Jesus, the Once & Future King (2)
If we see who the
“ruler of this world”
really is, it will strengthen
us to not love the world,
but to instead love and
Jesus today, after His death and resurrection, is seated upon His Father’s throne in the heavens (Rev. 3:21, Heb. 1:3), “crowned with glory and honor” (Heb. 2:9). He has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18), as “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36), and is thus “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5).
Nonetheless, He has not yet taken His place on His own throne upon the earth; that will not happen until He returns to the earth to bring in the 1,000 years of His millennial kingdom (Rev. 20:4-6). Instead, for the time being He exercises His authority in such a way as to allow Satan to continue as “the ruler of this world.” This is true even though, in a moral sense, Satan was “cast out” and “judged” through the death of Christ on the cross (John 12:31, 16:11).
As He allows this, the Lord from the heavens still overrules all for good (cf. Rom. 8:28), and does indeed limit what Satan can do; moreover, “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Still, the direct ruler of the world today is this unspeakably evil being, Satan, and that is why the world is such a mess, and filled with so much evil and suffering.
The Lord allows this situation to continue, it seems, to give sinners the opportunity to repent and turn to Him. As soon as He establishes His throne upon the earth, there can be no more mercy; instead, to uphold His righteousness He will immediately judge and put and end to all the unrighteousness we see here today (Matt. 25:31; see).
As the believers in Christ, we surely need a vision of Christ, but we also need a vision that shows us the real nature of the world. We must be clear that today Satan is indeed “the ruler of this world.” He is “the god of this age,” doing so much to blind people and keep them from being illuminated with the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4; cf. Acts 26:18). The Apostle John tells us that, although we are of God, the whole world lies in the evil one (1 John 5:19). That is a truly remarkable statement; do we believe it? The whole world lies in the evil one.
Why is it so important for us to see and understand all this? Because, if we really see it, then the world in us, along with its evil ruler, Satan, will be “cast out” from within us. That is, we will see through its false appearance, and thus be strengthened to not love the world (1 John 2:15-16, James 4:4); instead, we will give ourselves to love and follow Christ. We will stand with Him for the establishment of His kingdom, and His throne, upon the earth, so that He may finally return to carry out the judgment upon Satan, put an end to this present evil age, and rule the world in righteousness.
Lord, help Your believers to clearly see the evil nature of the world today!
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— 18 October 2023 —