“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.“”
Revelation 11:15 NLT
Once again, an angel with a trumpet readied himself for his task. I’m reminded this morning of a regimental bugler, playing in a military campaign, sounding a call to change the events in a battle. his clear tones penetrating across the noise of the battle to ensure all the troops hear the message. This angel, the last of the seven, sounded a clarion call preceding the final terror, the final woe.
And after he sounded his note, there was a response. John, in his vision, heard, “loud voices shouting in heaven”. And what he heard marked a significant change in the status of the world. The ”loud voices” said, ”The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever”. The message cannot be clearer. Finally the time has come for the Kingdom of God to be established on earth. God’s Kingdom, to be ruled over by His Son, Jesus.
Jesus taught much about the Kingdom of God, (or the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew’s Gospel). All through His ministry He, by means of parables and illustrative stories relevant to His generation and the peoples around Him, taught what the Kingdom of God would be like. In Luke 17:20-21 we read Jesus’ response to a question offered by the Pharisees, “One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you””. So in this season of God’s grace we are in a time when we pilgrims are enjoying the benefits of His Kingdom. But it is obvious that the world we live in is not God’s Kingdom. Rather, the world as we know it is still under the curse of sin and the devil still rules. So we pilgrims are in the apparently anomalous situation of being citizens of God’s Kingdom but living in a world’s kingdom. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:20, “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Saviour“. And the second part of this verse is connected to our verse from Revelation today. One day Jesus will return as our Saviour to reign for eternity. We will be familiar with the verses from Isaiah 9:6-7, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” Zechariah prophesised that Jesus will reign from Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:3).
So when will the “Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” be established? The details appear at the end of the Book of Revelation so we will consider them in due course. In today’s verse, however, the “loud voices shouting in Heaven” declare its arrival is imminent.
Dear Lord. We look forward to that day when You will come to rule and reign in a time when this world becomes Your Kingdom. In faith, we welcome You this day and every day, for the rest of our lives. Amen.