God’s coming kingdom: Islam and Christian versions

Years ago, I remember having a conversation with a Muslim man.  We had a wonderful mutual exchange of religious ideas.  We had a parallel concept of a belief in God’s kingdom in which God will come again on the last day, the day of judgment.  The trumpet will sound and the Lord will return in clouds.  He will judge the living and the dead.   However, as Christians, we believe that God’s son, who is Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and his kingdom will last forever without end.  Other than the difference in who the Messiah is, the similarities actually encouraged me and opened an opportunity to share the gospel with my Muslim neighbor.

Despite some of our desires to see God’s kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven, God’s kingdom is not revealed through any earthly political power, military strength, or even religious influence.  Despite how weak or strong we may be in this world, the Messiah will return in all his power and glory.

An enduring faith and trust in God’s power and sovereignty can give us peace, and rein in our fears and need to dominate and control others in the world.  If God is truly sovereign, all-powerful and all-knowing, shouldn’t God be able to usher in his own kingdom despite anything we do?

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen. (Rev.1:7)

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.  (Matthew 24:30-31)

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