God has always wanted a people called out to be His own. For a time, ancient Israel was that nation. And they had God as their only King and lawgiver. But during the time of Samuel, the people clamored to be like the other nations. They wanted a king to rule over them and fight their battles.
Samuel warned them how oppressive it would be under an earthly king. He said the king would take their best young men and animals and put them to work for him. He would take their fields and vineyards and give them to his servants.
On and on went the list of things the king would take. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel and demanded a king to rule over them. And the Lord, in His anger, allowed the people to have a king. But He said to Samuel, “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Samuel, Chapter 8).
God still desired to separate unto himself a peculiar people who would love and obey Him. He sent His Son for that purpose. When Jesus began His earthly ministry He said, “Repent, (change your mind) for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
The long awaited government of God was now calling men and women everywhere to turn from their worldly ways and seek a new life. Jesus set down the Code of Conduct for His citizens in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5 – 7). He expounded on the nature and character of His kingdom in the many parables in the book of Matthew.
Then at the Lord’s Supper, he held a meeting that we call the Constitutional Convention. There He explained how His government would be different from all the other nations. In His kingdom, the first shall be last of all and servant of all. While the kings of other nations exercise lordship over them, it shall not be so in the Kingdom of Heaven. “He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve” (Luke 22:26)
Our Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention
“And I appoint unto you a Kingdom” Luke 22:29
For those who had continued with Him throughout His ministry, He conferred upon them His Father’s government. “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me” (Luke 22:28-29).
Jesus went on to be crucified and then rose from the dead on the third day, fulfilling that which was written in the scriptures concerning Him (Luke 24:44). He commissioned His apostles to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name among all nations. And Christ’s followers went forth and expounded and testified of the kingdom of God (Acts 28:23).