And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ – Matthew 10:7
Jesus had called his initial 12 disciples and spent time with them instructing them in the ways of the kingdom of God. Once they had reached a point where Jesus felt they were to go and preach the Word to others, He told them that the message they should preach was, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The world needs to hear this message today!
What does it mean when Jesus say, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand?” The phrase “at hand” means that something is nearby or approaching or close. During the OT times, God only occupied one dwelling place on earth in the Most Holy Place between the wings of the cherubim over the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. His Spirit would “come upon” a person rather than dwell in the heart of a person. Why? Because the Lamb of God had not come to offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice to atone for mankind’s sins.
When Jesus came to earth, He brought the kingdom of heaven with Him in His very person. Although He lived the life of a human being, He was still 100% God the Son. The Prince of Peace walked the earth and shared the love of the Father will all of mankind, as He gave Himself to be slaughtered like a sheep. His blood paid the way for you and me to be able to pass through the veil of separation that prevented us from entering into the very presence of God Almighty! Once the veil ripped down the middle in the temple, the kingdom of heaven became a certain reality for those that believe on the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Now that access was granted for us to enter into God’s presence, He was able to send us the Holy Spirit as a comforter and counselor, who make His throne within the heart and soul of every believer. What was impossible in the OT (passing behind the veil into God’s presence and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) were now possible thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice. We owe everything that we are to our Lord. He did what none of us could do for ourselves. Thus, we need to spread the message that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. People now have the opportunity to lay hold of the greatest gift ever – eternal life through Jesus the Son with God the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.
There is a dying world out there that needs to know that there is a place where they can find relief, rest, provision, and love – all of which the world cannot do! In Jesus we can have all these things. Most importantly we can have Him as the Lord and Savior of our souls. Those who refuse to hear this message of the kingdom of heaven will learn, unfortunately the hard way, that they are to spend eternity in the kingdom of hell – not a viable option.
Father, thank You for sending us word of the good news of the kingdom of heaven when Jesus came to the earth. Jesus, You gave us the greatest gift that could ever be had – eternal life through Your love and grace and all because You gave up Your life that we might live. We know it’s Your will that none should perish, although they do, so we must get busy about finding and converting souls into members of our eternal family while robbing hell of any future residents that were never meant to be there. Strengthen Your body and give us direction. I pray for my church as we host an evangelistic outreach in the coming days. May people learn from our guest speaker of the need for repentance because “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” May they feel Your Spirit’s convicting power, hear the truth, and decide to make the greatest choice they can make – accepting You as Lord AND Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen.