4. The Gospel of the Kingdom
The Gospel of the kingdom in its universal proclamation leads up to the great consummation. If, then, we hear this Gospel aright it will have a profound effect upon our lives. We notice that the Lord Jesus followed His announcement about the worldwide testimony with a reference to Daniel who, as we have already seen was the prophet of the coming kingdom.
"When therefore ye see the abomination of destruction, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand), then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains; let him that is on the housetop not go down to take out the things that are in the house: and let him that is in the field not return back or take his cloak" (Matthew 24:15-18).
The inference is that, if you understand what Daniel is saying, it will move you to action, and to very swift and decided action. We cannot be passive or indifferent in the face of the challenge which Daniel's revelation gives us concerning the kingdom which man has lost, and the recovery through Christ of the kingdom of heaven.
Man's Loss of the Kingdom
In the historical part of the book we are told of three occasions when the kingdom was overthrown. The first was concerned with Nebuchadnezzar: "O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken: the kingdom is departed from thee" (Daniel 4:31); the second refers to Belshazzar: "God hath numbered thy kingdom, and brought it to an end" (Daniel 5:26); and the last is dealt with in chapter 9, which tells of Daniel's broken-hearted prayer over the tragically ruined kingdom of Judah. A kingdom lost! Nebuchadnezzar lost his kingdom for seven years; the Jews lost theirs for seventy years; but Belshazzar lost his forever. And, in a way, they were all lost for the same reason.
In each case the kingdom was lost through pride. If we had used a more general term, we should have said that it was through sin, but there seems to be a specific sin which relates to this matter of the lost kingdom, and that is the sin of pride. God's kingdom is the kingdom in which there must be NO pride. God is high and holy, but God is NOT proud. God's King is the Lord Jesus Christ, highly exalted and yet truly claiming to be "meek and lowly in heart." Even on the throne of the universe He is still known as the Lamb. It was when this other spirit of pride came into the race that man lost his kingdom, and it is because we all have that spirit of pride within us that we are men of a lost kingdom.
(continued with # 21 - (Pride's Independence)