The Kingdom Has Been Forcefully Advancing
In Jesus Christ, the
kingdom of God exercises force and, it may be said, that the
forceful firmly, or - indeed - forcefully, take hold of it!
Raymond Zorn says this,
'The verb, biazomai, is used in only one other place in the
New Testament (Luke 16:16) where it is given the middle voice
(active sense) by the AV, ASRV, RSV, Luther's German, the Dutch
(1953) and French versions. The NIV therefore correctly renders
it in the active sense,
"(the kingdom) has been forcefully advancing".
To adopt the active sense is therefore not only a properly
consistent rendering of the verb, but also fits in better with
the context of the kingdom's presence from the days of John's
preaching as Jesus here teaches. It was present whether
"exercising force" or "suffering violence" (NKJV).
But the gospel proclamation can more easily be understood as a
part of the kingdom's manifestation of power rather than that it
creates forceful activity that becomes a part of it. The latter
meaning is true enough but it is secondary to the former meaning
which is primary. A realm of power first exercises force and in
so doing may or may not create forceful activity that becomes
part of it'.
(Raymond o. Zorn, Christ
Triumphant, p5, Banner of Truth, 1997).
Since our Lord has now bound "the strong man", He is certainly
well able to 'divide the spoils' by freeing His people from
Satan's enslavement. This was well demonstrated during Jesus'
earthly ministry in His subjection of the realm of demonic
activity. This clearly demonstrated the arrival of the kingdom of
God! We can therefore state that - where the Lord Jesus is
present - the kingdom is in the very midst of the people (Luke
17:21). So 'now is the day of salvation' - there can be no excuse
for willfully ignoring or being dismissive of the kingship of our
Saviour! (Matthew 6:33).
We should warn all those who hear the name of Jesus that -
whether they consider it 'politically correct', or not, to be
clearly stated in such terms, NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION AND
NOW IS THE DAY TO FORCEFULLY AND JOYFULLY LAY HOLD ON ETERNAL
In several places the Bible appears to suggest that God may well
finally be merciful to many who lived and died without ever
hearing the name of Christ, but with knowledge comes
responsibility!! If we know the name of Christ, God expects us to
act! We should be unafraid to warn those around us that with
knowledge of Jesus and the cross, there is an IMPERATIVE to
forcefully take hold of Eternal Life!
'As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me.
Night is coming, when no-one can work.'
'Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of
sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt