36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:36-37)
Jesus is king today, exalted at the right hand of God, ruling over His kingdom. This is the gospel preached from the day of Pentecost to this very moment (Acts 2:30-36). All who expect Jesus to return to reign from Jerusalem will continue to wait in vain. His kingdom is not “of this world”. They have failed to accept Jesus’ prediction of the kingdom coming “with power” during the lifetime of those who heard Jesus preach (Mk. 9:1; Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4). From Pentecost onward the kingdom is regarded as in existence, in which Christians participate (Col. 1:13; Heb. 1:3-4, 8; Rev. 1:9). Jesus was born to be a king. He reigns now as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). Will you bow your knee to the king?
And I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:9)
The apostle John, now aged and exiled, was a co-participant with his Asian brethren in three important things. First, they were partners in the tribulation of Jesus Christ. They were under persecution, and so was John. Second, they were companions in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. John and his brethren were not looking for a future kingdom; they were in the kingdom of Christ at that very moment. Third, they shared in the patience of Jesus Christ. As Jesus endured “hostility from sinners”, so did they (Heb. 12:3). When you are faithful to “the testimony of Jesus Christ” you, too “will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). But, take courage and patiently endure. You are a citizen of the kingdom of Christ. Your king and His kingdom is greater than every kingdom on earth (Dan. 2:44; Mk. 9:1; Col. 1:13).
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)
Oh, how those who predict the physical city of Jerusalem to be the Mount from which Christ will reign one day have missed the mark! Their entire view of Old Testament prophetic language is skewed and misused as they fail to grasp that the church fulfills God’s promise of a great Messianic kingdom (Eph. 3:10-11). Our passage is very clear. “You have come to Mount Zion” is perfect tense (completed action in the past, with present results) – it is not future tense. Jehovah God has already set His king on His holy hill of Zion in that He raised Jesus from the dead and crowned Him at His right hand of power (Psa. 2:6-7; Acts 13:32-39; 2:32-36; Eph. 1:20-23). There is no greater privilege for sinners who have been saved by Christ’s blood than to be “registered in heaven” (counted among God’s faithful). God wants you to be counted among the saved. Trust the word of Christ and do what He says: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:16).