As we begin this message, Derek states God’s ultimate goal for this present age: the coming of His kingdom. From Scripture, Derek expounds on this to show God’s concern for the poor and downtrodden. Sodom was judged for not caring about those less fortunate. Derek brings us to the present age, to warn us of the possibility of judgment.
All right. I’ve been asked to speak tonight on God’s three end time purposes. So, first of all I want to give you God’s goal for the present age. What is the goal to which God is working? You’ll find the answer in three words in Matthew 6:10, part of a prayer that we call the Lord’s Prayer. Most of us who have grown up with a Christian background have prayed this prayer more times than we can ever remember. Most of us did not realize what we were praying for. These are the words, “Your kingdom come.” Then it goes on, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So, the prayer is, “Your kingdom come on earth.” And that is the ultimate goal of God for the present age. It’s the coming of God’s kingdom on earth under God’s chosen King, the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe He will actually have an earthly kingdom and He will reign as a king. I believe this is the only solution to the problems of the world.
There is only one hope, it’s the coming of God’s kingdom on earth. Every committed Christian needs to be lined up with that hope. It says in 1 John 2:17:
“He who does the will of God abides forever.”
God’s will isn’t going to change. If there has to be any change it has to be in our will. But if we align our will with the will of God, if we make the purpose of God our purpose in life, we are as unshakable and undefeatable as the will of God. He who does the will of God abides forever. This is a crucial issue for every person here tonight. Are you aligned with God’s will? Is God’s purpose your purpose?
I would say for the great majority of churchgoers in this nation, that is not so. They’re involved in all sorts of religious activities but they’ve lost sight of the goal, the end and purpose which is the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth.
There are a great many passages of scripture that speak about this kingdom, I just want to read two. The first is from Daniel 2:44. We can’t go into the background of this but it’s the interpretation by Daniel of a vision that King Nebuchadnezzar had. He didn’t understand it and he couldn’t even remember his vision. Supernaturally God showed Daniel what the vision was and showed him the interpretation. This really is the climax. Daniel 2:44:
“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 those kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”
So God at a certain season in human history—and I believe myself it’s very close—is going to set up a kingdom which will stand forever, which will never pass away, never pass on to others. It will destroy utterly, totally, finally, completely, all rival kingdoms.
And then in Psalm 72 we have this prophetic picture of the Messianic kingdom. This is what is called a Messianic psalm. In other words, its theme is the kingdom of Messiah. Psalm 72. We will not read it all but just some verses. I want you to notice two main aspects of this kingdom. First of all, the essential requirement for peace is righteousness. Without righteousness there never will be peace. The politicians and other leaders who talk about peace but bypass righteousness are deceiving themselves and others. There never can be true peace without righteousness.
Secondly, this psalm emphasizes something which I think many Christians have—let’s say Evangelical or Full Gospel Christian—have not adequately appreciated; that is, God’s intense concern for the poor and the needy and the downtrodden.
So I’m going to read verses 1–4 and then verses 8–14. This is a picture of the kingdom and the King.
“Give the king your judgments, O God, and your righteousness to the king’s son. He shall judge your people with righteousness and your poor with justice. The mountains will bring peace to the people and the little hills by righteousness. He will bring justice to the poor of the people, He will save the children of the needy and will break in pieces the oppressor.”
Then going on to verse 8:
“He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river [that’s the River Euphrates] to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents. The kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before him and all nations shall serve him. For he will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and needy and will save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their life from oppression and violence, and precious shall be their blood in his sight.”
Basically, with exceptions, humanity does not care for the poor. The majority of our governments in the world today do not care for the poor. It’s very interesting, I hadn’t planned to say this but in Ezekiel 16:49 God paints the sins of Sodom. You all know Sodom was the city that was destroyed because of sodomy, homosexuality. You’d think that sodomy would be listed in the sins but it’s not. It says the sins of Sodom were pride, fullness of bread, abundance of idleness, and they did not strengthen the hands of the poor and the needy. Out of those conditions homosexuality arises. And, it’s out of those conditions that it has arisen in the United States and other western nations. But notice that the main condemnation of Sodom was that they did not strengthen the hands of the poor and the needy.
Basically in the world today two things are happening simultaneously. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Most of the political negotiations that take place are aimed to protect the rich.
The god of this world basically is mammon. It’s wealth. No matter how wealthy people get they still want to be wealthier. And, with some wonderful exceptions, the rich do not care for the poor. Within a few years the interest payments of the poorer nations will equal all the money that is allotted to them from the wealthy nations. In other words, they’ll be getting precisely zero.
This is something that I, as Geoff said, I’m not political but I have become increasingly aware that God is extremely concerned for the poor. The scripture says in countless different places that He will judge those who oppress the poor. This is one of the aspects of the kingdom of God, there will be justice for the poor—which there isn’t at the present time. If you are rich, basically you can get away with anything if you have enough money. If you don’t have much money there are a lot of things you can do that are legal but you won’t be able to do them.