He lacerated backs with leather lashes and lacerated hearts with loathsome words of mockery. Flavius Julianus (also known as “Julian the Apostate”) was an emperor of Rome (AD 361-363) who reinstated pagan worship and ruthlessly persecuted Christians. One day, Flavius tried to show off in front of his pals by taunting a believer named Agaton. “So, how is your carpenter of Nazareth?” he derided. “Is he finding work these days?” And without hesitation, Agaton replied, “He is perhaps taking time away from building mansions for the faithful to build a coffin for your empire.”
Agaton was right; the Roman Empire burned to the ground a little more than a century later. Earthly empires rise and fall, but only one kingdom shall stand forever: the kingdom of God. It cannot crumble because it is “unshakeable” (Heb. 12:28). It cannot be conquered because its Ruler is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16). And it will outlast all earthly kingdoms because it is spiritual, eternal, and “other-worldly” (1 Cor. 15:50; John 18:36).
Right now, the Sovereign Lord is building coffins for the thrones of the wicked and the empires of evil. As the prophet Daniel declared, God is setting up “a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall [it] be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44). When the Carpenter drives the last nail into the coffins of judgment, He will return to fill them. The heavenly hosts will shout on that day, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15b).
To be a citizen of this everlasting kingdom, you must bow to the King, Jesus Christ. As the psalmist admonished, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:12). You must humble yourself like a child, recognizing your helplessness and dependence on His saving grace. For Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mark 10:15).
And all who belong to His everlasting kingdom may cheerfully croon the words of the great hymn, A Child of the King:
“I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
a sinner by choice and an alien by birth;
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
an heir to a mansion, a robe, and a crown.
I’m a child of the King, a child of the King:
with Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King.”
Whose kingdom do you belong to?