Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son”
~Methistémi: I cause to change its place, move out of its place; I translate, transfer, remove~
The Ukrainian refugee crisis currently happening in Europe is a result of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Almost 3.4 million refugees have left Ukraine, while an estimated 6.48 million people have been displaced within the country.
The humanitarian crisis is happening as the leader of Gog(Russia) rages against the neighboring country of Ukraine. As people move from one country to the next there is another event occurring that gives hope–people in every region are opening their homes and businesses to help the people relocate to safety, christians are praying, and people are coming to Christ. What the enemy meant for evil, God brings out of it, good.
The Ukrainian people maintain their identity as citizens of their country yet live in a land that is not their own, much like the children of Israel did in Babylon during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.
There has been another change occurring or you might say a translation of citizenship for a people the past 2000 years. The people are living in their own lands, identified by their own citizenship, and in most cases living out their heritage, but I’m not referring to the physical location of a people, I’m referring to a spiritual change of heritage. Almost instantaneously, a person can be transferred from a kingdom that is destined for destruction to a Kingdom that is destined for eternal life.
This process of translation is one that is foreign to the world because they simply cannot see nor do they recognize this Kingdom.
The idea of a “translation” is a common term with a unique connotation:
The word rendered here “translated” is often used in the sense of removing a people from one country to another; see Josephus, Ant. ix. 11. 1. It means, here, that they who are Christians have been transferred from one kingdom to another, as if a people were thus removed. They become subjects of a new kingdom, are under different laws, and belong to a different community. This change is made in regeneration, by which we pass from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light; from the empire of sin, ignorance, and misery, to one of holiness, knowledge, and happiness. No change, therefore, in a man’s life is so important as this; and no words can suitably express the gratitude which they should feel who are thus transferred from the empire of darkness to that of light.”Barnes
To gain citizenship in another country is a difficult process at best, the people who have successfully done so can attest to the struggle. To gain citizenship into the Kingdom of Heaven is a work that has already been accomplished by Jesus—He awaits for the “citizen prospects” to respond to His call.
Matthew 6;33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you..”
Jesus has been preparing a place for His people, a place that will be ruled over by the King of kings and there will be a common theme prevalent among His people.
Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
The pain and sorrow the people of Ukraine are experiencing today is a result of evil. Being forcefully moved from one land to the next is a trial that brings sadness from young to old, yet along the way there are people coming to Christ, they are being translated from a kingdom destined for destruction to an eternal Kingdom that will rule forever.
One day, everyone will find themselves in an existence that is completely different than the one they are experiencing now. For those who reject the Son of God, their end will be unto death. The living dead are those who live apart from Christ—unlike a people disposed to a land not of their choosing, those who find themselves in Hell will only have themselves to blame. The choice to reject Christ is the intentional disregard for the grace of God.
1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.”
For those who have passed from death to life while living in this existence, they will find their trust will be rewarded with a King’s ransom.
Psalm 145:13 “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful in all His words and kind in all His actions.”
The Kingdom of God is unlike anything on earth. The people of this Kingdom live with an eternal perspective, with a citizenship for another time and another place and yet serve as ambassadors for anyone else who might accept the call.
A Change of Position
When someone is brought from death to life, there is a clear change that occurs, a permanent green card so to speak that signifies your membership within the Kingdom.
Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
The key determining factor that shows an established membership in God’s Kingdom is the evidence of the Holy Spirit. The translation from darkness to light is due to the infusion of light via the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the One who has made this possible. Without God coming down in the form of a man and giving His life as a ransom for many, we would all be lost, hopelessly wandering in a world of sin without a land to call our own.
John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”
To come into God’s Kingdom requires first an invitation. Theologically, this is where some are divided. The question of whether God invites everyone is the debate, and frankly this question is not one God’s people should overly concern themselves with. The citizens of Heaven know their responsibility, they’ve heard the commission from their King and they are aware they must execute the orders accordingly.
Mark 16:15-16 “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
The consistent declaration is to go into “all the world”, this implies the message of the gospel must go forth to everyone. The gospel is the invitation, the Spirit of God then uses the gospel to draw people to Himself….this is the call.
Leaving the Land
Throughout the Old Testament there are reminders of things that were to come. People were lead by God in ways that represented a much greater Truth. Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham…many of these patriarch’s took roles that God used to signify a coming Messiah. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy and became the authentic and final answer to man’s dilemma.
Israel as a nation has assumed roles both as a measure of how God interacts with His people , and as a unique nation that serves as a timepiece in history.
The judgement that befell Israel is a type of judgement that will befall the world, a world that is saturated with sin. You are a member of this failed society and if you have not accepted the invitation out of it, you will perish with it.
Hosea 4:1-3 “Hear the word of the Lord,
You children of Israel,
For the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land:
“There is no truth or mercy
Or knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed upon bloodshed.
Therefore the land will mourn;
And everyone who dwells there will waste away
With the beasts of the field
And the birds of the air;
Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.
As the Lord brought judgement upon Israel, he will likewise bring judgement upon the world.
It is imperative that people recognize their ways of life will not remain the same. Like the people of Ukraine who were once celebrating birthdays, marriages, and children one moment and fleeing for the lives the next, reality can change very quickly.
The Kingdom of God is here and it will soon be revealed.
Luke 17:20-21 “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
The transference from death to life can happen at any place and at any time. For those who heed the call, repent, and are born again the journey starts now, the power of God becomes invested into the lives of His people and they are sent forth in His name.
I hope you will seek the Lord today if you haven’t done so already, there is no better time than the present.