We’re going through the book of Daniel at Raintree, and recently we looked in-depth at Daniel chapter 2. It records a dream that Nebuchadnezzar had, where he was a head of gold, and where other parts of the body were kingdoms that would come after him. The was one main point of this dream.
The whole point of this dream was to let King Nebuchadnezzar know that his kingdom would not last. BUT, it wasn’t just that, was it? It was also to let him know about a kingdom that God was going to establish that would never end. Not only was his kingdom going to be GONE, but there was a new eternal kingdom coming. Daniel 3:44-45-
“And in the days of those kings [these 3 king that would come after Nebuchadnezzar] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
What is this stone that will shatter all other kingdoms and, according to the king’s dream, become a great mountain and fill the whole earth? What is this stone? Who is this stone? There is no doubt: this stone is Jesus. The kingdom that this stone represents is the messianic kingdom of God. The decisive moment here for this kingdom that will crush all other kingdoms begins to take shape during the time of this fourth empire. What is this fourth empire? It’s Rome. We see it right there in Daniel’s interpretation of the dream.
Think about this: When did Jesus enter into Galilee, preaching the kingdom of God? When? When Palestine was occupied by Rome.
Jesus Himself preached the kingdom. It was here, and it was beginning to fill the whole earth. And of course, the final fulfillment of this dream of Nebuchadnezzar is still to come, even now. When every other kingdom, literally, will be crushed. This kingdom was not a geopolitical kingdom of this earth, was it? It was and is more than that. In fact, Jesus says, in Luke 17:21- “The kingdom of God is within you.” This stone is Jesus, there is no doubt. When Peter is called before the high priest to answer how he healed a lame man in Acts chapter 4:10-11, he responds by saying this: “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’”
If you’re reading this today and living for your own kingdom and you’re content with that, you need to know: you probably don’t know Jesus. The very heart of being a true Christian is having turned from being your own king and to the true King, our Substitute, Jesus, elieving in his sacrifice, believing that He has taken on our sin and shame, and believing that he defeated that sin and shame by rising from the dead.
If you’ve never turned and believed in the true King, the cornerstone of God’s kingdom, I encourage you: do so today. God has called all people to repent and believe in Jesus alone for salvation. And for those of you who have done that, and maybe you are struggling (which at least to some extent includes all of us; we all struggle to some degree), but maybe you’re struggling with truly desiring to build God’s kingdom instead of your own. For you and for me: let this be a blunt reminder. Man’s kingdom: Insecurity, Instability, Ignorance, Anger, Transience, and Talk. God’s kingdom: Wisdom from God, Dependence upon God, Worship for God, Boldness from God, Humility before God, and an eternal Kingdom forever ruled by God.
I know we live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with our own self-worth, and our own self-esteem, and building our own legacy. Even in the Christian world, that’s a common question that we’re told to ask ourselves: “What legacy are you leaving!?” I think that question, for believers, isn’t the best question. Instead of asking ourselves, “What legacy are we leaving?” maybe we should ask ourselves, “Whose legacy are we leaving?”
Are we leaving our own legacy at all? Or should we be? Are we focused on building our reputation, our fame, our money and power (and with reputation, I’m including good Christian reputations!).
Is that our focus? How WE will be remembered? Or are we focused on our one tiny part in God’s legacy, His Kingdom, the only Kingdom that will never end, that will never fade in glory? Whose legacy are we leaving? Because if we’re leaving His legacy, we can be content in being forgotten in this world. How? How can we be content if we’re forgotten altogether in this world? Because we will NOT be forgotten by the King.