THE STATESMAN Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Yet for Bible believers there is a greater certainty—the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to set up God’s Kingdom on earth. As we shall discover in the Bible, the Lord God has promised that this will happen and we can therefore rest assured that it will.
The angel Gabriel, speaking at the command of God, was very specific in what he promised to Mary about the child to whom she was to give birth:
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:31–33).
David was a great king over Israel, and God made wonderful promises to him:
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever (2 Samuel 7:12–13).
A long line of his descendants succeeded King David, but eventually Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, conquered Israel and ended the kingdom— but not for ever!
A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgement belongs, and I will give it to him (Ezekiel 21:27).
After a period of captivity in Babylon, many Jews did return, but never as kings. They were subject to the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans. It was while under Roman rule that the Lord Jesus was born. He was of the lineage of King David (Matthew 1:1).
Yet although the sign at his execution read ‘King of the Jews’ (Matthew 27:37), he did not reign as king. He rose from the dead on the third day, and 40 days later his disciples asked him, ‘“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority”’ (Acts 1:6–7).
As he ascended to his Father, two angels reassured the disciples that ‘This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven’ (Acts 1:11).
They could now understand why Jesus had told his disciples to constantly pray for his coming again: ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10). This is the time when the Lord Jesus will be back to set up this Kingdom. Then all peoples will praise and worship God and will be obedient to His wishes, just as the angels in heaven work to please God.
The Bible prophesied that Jesus would return at a time when the land of Israel is occupied by Jews (for example Ezekiel 38:12, Luke 21:24–27). We have seen, over the past one hundred years or so, the preparations that God is making for His Son to return. In 1917 the British and allied forces pushed the Ottoman Turks out of Palestine, and allowed Jews to return to their homeland. Many returned, but others were happy with their lives in Europe.
Following the terrible events of the Holocaust, there was an urgency to return. In 1948 the State of Israel was established. In 1967, attacked by its neighbours and against all odds, in six days Israel overcame its enemies, taking control of Jerusalem and what is termed the West Bank. In 2021 several Arab nations made peace with Israel, under the Abraham Accords. Now almost half of the world’s Jewish population lives in Israel.
Each step has brought the nation of Israel closer to the return of their Messiah and King. Prophecy after prophecy has been fulfilled. We can be sure that God will keep His promise—Israel’s King will return and rule not only Israel but the whole world.
We read of the day when God’s nation accepts their King, having rejected him for 2,000 years:
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn (Zechariah 12:10).
The prophet Isaiah speaks of the great blessings of the Kingdom age:
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2:2–4).
Now that is a certain future that we can all look forward to.