Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning

Kingdom Hope

March 04, 2024 Trinity Vineyard Church Season 2 Episode 18
Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning
Kingdom Hope
Show Notes

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

- Romans 15:13

If someone asked you to tell the story of the 21st century, what would you include?

The new millennium dawned with an era defining attack on the twin towers. This heralded conflict in the Middle East which is still playing out more than two decades later. The crash of 2008 put breaks not just on the economy but on the capacity of the nation state to promote and protect the wellbeing of its citizens. Political turmoil is everywhere: formerly responsible powers have engaged in a race to the bottom, while those we perceive as a threat have grown stronger. The pandemic set out in stark terms how vulnerable we are, in spite of all our technological prowess. The natural world is brutally damaged, but we just can’t seem to hop off the consumerist train as it hurtles on to further environmental degradation. We’re learning that progress for us often looks like pain and deprivation for others.

This is the age of pessimism. The best people hope for is that they can cushion themselves from  the world with a bubble of career, pleasure, distraction.

But Christians shouldn't be pessimists. Jesus is not only risen from the dead, but ascended. Acts 1:9 - After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

To understand the ascension, we should look at the vision in chapter 7 of Daniel. Four monsters come up out of the sea. The last great monster who has come up from the sea stands up in the courtroom, presided over by God himself, and boasts about its power. Like all human empires before and since the monster, which represents human evil, babbles on about all the things it can do. God silences the creature's boasts, and then...

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Daniel's vision and the ascension of Jesus are the same thing. That’s what the clouds are about… The the power of human and spiritual evil has been judged, and that the Son of Man has been given an authority that will never pass away. This is our faith. This is the Kingdom. Jesus is Lord – of my heart? Of the church? No, Jesus is Lord of everything. As Abraham Kuyper said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

So, we have hope.