“Truly I say to you there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” v. 9:1
Will you and I see the kingdom of God come in power before we die? Only if we are willing to open our eyes and see it already unfolding before us and within us. Stop waiting for the afterlife and start going after- the- life. Then you will see the kingdom and it’s power.
Jesus said that some who were listening to him speak would live to see the kingdom of God come with power. This used to trouble me, because I thought he was referring to his second coming. Clearly he has not yet come and his original hearers have all been dead for quite some time. But later I came to understand that many of them saw the kingdom of God come in power after his resurrection, at Pentecost when the Holy spirit came upon the first believers. They saw the kingdom come in power through signs and wonders and the rapid spread of the gospel across the Roman empire. Jesus had said, “The kingdom of God is in your midst.” had he not? Do you realize what this means? He said many would see the kingdom of God manifest in their lives before they died! This is still true. While most of us are waiting until after we die to see the kingdom of God, there are some reading this who will live to see God’s kingdom come in power in their own lives! God wants you to see this in your lifetime! We need to understand that even as we await the full revelation of God’s kingdom at the end of time, we are living in that powerful kingdom now, as it is being ushered in through the work of the Holy Spirit in the church today. At Pentecost the church was born in the power of the Spirit, and we are invited to live in the power of the kingdom today. While many will settle for having a religion about Jesus, others will tap into Jesus promise, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8) This is the heritage of every true follower of Jesus. Are you walking in the power of the kingdom of God or are you just holding out for heaven, waiting till you die before you see the kingdom come in power? Every true believer longs to know God more and walk in his power. But how can this happen? The power of God is granted to everyone who is born of God. But we will only walk in it to the degree that we are committed to following Jesus as his disciples. In the verses that precede the above text, Jesus issues a call to discipleship. This call leads up to the promise, that some will see the kingdom before they die! So how can I see God’s kingdom manifest in my life today?
- “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” Begin with surrender to his cause. God longs to fill me with power as I commit myself to the kingdom but he will not empower me so I can pursue my own.
- “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospels will save it.” Lose yourself for the gospel. In other words find a mission that is larger than your life and give yourself to it. Abandon yourself to the cause of the gospel and you will experience its power.
- “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul…?” Live your second best life now. Don’t become so invested in the things of this world that you have nothing but leftovers to give to God. It’s been said that the best truth tellers in your life are your checkbook and your calendar. A quick glance at either of them will tell what you truly care about. Live with eternity in view.
- “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his father with the holy angels.” Finally power comes to those who are unashamed of our Lord. While many will seek to water down the gospel, out of embarrassment at Jesus teachings, you will be blessed if you remain true and faithful, not allowing the world to intimidate you. Stop apologizing for Jesus and boldly proclaim his word.
The power of God flows freely to a lost world through those who are surrendered to the cause of the gospel, and invested in its work. The kingdom of God is here and is coming. Why do we not see it? Because we are keeping it locked behind closed doors. As a follower of Jesus, you hold the keys to the kingdom of God. Stop waiting for the world’s approval and by faith open the door.