By Charles Okecha
Despite some pockets of skirmishes, 2013 has wound up in a relatively peaceful manner. Christmas celebrations were held in the honour of Jesus Christ the Promised Redeemer of all mankind.
Although the Christendom remains divided over the celebration of His birth, all believers pray for the coming of God’s kingdom, in the daily prayer that Jesus taught them.
The church, which is God’s instrument to establish the kingdom, still limps between several issues touching church doctrine, believers conduct, material wealth and reaching the world with the gospel.
Many believers pray for the return of Jesus back to the earth to give them triumph over evil. Yet scriptural promises declare that whoever believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God overcomes Satan and the evil world. (1 John 4:13, 5:4-5) The New Testament believers have failed in their duty to assert God’s authority and demonstrate his power to the world. A converse to their Old Testament counterparts like Daniel and the Hebrew youths against backdrops of hungry lions and fiery blast furnace of pagan kingdoms.
The evils of every generation, ours inclusive, follow the pattern of Adam’s sin and rebellion. Corruption, greed, rape, defilement, divorce, theft, robbery, hatred, strife and war are all consequences of man’s sin and selfishness contrary to God’s ordinances of truth, justice, faithfulness, compassion and love.
Just imagine the huge size of our Ugandan Parliament grappling to enact laws to check crimes. How about the never ending street battles in Kampala punctuated with guns shots and tear gas? We spend billions in elections yet shortly after that regret over the conduct of those elected.
All these could be avoided, if people seek counsel of God about the right leaders to govern the country. Institutions like IGG, Anti - Corruption court, prisons, and the judiciary wouldn’t be prioritised but are existent because of the high rates of crime.
Our healthcare is under the yoke of avoidable expenses from diseases like STDs, accidents and other calamities. If people fed properly, observed hygiene and kept the existing laws, the story would be quite different. Without selfish craving, there would be no wars in Sudan, Central African Republic, and Mali, Somalia and DRC Congo and other parts of the world. Racism wouldn’t be a problem at all.
There would be no fear and dread of nuclear weapons, which are modern replicas of shrines. No unmanned drones. No terrorists. No human trafficking. No ICC. Except a United Nations with a better mandate to utilise funds designated for international security and justice systems in the development projects.
God’s kingdom on earth is like day-dreaming because humankind loves evil more than good, darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. (John 3:19-21) To many a man the flavour of liquor is more gratifying than a happy family, a stable marriage or even life that is shortly snuffed in alcohol poisoning or drunken accidents.
A trivial quarrel or jeer that can be resolved wraps up in divorce, brutal child abuse, acid attack and consequent life jail sentence.
The kingdom of God cannot easily rule in the earth due to the work of Satan. He planted sin nature in humans so that they believe and respond to his wiles than the word/will of God. He has blinded their eyes to consider the way of salvation as foolishness.
(2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 1 Corinthians 1:18) Jesus recognised this and said that the kingdom of God starts within man.
(Luke 17:20-21) He first changes their wrong attitudes towards God as a judge who demands worship, burdens them with commandments and brings curses and doom when they don’t comply. He casts out devils before His kingdom resides in man.
“But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Matt 12:28) Believers who accept him are translated from darkness to the kingdom of light. They receive the power and authority to live as children of God and cast out devils.
Those led by the Spirit are peacemakers and the sons of God. The church has failed to submit to God and still follows desire for wealth, pleasure and fame. People seek favour and praise from fellow men not God.
Because God’s ways and thoughts are higher than man’s, he had to tackle the challenge of sin.
He promised a Redeemer to die and atone for the sin of the world so that the Holy Spirit can dwell in man again and guide them into true worship and holy living.
God seeks for true worshippers as He did for Adam at the beginning. God has raised Jesus and sent the promised Holy Spirit. The choice remains ours to accept or reject God’s gift by refusing to turn away from sin.
Like earthly governments, the heavenly kingdom has God as its supreme head, a constitution that consists of biblical commandments, law enforcement agencies that consist of angels and men appointed into positions of authority.
He has given freedom to men to choose to obey him and live in peace/prosperity or follow their own ways and suffer doom here on earth and in the world to come.
The writer works with St. Paul’s College, Mbale