185: Two Kingdoms

When I was in high school (a long time ago), our sports rival was a town twenty miles to the north, just over the border between California and Oregon. The Bible also speaks of rivals, but not of towns and sports teams. These two rivals are each vying for your heart, kind of like politicians campaigning for your vote. Some politicians are honest, while others tell you one thing and do the opposite once they’re elected.

The Apostle Paul identified these two rival kingdoms in Colossians 1:12-14. Christians are to “give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [Christ-follower] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the KINGDOM OF LIGHT. He [God] has rescued us from the DOMINION OF DARKNESS and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Let’s look at four major differences between these kingdoms.

RULER
1. Jesus is the Ruler of the kingdom of light.
2. Satan is the monarch of the dominion of darkness.

CHARACTERISTICS
1. Jesus speaks truth and He treats people with mercy, grace, love, forgiveness, respect, and patience. In the second half of the above verse, Jesus contrasts Himself to the devil. He finished the statement, “But I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
2. Satan’s ways are witnessed on nightly news. He encourages lies, hate, vandalism, death, hypocrisy, and theft. His way of motivating people is through lust, guilt, shame, intimidation, pride, and fear. Referring to Satan, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)

DESTINATION
1. Jesus is already back in Heaven, and that’s where His followers will live forever. “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
2. Satan’s end will be the lake of fire, Hell. “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

CONSTITUENTS
By default, all of us are born into Satan’s domain. This doesn’t mean that all of us are satanic, mean, and wicked people. What it means is that when each of us were born, we were already infected with the virus of SIN. Its mortality rate is 100%. All of us are going to die. The ONLY GOOD NEWS is that we can choose to change kingdoms. It takes place the moment we receive Christ and put our faith in Him. This is why in the opening verse of this blog Paul encouraged us to thank God.

I had no idea there were any spiritual kingdoms, let alone two, until I was twenty years old. I thought being sincere and being a nice person was what it took to arrive in Heaven after I died. But at twenty, I learned that I was in Satan’s POW camp, and that Jesus made me the offer to leave the camp and join His family. It was like Jesus was offering me the opportunity to leave a communist/socialistic dictatorship and become a citizen of a free/capitalistic nation.

When we ask Christ to forgive us and take over the rule of our lives, He immediately transfers us out of Satan’s kingdom and makes us a citizen of His kingdom. I hope Christians will take time to thank God that He has changed their address to one in Heaven. I also hope that if this blog has been confusing, you’ll realize that God wants to have a love-relationship with you.

Marlon Furtado

I regularly went to church as a boy, but I was not exposed to the Gospel until I was nearly twenty years old. Hearing that God loved me in spite of my behavior was new to me. In response, I received Jesus Christ and became one of His followers on September 12, 1971. I practiced chiropractic for eight years before becoming a pastor from 1986 to 2018.

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