establish the levitic priesthood in Jerusalem.
The scriptures require Christians to bless Israel and pray for the Jewish people (which is not the same as blessing the Israeli state). Some Christians go further and develop a huge passion for Israel. Perhaps they are descendants of Israel without knowing it, or called to share the gospel with the Jewish people, or possibly both. This passion is not mandatory and many Christians do not share it. They should not be condemned.
Jesus does not have to come Back to Jerusalem to rule the world. He is already reigning as King of Kings. If people would obey the voice of the Spirit, his authority would be complete.
Israel is important for the gospel and the Kingdom, because the fullness of the Jews removes the last obstacle to the victory of the Kingdom.