The power of Christ’s kingly rule is now present among gathered Christians (Luke 17:20-21), liberating people from false masters and enslaving idols. Among the disciples, the kingdom is a new human order in which power, money, recognition, and success are properly reordered in light of the registry of the kingdom. It is not that these things no longer matter but that they become transposed by the unleashing of Christ’s new creation – by service, generosity, and humility (Luke 6:17-29). Jesus’ kingship is not like human kingships, for it wins influence through suffering service, not coercive power. We enter it not through strength but through the weakness of repentance and the new birth (John 3) and becoming like a child (Matt 18:3-4).
Christ’s liberating rule is not fully here. All his disciples are to pray for it to come, according to Matthew 6:10, and at the end of time we will receive it in completion (Matt 25:34). But finally the day comes when the city of God will descend. It contains the throne of God – the seat of the kingdom (Rev 22:3) – from which the renewal of all things proceeds (Rev 21:3-6). This is the ecstatic enthronement depicted in Psalms 96-98. When God returns to rule, even the rivers will clap their hands and the mountains will sing for joy that their liberator has finally come (Ps 98:8; Rom 8:21-22). The freedom and joy of the kingdom of heaven will come to earth.
- Tim Keller