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When Demons Are Real!
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YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWS NEAR
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 2:28)
What Is the Nature of the Kingdom, the Redemption That Is Drawing Near?
Exactly what did the Lord mean when He said, "your redemption draweth nigh"?
Did He mean we all are going to die and go to Heaven?
If we are to understand the drawing near of our redemption we must adopt the frame of mind of the Lord's listeners. The redemption that is at hand will not bring us to Heaven. The people to whom the Lord was speaking would not think in terms of making their eternal home in Heaven.
The Lord's hearers, in Luke 21:28, were Jews. They had been taught the oracles of the Prophets. The Prophets spoke of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. They declared also that Jerusalem and all Israel would be exalted.
Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. (Psalms 96:13)
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (Isaiah 2:2)
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:38)
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6)
To our knowledge, there is no verse of Scripture in the Old Testament or New Testament that suggests we are saved to go to Heaven or to live in a mansion in Heaven. The concept of being saved in order to go to Heaven was added at some point after the writing of the New Testament.
Exactly when and under what conditions the idea of the believers "making Heaven their eternal home" was added to Christian doctrine would be an interesting dissertation for a candidate for the Doctor of Divinity degree.
When the Lord spoke of the coming of redemption the Jews who were listening would think of deliverance from the rule of the Roman Empire, of the restoration of the glory of the kingdom of David and Solomon, and also of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
The message of John the Baptist and of the Lord Jesus .
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:1,2)
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)
It is clear neither John nor the Lord preached that the Good News was we would go to Heaven when we die. Rather, they both spoke of a kingdom that was at hand, a kingdom that was to come from Heaven and be installed on the earth.
The parables of the Lord Jesus were about the Kingdom of God, not about Heaven. If we would understand the Divine salvation we must begin to think about the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth rather than the going of the Church to Heaven.
When the Lord commanded them to lift up their heads because their redemption was near, the Jews would picture the exalting of the people and land of Israel and the bringing of justice and Paradise to the earth.
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:17)
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. (Isaiah 42:4)
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12)
The definition of redemption .
To "redeem" something is to restore to the original or rightful owner what has been taken from him by purchase, or trickery, or violence. By definition, redemption involves only what was in one's possession originally.
Redemption could never refer to our going to Heaven to live in a mansion because we never have lived in Heaven in a mansion.
What then did mankind forfeit? What did the Jews forfeit?
In the beginning human beings were placed in a garden on the earth that surpassed the most glorious environment possible for people to imagine. Have you ever thought much about the garden in Eden, in the area now known as the Middle East?
What did mankind forfeit?
By obeying Satan rather than God, Adam and Eve lost the Presence of God. Adam and Eve lost Paradise. They also lost immortality in the body. The fruit of the tree of life apparently changed the chemistry of the physical body, making the body incorruptible.
What did the Jews forfeit?
Because of their continued sin and disobedience the Jews lost the blessing of God. The Jews lost the territories won by David and governed by Solomon. The Jews lost the Temple and the priestly ceremonies that took place there. They lost Jerusalem, and finally the entire land of promise.
Mankind and the Jews forfeited all that God had given them. Satan enticed them and tricked them. Mankind and the Jews need a redeemer.
The Redeemer has come. His name is Jesus. God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.