The Violent Take it by Force

September 17, 2021

The Violent Take it by Force

Matthew 11:12

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

               One might get the impression from this passage that the kingdom of heaven in not necessarily a peaceful place.  As we read about the kingdom of heaven we begin to see that it is God’s revelation of Christ Jesus, of salvation and of entrance into the kingdom of God’s fullness.  It is in fact that place where many of us now dwell as we walk out our faith in the fear of God. It is not always a place of peace and joy in the outward sense, but a place of transition from earthly to heavenly.  In that place of transition there are many spiritual battles to be fought from within and without.  The kingdom of heaven has come to us and been opened to us through the cross of Christ.  Christ, our new covenant, and John the Baptist His forerunner came proclaiming the kingdom of God among us.  This was the beginning of an undoing and reversal of spiritual power and authority that had been lost when Adam fell in the Garden of Eden.  This war in the heavenlies didn’t come without a great price and it is not obtained without resistance.  The violent here are the strong and the forceful.  They are the strong, whose faith is as a little child who trust and leans wholly upon His Father’s strength and resources; not upon his own.  A child is perfectly aware of their immaturity, their weakness, and their dependence and, as such, is not reliant upon themselves.  Many of the parables of the kingdom of heaven are presentations of servants at different places with what their master has given them.  What is imperative to their success is what they do with what the Lord has entrusted them with.  We see many of them that miss out on the kingdom of heaven because they weren’t faithful with the entrustment of God’s gifts and salvation.

               Matthew 3:2 and 4:7 are keys to the beginning of us entering into the kingdom of heaven.  It begins with, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Our entrance must begin with a change of heart and committed redirection of our life from our old and former ways to the ways God has instructed that we should live.  In John 3:3 Jesus tells Nicodemus, “… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Our entrance is not just dependent upon a natural birth, but also a Spiritual birth.  That takes place as we repent and ask Christ into our hearts and lives, believing that He is God’s only begotten Son and that He has died to take away our sins and rose that we might be seated with Him in heavenly places. 

               The Beatitudes portray what manner of people possess the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:10-12 says, “Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”  Here we see the opposition to our possessing the kingdom.  Yet we stand as the violent, the strong and forceful ones, not because we resist with the warfare and armament of the natural man, but because we stand in the love and the authority of our Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us.  He conquered death and the grave; He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men.  Our abiding, faithful relationship in Him is what makes us violent and forceful to seize the kingdom that He has prepared for us.  It is the overcoming and the breakthrough of our faith and obedience that brings us into His Presence.  We are not violent men of flesh and blood, but we are violent in Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 says we are.  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” 

Be violent in your walk with God and your pursuit of His kingdom.  Be forceful and strong to stand against evil and lift up a standard of righteousness.  The battle is to the faithful, the vigilant, and to them that are content with nothing less than God’s best.  ‘Let us turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.’




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